Stitchery Comes to the Point

by Elaine Cannon

Associate Editor

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    The whole point of stitchery is to respond to a creative urge. If something usable, wearable, or beautiful results, so much the better.

    The beautiful Salt Lake Temple design that Marian Boyer created of wool and canvas to illustrate an article for the June 1971 New Era brought much appreciative response. That’s because more and more of today’s youth are in stitches, making pillows and pin cushions, birthday cards and glass cases, wall hangings and belts. Door stops, chair cushions, book covers, family crests, and wallets are being worked on. Boys’ vests in needle-point are a coveted item, and everyone can make a paperweight! And boys as well as girls can have fun poking a yarn-threaded needle through a hole in some canvas while making something in the process.

    Stitchery, or needlepoint, varies from maxi to mini or gros point to petit point, with yarn ranging from gigantic chenille to fine metal threads.

    Traditionally the most aristocratic embroidery, stitchery today is for everyone—male and female, young and old. Young artists are creating their own designs as well as researching in museums and libraries to copy period patterns.

    The excitement in stitchery is found in your choice and use of threads, colors, and the design itself. For one who claims he can’t create his own, there are commercial kits available for everything from pillows to suspenders.

    Here’s How to Do It

    1. Supplies are available at hobby shops or needlework departments.

    2. Chart your design (four methods):

    1. Draw design on tissue paper and pin paper over the canvas; you work right through the paper.

    2. With felt-tip pens, paint your design directly on canvas in the colors you want. Work the yarn to match colors of the “painting.”

    3. With ink, trace design on canvas and work colors in, using small strands of yarn as your color guide.

    4. Thread your needle with yarn and make up your design as you go along.

    3. Stitches:

    1. Byzantine, cashmere, chain, double-cross, and fern are fancy stitches for which you’ll need special instruction, but they are beautiful. Consult needlework books.

    The traditional and popular tent, or continental, stitch is worked by going diagonally across the row, from a lower-left mesh to an upper-right mesh. Begin in the upper right-hand corner of the section to be worked. In order to avoid knots on the underside, leave one inch of yarn under the fabric and stitch over this as you sew. When you finish a row, turn the whole piece of work around and work back so that the stitches are always going the same direction and are parallel to each other.

    chain stitch; buttonhole stitch; interlaced band stitch; french knot; straight stitch; half cross; half cross turn; continental stitch; continental stitch turn; stem stitch; cross stitch and double cross stitch

    Rosalie Booth works on a new project to add to the others shown on these pages.