So...how DO you decide upon a stitch for the background of
that wonderful canvas?
Well, there are a few considerations.
In my opinion, a background should usually be pretty unobtrusive,
not to upstage the more important parts of the design. And that
usually means a fairly flat stitch in a color that compliments
the design but, again, does not upstage it.
A background stitch should also be pretty quick to do if there
is a large area to cover.
What else? The background stitch should be selected such that
it fits reasonably easily around and into the design area. You'll
understand what I mean here by "into" if you think
about a canvas with a bouquet of flowers in the middle and the
rest is background. That kind of a design will usually have a
number of little indentations where the background must fit into
openings in the design and, in this case, you'll make your life
a lot simpler if you select a true diagonal stitch. Straight
and oblique stitches never seem to fit or to compensate as well
as true diagonal stitches.
One more important consideration, and sometimes the most difficult
to contend with, is how well does your background color match
the color of the canvas? If you would like, for instance, to
stitch a dark burgundy background on plain white canvas you are,
again, better off selecting a true diagonal stitch because those
stitches will cover the canvas more thoroughly than will a straight
So, let's just jump in and take the most difficult case first.
The stitch diagrams that follow are for some of my favorite true
diagonal stitches that will cover the canvas very well.
This is a really easy, fast background stitch.. It's a true
diagonal, over three canvas thread intersections at a time, and
the rows go up and down the diagonal of the canvas just like
basketweave does. In fact, it's really just a triple basketweave
and will cover the canvas just as well. I especially like it
because the pattern is not visually strong.
| Do you know this trick? What if your
Thread-stitch combo isn't covering the canvas as well as you'd
| Try adding 1 or 2 plies of floss or
OK. What if you'd like to add a little bit of personality?
Select a thin thread (no fatter than one strand of Impressions).
Could be a slight color contrast or could be matching color in
a metallic. Add a row of backstitching every second, third, or
fourth row. You will need to do the backstitching right after
doing the row of Slanted 3's; it will be really hard to find
the right holes if you wait until later.
3's with Backstitch
2 strands Wildflowers and 1 of Overdyed Wildflowers
And if you'd like to get kind of glitzy? Here's an idea.
Slanted 3's with Tent
2 strands Wildflowers and 1 strand Candlelight
Do a batch of regular Slanted 3's except back off each row
so that the stitches no longer share holes, but instead there
is one bare canvas thread intersection between the stitches of
Then choose a metallic and put a tent stitch over each of
those bare canvas thread intersections
Note: It would be nice if you could do the tent stitches as
you go but they would get hidden under the slanted stitches
See diagrams below:
Slanted 3's with one bare intersection between
Tent stitches added in the bare spot
NUBUKO Here's another true diagonal stitch that covers the
Try it...you'll like it!
Again, if you want to add some glitz, do Nubuko this
way... every second or third row, do the small stitches in a
4 ply Soie Crystale and 1 Candlelight
Nubuko with Glitz
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