Why I Practice Stitch Designs

Since I’m on a Mac, I don’t have StitchWiz anymore. (I know you can run a virtual Windows machine, but it’s such a hassle). So I use a cross stitch software program – MacStitch. For my rugs that are Basketweave, this works well. But when you want to do more advanced stitches, it can cause problems.

I started working on a new design – creatively called the Blue/Green pillow. It’s based on a Moroccan tile that is used for walls.

Tile11

I didn’t like the border, so I’ll do something different. But the center is a nice, simple repeat. I decided to make the squares 8 stitches square, and the “wings” 8 threads long. Simple, right? No. This is why I do practice stitching on all my designs.

Blue/green practice

The two light blue squares on the top are 8 stitches across and down. Across the top and bottom, there are 8 holes, but on the left and right there are 9 holes because you come up in the first hole and then do your stitches across 8 threads. The wings won’t match up and you don’t get the nice diamond in the middle. The square on the bottom is 8 threads across the top and bottom and 7 threads on the left and right – the only way to get the wings to share holes at the corners and create and diamond properly. I have the whole chart done for this and should have done the practice stitching first! But I now have the proper number of stitches for the design in the middle of the pillow.

The next problem is deciding which stitch to use for the outer border. Above is the Herringbone stitch, which I don’t like now that I’ve done a sample. I’ll play with some other stitches and see what I can come up with.

Reasons why I practice stitch –

  • To make sure the design works the way I have it charted or envisioned it
  • To try out stitches to find out what works/looks best
  • To make sure the colors I’ve selected will work together
  • To get an idea of how much thread it takes to stitch the design
  • To play and have fun with a new design – that’s really what it’s all about
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6 responses to “Why I Practice Stitch Designs

  1. I like this design!! It’s like a quilt pattern and I do like the blue/green color pallet but I can also see how well this would lend itself to something like an ombré effect or a transition from blues to maybe another color from one side to the other. I love that you share your creative process with us. Our plans may not work out exactly right to begin, but persistence does certainly payoff!! Looking forward to watching this pattern evolve!! Happy stitching!!

  2. I used to keep all the practice stitching, but it can all get overwhelming over time. So I don’t save them after I have completed the project. I take photos of everything while I work on a project and they are backed up every week. I also keep a copy of the photos and all my notes, charts, etc. on a second thumb drive after I complete each project. Trying to cut down on the mounds of paper, etc. in the house.

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