Thread Painting

I really love this design, it is lots of fun to stitch and has all kinds of great texture. You can find the printed fabric sampler, or printable pattern download in the little dear shop.

I'm going to give you some step by step details on how I stitched the cat (fox? either one. :) Here are the colors I used for this sampler: DMC 834 yellow, 831 gold, 830 dark gold, ecru, 927 aqua, 822 pale grey, 3023 light grey, 3022 grey, 645 dark grey

I've used back stitch, lazy daisy, satin stitch and French knots on the foliage, and Long and Short stitch on the catfox. (Check the Embroidery DIYs for lots of basic stitch tutorials!)

I worked with 2 of the 6 threads of floss for most stitches except the satin stitching, using 3 threads, and also on the wheat I used all 6.

"Thread painting" with long and short stitch can seem daunting, but it really isn't difficult with a few tips and techniques in mind! I know you can do it too.

First, with grey 3022, start filling in the mid color sections of the catfox. Here is a diagram of the long and short stitch.

Start the first row by making a stitch from A to B. Next, make another stitch right next to the first one from C to D, only half as long. Make another long stitch, then a short one, and continue alternating between the two stitches to form the first row.

Only the first row has both Long and Short Stitches; the rest of the stitches will all be roughly the same length. For the second row, make stitches just below the first row of stitches, filling in any spaces. Unless you’re stitching a perfect square of Long and Short Stitches, they probably won’t all be perfectly uniform, and that is just fine. Add a stitch here and there to fill in any gaps as you go along. Just keep all your stitches going in the same direction, and you’ll have an evenly filled area when you’re finished.

You can see in the photo how I have curved and angled my stitches to follow the shapes in the body and tail. This will keep your texture looking more natural, like real fur grows.

Now I've gone in with dark grey 645 and filled in the darker areas in the same way.

And here is light grey 3023 filling in the lightest grey areas. At the right edge of the tail, I did an angled stem stitch to make the fur look a little shaggy.

Now I have filled in the lightest areas with ecru, and then added a little bit of shadow at the bottom of the tail and under the chin with pale grey 822.

And lastly, I used one thread of dark grey to outline and define the back, hip and head lines, and also filled in the eyes and nose.

All done! I love "painting" with thread, there is so much you can do with blended colors and texture. I hope you'll play around with this technique and maybe invent some of your own! You can pick up this sampler or pattern download (and lots more designs as well) at the little dear shop.

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