First stitches!

I’m one of those weird stitchers who can only work on one thing at a time. I know, kind of a unicorn in the stitching world! Anyway, I had to finish one project before I could start this one. The project I was working on is now completed, so I’m free to put my mind to our Revelry Reflections stitch along.

As I looked at all of the threads I had in my project bag, the first decision I had to make was which thread for the first stitches? I decided on the Kreinik #8 013 Beige for the reverse teardrop crescents in the center of the design. The original color way used ThreadworX #12 Braid 910542 Turquoise, a since discontinued color; I recommend either ThreadworX #12 Braid 910555 Caribbean Blue or 910560 Tahiti instead.

This entire design is made of mostly stitches that can be reversed. I developed the reverse teardrop crescent because I liked the way the thread carries looked on the back of a regular teardrop crescent, and I wanted that to be a feature. Normally in a project with reverses I’d start with the “right” way first, but teardrop crescent filling stitches are best worked before the teardrop crescent. The reverse teardrop crescents are filling the teardrop crescents, so we’re starting with this one.

This is the beginning of the reverse teardrop crescent. If you look closely you can see where I put my pin stitch to begin. I’ll show you a closeup in the stitch diagram, marked with a good place for a pin stitch.

A pin stitch is used to anchor the thread. When there isn’t anything on the canvas it can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to anchor the thread. Enter pin stitches!

This pin stitch is 3 times over a single canvas thread, placed where it will be covered by the stitch. This is a very secure anchor for the thread – it won’t come out unless you’re deliberately trying to take it out.

Find the approximate center of the canvas. Count up 6 canvas threads to place the pin stitch as shown. In the diagram it is 5 canvas threads above the tip of the reverse teardrop crescent; that’s because the tip of the reverse teardrop crescent is not in the center, but above it.

It will take about 28″ for one teardrop crescent.

After anchoring the thread, stitch as shown by the numbers and arrows.

Remember that in counted canvas work, we count the canvas threads, not the holes. If you’re used to counting holes try counting threads while you stitch this project. I find it to be more accurate for placing the stitches.

Don’t end off after stitching this much, but continue as shown in the next diagram.

Continuing with the same thread, finish the reverse teardrop crescent, shown by the blue lines. The stitches will share holes with the previous stitches.

After stitching as shown, end off the thread. Don’t try to carry the thread from one reverse teardrop crescent to the next one, but start a new length.

End off with a pin stitch, just like at the beginning.

The ending pin stitch is shown in yellow. Make the ending pin stitch from the front of the canvas, taking care not to catch the threads in the stitch.

I usually snip off the thread from the front, but if it makes you nervous cut it off from the back. I do it from the front so I don’t have to turn the canvas over.

After making the pin stitch, pull up on the thread so it’s tight, then snip it off. The little end will recede into the canvas so it won’t show.

If you look very closely at my stitched example, you can see where I put my pin stitches, but you’ll probably have to enlarge the picture and really look hard. That’s why pin stitches are so awesome – a great way to anchor the thread to start and stop, without it showing.

Stitch three more reverse teardrop crescents, starting and stopping a new length for each one. (Numbers are only shown at the beginning of the stitch to reduce clutter in the diagram; if you need the ending numbers look back to the first diagram.)

So decide which color you want to use, and the thread type, then put in your first stitches! I’ll be posting more regularly now that I’ve finished the project that was holding me up.

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