Stitch of the Month
November 2005: Brocade Variation
by Sharon G
I was trying to create a brocade fabric for a special project and, after running several stitches through my head, I went to a stitch my friend Brenda Hart has in one of her books for the basis of my variation. Brenda diagramed the brocade stitch and several variations in her Favorite Stitches series. I had used the double bars before in creating a stitch for fabric, and visualized my brocade variation using this as the base.
Brocade fabric has metallic threads, often has silk or other threads with that extra-rich sheen, and has a nice texture. Of course, if I have a chance to add beads, I will, and I did! The brocade forms a sort of flower repeat and the beads become the flowers' centers.
You will find this stitch very useful when you need a rich fabric. I can also see it as the background for an elegant goldwork monogram. Use it as a background setting for an insect with lots of glitz, or even for the fabric of a kimono. It resembles the jewel-tone colors of a Persian carpet when the color combination I selected is used. If you use only floss or silk and eliminate the metallic threads, it would even make a good quilt.
As you stitch Brocade Variation, note that my sample is stitched on red canvas. All of the red that shows in the final product is bare canvas. This makes your choice of canvas color an important part of the design process. Experiment and have fun.
Diagram 1 shows the base for this stitch. Use 1 strand of Pearsall's silk or a comparable-weight stranded silk. You can substitute 1 strand of floss, but silk does give it that extra touch of luxury. When stitching the double bars, establish a travel pattern and be consistent. I found that if I did all of the horizontal bars first and then all of the vertical bars, no carry-over showed through from the back.
Diagram 2 shows the placement of the center cross stitches (diagramed in red). Do the 2 x 2 cross first and place the long armed upright cross stitch over it. I used 1 strand of Bijoux; however, you can use any thin metallic, including Accentuate, Kreinik Blending Filament or #4 Metallic Braid, Rainbow Gallery Petite Sparkle Braid or Petite Treasure Braid, or any other comparable-weight thread. The heavier threads will give your stitch a higher texture and more solid coverage.
Diagram 3 shows the diagonal stitches placed in the corners. They are diagramed with a thin purple line. I used #4 Kreinik braid in #005 black for this stitch. It adds a tiny bit of sparkle, which is important in brocade fabric. You can use a strand of floss-weight thread if you want less sparkle.
Diagram 4 shows how the corner stitch, which was placed in the previous step, is pulled to the corner with a small stitch that is diagramed in blue. Be sure to catch the thread from Diagram 3 and pull it toward the corner. This gives the stitch a rounded look and will form the petals of the brocade "flower."
Place a size 14° bead where shown on the diagram.
Your December stitch will be the Stitch of the Month project for this year. I hope you enjoy the culmination of the 2005 ANG Stitch of the Month feature. The project is fun, elegant and has many of my favorite threads and open stitches.
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