Sometimes your fire is inside a fireplace. With stitches you can easily create your fireplace and mantle, no matter what the style might be. Today we’ll talk about the elements in your fireplace and the stitches you can use.
Many fireplaces are made from bricks, but bricks are not all the same. Bricks are made from fired clay. Usually they are not glazed, although they can be. The color of the brick depends on the color of the clay.
Although here in California there aren’t tons of brick houses, in Western Pennsylvania where I grew up, brick houses are very common. You’ll find bricks in many shades of red, including “brick,” pink, dark yellow-orange, grey, and brown. You could also find used brick. These bricks are taken from older buildings that have been torn down. These bricks can include occasional painted ones and even bricks that have been burnt.
Glazed bricks are shiny and can be any color.
The thread for the bricks should be matte or very slightly shiny. Here I used Planet Earth Silk in a dark burgundy/brick color. If your bricks are used, select more matte threads. Fluffier threads create fuller bricks.
Stitches for Bricks
Cashmere Stitches are the perfect size and shape for bricks. As long as the spaces are rectangular and the space is two threads or wider, you can use this stitch.
When the space is one solid color, pick the size of your Cashmeres to fit the space. If the space shows divisions, as this one does, fit your Cashmeres to fit the space. When your space has more than one row of bricks, the rows should be offset, as in the picture below.
Although in reality brick items are put together with mortar, often we do not see the mortar in our stitching. Here the troughs created between the individual Cashmeres act visually as mortar. Here we see the mortar. Mortar is not white but a dull beige. It will show up on your painted canvas as white or pale lines. Stitch these in Tent using a matte beige thread thinner than the thread used for the bricks.
By using a thinner thread it will sit lower than the Cashmere Stitches around it, so it will not dominate.
If your fireplace is small or if you want to show more bricks, you might try Brick Stitch, below. In spite of knowing this stitch for years I never thought of it as actually being bricks until I tried it. It looks fantastic!
Fireplaces have mantles. They can range from traditional molded wood, used here, to stone or slabs of wood.
Look at pictures of mantles to get ideas for the mantle you want to stitch. The thicker and more blocky the mantle the more choices you have for stitches.
If your fireplace is old-fashioned you might put fabric or lace along the mantle to create a softer look.
Stitches for Mantles
Where you have single-thread lines on your mantle use Tent to stitch them. If you want it to have a more rope-like appearance, use Oblique Continental, below.
When you have wider lines, I like Gobelin because it gives a smooth look. It works for painted wood, as in this mantle, or for stained wood. If your sides are straight, use Diagonal Gobelin. If your sides are slanted, as is the case here, use Straight Gobelin.
Remember to thicken you thread when you use Straight Gobelin.
These stitches cover many simple mantles, but what if your mantle is carved, like the one below, or has a brick inset.
For mantles that are carved use combinations of Gobelin and Tent to match the molding. For mantles with tile or brick inserts, use Box Stitches to show the tiles or bricks.