AREA 5: Trellis Pattern

By Tony Minieri

Threads Used:


A trellis is a filling pattern aptly named since the first step of these patterns usually fills the area. This diagram shows the completed stitch. Each step is outlined in detail in the instructions below.

Find the horizontal and vertical center of the area. Use this as a guide to establish the pattern in this area. By centering the design, it will allow for more uniform compensation at the edges of the area.

Use 1 strand of Kreinik Tapestry (#12) Braid 421 (My Thread ___________) to stitch the upright trellis foundation. Each stitch varies in length and goes from design line to design line. Stitch all vertical stitch elements first, followed by all the horizontal elements. The stitches are 4 threads apart horizontally and vertically.

Using 3 strands of ThreadworX Overdyed Floss 1089 (My Thread ___________) stitch the reverse structure diagonal Hungarian stitches that tie down the trellis foundation. Work this step in vertical columns or horizontal rows.

Using 1 strand of ThreadworX Overdyed Floss 1089 (My Thread ___________) attach a Mill Hill Bead 00479 (My Bead ___________) in the center of each void created by the reverse structure diagonal Hungarian stitches. The beads are attached on a diagonal. Go through the center of the bead twice to secure the bead. You can also attach the beads after all stitching is complete to avoid catching threads on the beads.

Note: The sample shows most (but not all) of the intersections covered by the overdyed floss and most, but not all of the beads added.

Comments on Stitch

This pattern can be used for clothing or as a field of flowers in a stylized garden piece, or if you have an area on a painted canvas that does not have good detail delineation, it is a perfect way to include all the colors in that area successfully.

The Trellis pattern is another type of filling pattern. In these patterns, the foundation is always placed in two different directions. In an upright trellis, the foundation threads are horizontal and vertical. In a diagonal trellis, the foundation threads are in SW-NE diagonal and SE-NW diagonal. Each of these foundations creates a new grid on which to work. The foundation threads here also go from design line to design line. You can now place stitches that tie down the trellis foundation across the bar of the foundation or across the intersection or both. Trellises can be as simple or as multilayered and complex as you wish or as open and light or heavy and covered as you wish. This is a perfect vehicle for mixing different threads, colors and textures together to enhance an area of your design.

When working a trellis pattern, make sure that however you place your foundation thread, you can place your couching stitch over it in full size or in compensation without pulling the foundation thread out of line. If you end up at a point in your pattern and the compensated end of the couching stitch needs to go into a hole that is underneath the foundation thread, this will warp the foundation thread out of line. This is not good! Rather, shorten the foundation thread and let that particular point only be about the compensated couching stitch.

Designer Biographical Information

Tony Minieri has taught for many years for ANG, NETA, EGA and NAN and TNNA. His needlework education includes the National Seminar, Callaway School of Needlearts, ANG and EGA workshops and Level 1 Certification (NAN). He teaches at guilds, chapters and at local shops.