Stitch of the Month
February 2005: Embossed Upright Bricking

by Sharon G

My favorite thread to work with for special effects is fine weight metallic. I don't recall a canvas that I stitched without using this thread type somewhere in the canvas. A little bit of glimmer translates into a refection, the sun shining, a light in the window, a bit of glamour or even a lot of glitz. 

The Embossed Upright Bricking stitch happened because I needed to design a stitch for tile rooftops. I needed to consider scale. The rooftops were in the distance and that told me the stitch needed to be one of a small scale and one that resembled roof tiles. It also had to have some texture to make the tent stitch house recede under the eaves. The rooftops had to appear in front of the mountains and cypress trees but not appear to fall forward off the canvas. When stitching a painted canvas, you need to pay very close attention to perspective.

With the addition of the embossed metallic overstitch, I had my roof tiles!

sample stitch used 
on Tuscan rooftops
(Click on the image for a more detailed picture)

I chose a simple black work double running stitch to emboss the Upright Bricking.

Embossing stitches is my other love. Even plain old tent can be embossed with a single strand of thread or a fine metallic. Try doing a black work pattern over tent stitch using a fine single strand of metallic, floss or stranded silk.

Consider this stitch for clothing, smaller scale pavement, baskets, beehives, or berries. It is a very sturdy stitch. I would have no qualms using it in a pillow, handbag, or in any item that might need a small sturdy stitch.

Diagram 1
(Click on the image for a more detailed picture)

Step 1, Diagram 1: This stitch is done in two parts. For the sample I used 2 ply of silk. If you want a puffier look, use 3 ply of silk. Bring your needle up at the odd numbers and down with the even numbers. The stitches shown without numbers are compensating stitches. You will do a two step embossing over this Upright Bricking Base. It is a simple Brick stitch over 4 turned on its side.

Consider using a laying tool to get your base smooth. We donít want any roof tiles out of place.

Diagram 2
(Click on the image for a more detailed picture)
Embossing the Upright Bricking with a fine metallic

Step 1, Diagram 2: This is done in two steps. Refer to Diagram 3 for the placement of the stitch over the Upright Brick. It is charted in red in Diagram 3. Step 1 is a straight line Double Running Stitch. Use 1 strand of any fine weight metallic. It should be something similar to the weight of Blending Filament.

Pay attention to the rhythm of the stitch. Up at odd numbers; sink the needle at even numbers.

This stitch is done in two passes.

Step 2, Diagram 2: The second step is done with a similar rhythm. It is also a two pass stitch. Pay attention to the numbering and arrows on both Steps. The Step 1 stitches are shown in black in the Step 2 diagram.

Diagram 3 shows the completed stitch. The grey is the Bricking done in Diagram 1 and the red stitches are the Embossed stitches done in metallic.

What I love about black work stitches is they have a nice consistent pull on the stitch. You won't find your stitches jogging to a corner of the hole. And you will learn to be consistent which is equally important.

Have fun. See you next month!

Diagram 3
(Click on the image for a more detailed picture)

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