Pattern Darning is one of my favorite ways to stitch backgrounds. I love that they are fast to stitch and that you can make them dense or open. These patterns are easy to stitch and easy to vary. Just leaving more space between stitches or skipping rows can give a completely different look to the same pattern.
Because Pattern Darning is made with Running Stitch, the threads go over and under the canvas and do not wrap around the canvas threads, as other stitches do. Depending on the thread you use, this can make them lower than the surrounding stitches. I used legacy from Threadworx here, a thick thread for 18 mesh. As a result, the background is not lower than the rest of the piece.
It’s stitched in 3-1 Darn, below, where each row has the pattern of over3-under1. Because the rows are offset, a brick-like pattern is created.
When you stitch this using a thread that matches the canvas, the under1 canvas threads disappear, giving a nice texture. If the thread and canvas colors do not match, you’ll get a tweed effect.
This square is from Little Bird Designs. I’m working on a stitch guide of eight Christmas squares from Little Bird that will be out later this year.