Welcome to the ‘Night Before Christmas’ Stitch A Long
This Stitch A Long is taking place for 10 weeks on the Stitchdoodles blog – Starting Wednesday 22nd september 2021 and finishing on Wednesday 24th November 2021.
Each Wednesday during the SAL – a new tutorial will be published on the blog with all the information you need to complete a part of the Night Before Christmas Pattern.
If you are not familiar with a Stitchdoodles SAL and this is all new to you and you would like to join in, please go to this page to get all the information.
This week we will be Stitching the Fabulous Christmas Tree…
This was by far one of my favourite parts of the pattern – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for me without a nice tree complete with sparkly lights and decorations…
You will need the following colours for the Tree: #890, #986.
How to Stitch:
We are going to fill the tree from the top and work our way downwards filling in with chain stitch – I have broken it down in stages for you so you can see more clearly how to complete.
#986: Chain Stitch (2 strands) – at the very top of the tree just under the star, stitch individual chain stitch that are elongated about 3-4mm. As you can see in the first photo below, there are about 6 individual chain stitches from left to right just under the star. Pay attention to the direction of the stitches so they appear natural in line with the shape of the tree.
Complete a small amount in #986 and then change to #890 and complete stitches in this way to give a variation in the colour – this becomes more apparent as you go down filling in the larger areas.
When you do a row underneath a previous row – bring the chain stitch out from the inside of the previous chain stitch so there is continuation rather than stopping and starting. (this is just like if you were stitching continuous chain stitch.)
As you can see from the third photo above – the stitches are being fanned out with gaps in between for filling in with chain stitch in the other color as we go along. The direction of the stitches is also trying to keep with a left direction on the left of the tree – coming down and around as they then direct to the right on the right side of the tree. (Hope that makes sense! – if you are confused just ask in the FB group).
The following photo is nice and big so you can see what you are trying to achieve as you fill in the tree.
Fill in by stitching the individual chain stitch from left to right and then come down to the next row and go from right to left. You can vary the length of the chain stitch and keep switching the colours over to get a nice mixed effect.
You can see from the photo the subtle colour variation I have done – there is no set way of doing this just mix in the other green intermittently and make sure it is distributed evenly around to give a nice mix.
Don’t worry about the gaps where you can see the background fabric peeping through the chains as this will be dealt with at the end.
You could argue it would be easier to stitch a length of continuous chain stitch from the top to the bottom of the tree and fill it in this way but by doing them individually I felt I had more control over not only the direction I wanted my stitches to be (so they looked like natural branches) but also the colour variation. I also think it helped to give it a fuller feel as you overlap different stitches rather than having a flat chain stitched effect.
Here’s how my tree looked once full of chain stitch from the top to the bottom. Add in stitches on the sides to accentuate the points which stick out if it has blended a bit and looks too smooth.
As you can see there are lots of little background areas of fabric still visible which I wanted to fix and I’ll show you how to do this next…
In your needle thread 1 strand of #986 and 1 strand of #890 – this is so you are stitching with 2 strands but have a bit of each colour to make it blend into the tree easier.
Start at the top again and straight stitch over the gaps to fill in the bare areas. To make the straight stitches blend in – bring the thread out inside a chain stitch and straight stitch over and into the next one.
Pay attention to the direction of the straight stitches so that they blend with your other stitches.
You can see from this photo to the right the bottom third of the tree still has gaps and the area above is all filled in.
Photo below… filling in the gaps on the lower section of the tree.
Here’s how it looks when the greenery is all complete…
Time for the Decorations
You can really have fun with this and make the decoration completey unique to you. Below is how I decorated the tree however I can imagine it would also look great with some little buttons for baubles, a christmas button for the topper, seed beeds for the lights – see what’s in your stash and have fun!
- I popped straight stitch stars on with both 1 strand and 2 to vary their effect.
- For the lights – couch a single strand in zigzags from top to bottom and then pop some french knots along on both sides in your chosen colours.
- The top star was straight stitched from each point to the middle and then around the outer edge.
Finally, stitch the trunk in #975: Satin stitch
Now with your tree complete it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!
To finish this week off you just need to stitch the 2 presents and candy cane to the right of the tree…
Week 3 is complete.
I really hoped you enjoyed this weeks stitching as much as I did – I can’t wait to see your Christmas Trees and find out how you decorated yours.
Share your fabulous stitching with the Happy Stitching FB Group or send me some pics and I’ll post them here, I am so excited to see how you are getting on.
Don’t forget you can also share your stitching on Instagram with #stitchdoodlesembroidery.