Needlepainting tips part 9: filling a shape with long and short stitch


Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

This topic is something I've wanted to cover for a while now. It is especially beneficial for beginner embroiderers who are currently exploring long and short stitching and needlepainting.


So, today's topic is actually not just “using long and short stitch as a filler”. I mean, we all know that it can be used as one, right? And we all know the main “how's” of using it as a filler: outline the shape and fill with long and short stitches.

In fact, the main point that I wanted to speak about today is using long and short stitching to fill a curvy/wavy shape.

Or, in other words, a shape where the direction of your stitches has to change slightly.

This wording, however, is a bit too heavy for a headline and I just don't know how to phrase it better, haha.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

Anyway. Why is this topic important?

The main problem here is that long and short stitching consists of straight stitches. And one of the characteristics of stitches is that you can't really bend or curl them. Most of the time, it is a straight line between point A and point B that we use in a lot of various ways. It is not a brush stroke that you can lay in any curvy or wavy way you want.

So how can you use these straight stitches to not only fill a shape but keep the “flow” of that shape?

Actually, the main trick here is the same as with stem stitch. If you go to the Stem StitchCrash Course and take a look at the last point, you will see there what I said about using it for curves. Stem stitch is a straight line, so that's why the secret is the same.

Make your stitches shorter!

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

You can start with guiding stitches, as usual, keeping their direction aligned with the shape's outline.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

After filling the empty space between the stitches, you can start with the second row of stitches.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

Now, if I'm completely honest, I lose the sense of which stitch is short and which one is long, quite soon after that. So I just vary the length of my stitches and vary the place where they come out from the previous row. If one stitch started lower, I start the other stitch higher, and so on.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

This is the longest that I allow myself to make the stitches in such cases. The shape didn't reach the main curve yet and is still pretty straight, so I can slack off a little bit and make the stitches longer.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

Also, don't forget to keep your stitching dense. Currently, there are definitely more stitches here than there were at the beginning point.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

As you reach the curve, make your stitches shorter. Look carefully at my stitches here and imagine that they are continued longer and longer. If you do that, you will realize that they actually would bump into the outline. That's why we make them shorter. The other rows of stitches will soften the “straightness” and will create an illusion of bending stitches.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

We are on a finishing line here. The shape is narrowing down and the number of stitches we use to fill it at this part is decreasing, but we still need to maintain the same density.

Needlepainting tips: filling a shape with long and short stitch

And so, this is the final result.

By the way, this is a new design I'm currently working on! It is going to feature a lot of long and short stitch and color blending so it is going to be a GREAT practice for you! :)

Hope this post was helpful! Check out the other Needlepainting tips to master it better :)

4 comments

  1. Hello Amina, I have not been able to read any of your posts in so long, until today. My Mom has been really sick and needs my help. I am so thrilled to have taken the time to have read your tutorial today, because I learned a lot. I will save it and make sure I read your other tutorials on thread painting with long and short stitches. Thank you for sharing and have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been a while, Brenda! Glad you popped in! Hope your Mom gets better soon, and how nice of you to be there for her! May God bless you :)

      Delete
  2. Amina, As I was going through and briefly glancing at each of the 9 tutorials you have written on this beautiful stitch, I knew with just looking at the photos that I was going to be learning a lot of new techniques while reading each of these 9 posts/tutorials. Which made me very excited and also made me think that it would be a great subject to discuss on my own blog. Well the blog that I am very slowly starting to try and get going once again. LOL. At this time, life and my lack of devotion has not been giving very much at all for any reader to want to come back for. LOL. At some point, would you give me your permission to link to these 9 tutorial/posts of yours? I am always wanting to improve my hand embroidery and have always learned a lot from you. Thank you again for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maintaining a blog is a tough job, I sometimes fail at consistency too, haha. Sure, you can give the links and I'm happy you liked the tutorials :)

      Delete

Write what you think! ❤