Stitch of the Month
May 2005: 6 x 6s

by Sharon G

In many canvases sold today, one common motif is areas painted in blocks of 6s. Checkered borders and scattered checkered areas are very popular.

I would like to present a few possibilities for needlepointing 6 x 6s. When you've had enough of Scotch stitch and tent, it is time to try something different. In the future months I will show some other possibilities for 6 x 6s.

May's stitch is very useful in creating a border, a background, tiles, walls or walkways, and even in many abstract and geometric designs. If you are choosing to do it for a background, I would suggest selecting a monochromatic color scheme.

One emerging trend in needlepoint is as I like to call it, to "emboss" stitches with a fine metallic such as Kreinik blending filament, Accentuate or Bijoux.

The threads I used in the stitch sample (taken from a painted canvas I am working on) are Gloriana silk, Bijoux and Kreinik Serica and Mori. I also used a #11 Sundance bead. You can substitute any similar thread and have an equally pleasing effect.

May SotM Photo
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Figure 1

Step 1, Diagram 1: In the first step (shown in Diagram 1, charted in yellow) place the diagonal stitches using 2 strands of Gloriana silk or any thread of similar weight to standard floss. Pay attention to the angle of the stitches. Note that you can expand this from a 6 x 6 to any size by adjusting the size of the stitches.

If you are looking for a nice open background, you can stop at Step 1. This step is a nice stitch on its own.

Diagram 1
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Step 2, Diagram 2: Diagram 2 shows the cross stitches in the corners and the first step of tramé couching framing the motif.

I used Kreinik Serica for the cross stitches and the long stitches, which are the first step in the tramé couching. This step is shown in light green in Diagram 2.

Diagram 2
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Step 3, Diagram 3: Diagram 3 shows the couching. I used 1 strand of Kreinik Mori for this step. It is shown in dark green.

Diagram 3
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In Diagram 4, I used Bijoux to outline the motifs. You can select any similar-weight metallic. This step is shown in red. I like how the fine metallic adds a bit of elegance to the stitch. If you do not want this subtle glitz, this step can be eliminated or done with one strand of floss. I think it give a finished look to the stitch.

Diagram 4
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Step 5, Diagram 5: Diagram 5 illustrates the addition of a bead. I used a #11 Sundance bead and attached it with a cross stitch. The bead sits in a hole, not on an intersection. I wanted the bead to lie straight and not at the traditional angle. In this particular area, I wanted no sense of motion. Placing the bead at the traditional angle would give it motion. The best way to set the bead in a hole is to attach it with a cross stitch. A #11 bead will fill up the hole and almost cover up the four intersections surrounding the hole.

See you next month.

Sharon G

Diagram 5
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