I have a confession to make I can’t find the Erica Wilson canvas. I had it all ready to go, threads & everything & now I can’t find it. Until I do, the next Stitch-along is on hold. But that bad news has god news as well. instead of a SAL, I’ll be starting a new series today — Needlepoint Backgrounds. Every Sunday I’ll be looking and one or more stitches that will work well for needlepoint backgrounds.
You’ll see them in action on needlepoint canvases. Most of the time these will be backgrounds, but sometimes they will be on other parts of the canvas. That way you can see how they work on canvases. You’ll get stitch diagrams for each of the stitches. And sometimes, as is the case today, you’ll get a bonus variation with a diagram.
Today’s stitch is Criss-cross Hungarian. Not only is it a great background stitch, but it is also a very good stitch for many areas. It’s a great background stitch because:
- It’s non-directional. With units pointing in two different directions, this stitch can work with many kinds of focal points.
- It can be used in backgrounds of any size. This stitch can be effective on backgrounds large and small. I have seen it stitched well as backgrounds for book titles and as the surround on small ornaments. I find this an amazing aspect of this stitch because it has a distinct texture but one that does not assert itself.
- It can easily be varied. The basic stitch has open intersections. You can easily make variations of the stitch by adding different stitches or embellishments to the intersections. See the second stitch below for some ideas.
In the sample, the basic form of this stitch is seen behind all the baby items. The stitch, diagrammed below, has thee-stitch diagonal units. Thes are made up of a long stitch (three intersections) between two shorter stitches (two intersections). The short stitches cover the ends of the longer stitches giving the stitch a woven look.
Filled Criss-cross Hungarian
This stitch, seen in the upper part of the ornament, fills the open intersections. These can be filled with either stitches or embellishments. Going from most subtle to most attention grabbing, here are some possibilities:
- Tent Stitches in same thread
- Cross stitches in same thread
- Tent or Cross Stitches in different thread in a matching color
- Tent or Cross Stitches in a different color
- Sequin with bead
Some of these fills can vary greatly in how prominent they are. For example, a Tent Stitch using white floss might look like a microdot fabric, but a Cross Stitch in a thin gold metallic would look bolder.
The ornament and diagram use Cross Stitches. On the ornament they are stitched with a single strand of matching Batoque Silk.
Inside-out Criss-cross Hungarian
This stitch, not on the ornament, changes the basic stitch by putting the shorter stitch between two longer stitches. This version leaves open holes instead of intersections. If you want to fill it, use sequins or beads.
The canvas used for this background is from Princess & Me (design TS08), pictured here. i changed the background from blue to pink because this is a present for a little girl.