Thursday, September 21, 2017

Shaded Stem Stitch Filling

I love using stem stitch to fill shapes. I know it may not be a stitch that comes to mind when you are about to fill a shape, but really, it makes for the most beautiful filling when worked in really close rows.

One important thing is to get the rows as close together as possible and, just like when you are shading in long & short stitch, the run of colours should be nicely graded.

Even when the shades are close, you are still likely to end up with quite a stripy effect like the one below...

... so this is what I do to blend the shades more smoothly:

1. Stitch a number of close rows using your first colour.
2. Rest the thread and stitch a single 'blending row' of the second colour.

3. Then pick up the first colour and stitch a single row.
4. Stitch another couple of blending rows, alternating between the two colours for each row.
Then stitch a number of rows using the second colour only.

Repeat working 'blending rows', by alternating the colours every time you change from one shade to the next.

 The nature of stem stitch means that the filling will always look like stripes, but I find that working the blending rows between shades makes the grading of colour much more subtle and smooth.

Happy Stitching,
Anna x


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  2. Great explanation. I will try this. Thank you.