Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One of My Favorite Stitches.....

Basketweave Twill is one of my favorite stitches. 

Here's the diagram so you can see what it looks like.


Why is this such a fascinating stitch to me? Why don't I just do Basketweave?  The beauty of this stitch lies in the light coverage.  Whatever is painted behind the stitches will show through.  The stitch recedes into the background allowing all the fun and crazy stuff I love to do jump to the foreground grabbing your attention.

Now, here's the magic of the stitch.  There are a million, zillion things you can do to change this up.  Fill in the open spaces with French Knots or beads.  Perhaps those knots or beads are the same color as the Twill stitches, perhaps they contrast.

If you are using beads between the Twill stitches, consider the angle at which you attach the beads.  If the bead is attached over an intersection with the thread going in the same direction as the Twill stitches, your beads will sit at the opposite angle creating polka dots.  If you turn your canvas 1/4 turn and attach your beads, the beads will form diagonal stripes across the canvas.

Basketweave Twill can be a little tough to see at the beginning.  We are going for light coverage.  I will use one or two ply of silk, or Kreinik Very Fine (#4) Braid.  Whatever you use, these are tiny stitches that sit low to the canvas.  They are just hard to see.

Look at your canvas. Place your first stitch.  Does it cover a horizontal or a vertical canvas intersection?  Whatever this stitch covers, all the rest of your stitches will cover the same intersection.  Once you can see this, don't think so much about the pattern, just work in diagonal rows covering either horizontal or vertical stitches.

As you become comfortable with which canvas intersection you are covering you could in theory stitch an entire canvas in Basketweave Twill jumping from area to area, color to color and all of your sections would align. 

Note to my students in the Watering Can Lady Mystery:  I hope you have read this far in the post.  Please make sure as you are stitching the flowers in the background of the Watering Can Lady that all of your Twill stitches cover the same canvas intersection.  They will need to for what is coming next.  We're almost there!
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