I was thinking the other night about how I turn to the same stitches over and over again, no matter what the project is. These stitches are so flexible that they seem to work on almost any canvas. Change the thread (or even the thickness of the thread) and the stitch changes. Make them in overdyes and get another look.
Herewith are my Top 5 background stitches. They are pictured below.
1. T Stitch, this stitch was invented by Tish, one of the founders of Sundance Needleworks. It is a phenominal stitch. It gives light coverage (every other intersection is unstitched). Because it has stitches which slant both ways, it does not have a direction, which means that an area can be any shape and work with this stitch. If you are stitching with an overdye, stitch all the stitches, slanting in one direction first, and then stitch everything slanting in the other direction.
2. Ming, a stitch developed by Brenda Hart, is a very pretty background stitch, especially for rounded areas. I really like its honeycomb shape and it’s the most fun to stitch. Because the shape is rounded, it makes a great background when the focal point is rounded. I like its quiet feeling so I also like it as a background for busy designs.
3. Criss-Cross Hungarian, this stitch is another directionless stitch, like T Stitch. It’s little sets of Hungarian stitches which intersect. It leaves single intersections open and these can be filled in with little cross stitche in a different color or thread. I love doing this for night skies.
4. Offset Scotch, does away with the problem of Scotch Stitch backgrounds looking too square and boxy. By moving each row one or two threads, the pattern is broken and a great background, which is quick to stitch is created. The pattern is strong, but still works with many designs.
5. Diaper is a stitch made in columns of alternating Mosaic and Cashmere Stitches. I learned this stitch not too long ago and I just love it. It is easy to stitch if you remember to stitch in columns, not rows, and it has almost but not quite a stripe feel. If you want to make the stripes more prominent, try alternating the direction of the stitches in each column, or use threads with the same color but different textures.
Let me know (by leaving a comment) if you liked this idea and we’ll do more of them.