Today we have a guest post by Brenda Stimpson from Needlepoint for Nu. Like her, I love Whipped Backstitch & this in-depth article is tops about it.
I was looking for a small project and so I started stitching one of our newest designs, this Lisbon Tile (5″ x 5″ on 13 mesh). I got through the first corner of basketweave and then I thought, “Whipped Backstitch”.
I think most stitchers have a favorite stitch – one they err toward if an opportunity presents itself, and I now realize that mine might just be the Whipped Backstitch. Why?
- It makes great lines. You can stitch a straight line or a curve without using the “steps” that a Tent Stitch makes when the line goes up and to the left.
- It’s quick.
- It’ s great for outlining shapes and objects, and drawing attention to elements of your design.
I wanted to use a Whipped Backstitch on this Lisbon Tile because I thought the curling black lines wouldn’t look as good if stitched in tent stitch. These lines form a symmetrical pattern, so in a tent stitch when the line goes in the same direction as the stitch it would look like a straight line, but when it leans toward the opposite direction it would look like a stepped line. I wanted the lines to look smooth regardless of their direction.
The needle is sliding under each backstitch, one after the other, until they have all been “wrapped” or “whipped”.
So I backstitched each line which allowed me to “draw” in all the curves and curls in a smoothly flowing manner, and then I “whipped” this backstitch to give it a thicker and curvier appearance. To whip the stitch all you do is slide the needle under each stitch, wrapping the thread around each consecutive stitch a bit like a snake coiling around a branch. It’s so easy.
If you are whipping a curve, slide the needle under the backstitch toward the inside of the curve.
I have finished all the backstitching and all the whipping (see the picture above) and the design is ready for me to decide what to stitch next. The black lines look a little like leadlight which I think really works well for this design.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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