Updated September 14, 2018
SuZy Murphy has a book about it (SuZy’s Lite Stitching), dede Ogden teaches it, but I had never tried Shadow Stitching.
Shadow Stitching is a technique where extremely thin threads are used, often with open stitching, to create needlepoint where the painting shows through.
This technique works extremely well on canvases which are heavily shaded or detailed. I’m also finding it can make pretty cool backgrounds.
I bought this HP Designs canvas because I’ve been wanting to do one of their canvases and I am challenged by the delicacy of their painting. I worry that stitching it will ruin the delicacy.
So I made some decisions at the outset. The background would be shadow stitched (more on this in a minute). And I’d use shading for the cherries (see the picture) and overstitching for the leaves and branch (still unstitched).
The background is stitched entirely in T Stitch using a single strand of floss. The background below the branch is done and above the branch partially done (one direction complete). You can see the lighter color next to the branch and leaves and the darker color around the moon through the stitching. In addition, shadow stitching is much lighter in feeling than the bird and cherries, which helps preserves the delicacy of the design
For most people the entire background, including the moon, would be stitched in the same color. But I can’t help but tinker, so while the moon will be the same stitch, it is going to be stitched using a color closer to the color of the moon. I want the moon to be accented, so I think this will emphasize it a bit more.
You can see how well it turned out in the picture at the top of the post.