Spring 2024: Google ended its email subscription service in 2021. I believe I've found a replacement, but haven't had time to test it. I have been stitching a little bit here and there and have some posts ready for when the email subscription is active again. Fingers crossed, I'll have time to rouse this blog out of its dormancy sometime this year.

01 August 2019

Shading with Odds and Evens

I'm making some good progress on Melbury Hill's Galanthus Collector, a crewel design with snowdrops.

Close-up of chain stitched elements on Galanthus Collector a crewel snowdrop design

I've discovered that I prefer thin design lines. I've never thought about wide versus thin design lines before, but the rather wide lines on this project have forced me to notice that it matters.

As I was chain stitching along one of the lines I wasn't paying close attention and ended up with a bit of a wobbly line. I figured out that I really had to focus on where I placed the needle along the line. It needed to come up in the absolute centre of the design line. If the line is thin it's much easier to come up in the middle. There's more opportunity to miss the centre of a thick line, so you have to pay more attention.

Partially stitched crewel snowdrop leaves

I have found a potential replacement for the Heathway white with Bella Lusso's white. The Heathway white doesn't provide enough contrast with the ground fabric (linen twill). The Bella Lusso white is a bit brighter. Here I'm testing it on the central flower. The bud above still has Heathway white. Bella Lusso is a finer thread, but it won't matter on this project.

Comparing two different white crewel threads for snowdrops

I finished off the lower pair of chain stitched leaves. They were stitched with Heathway's leaf green in darker odd numbered shades: 9, 7, 5. I really like the chain stitch texture and shading on this first pair of leaves.  The upper pair of leaves will be stitched with a slightly lighter set of even numbered shades: 8, 6, 4.

I couldn't decide how to stitch the upper pair. I considered adding more texture with some wrapped bars, but determined it was too fussy, so I went with stem stitch which should complement rather than compete with the chain stitched leaves.

Close-up of crewel snowdrop leaves showing some different stitch choices

Below, the left hand upper leaf is complete with stem stitch in the lighter shades of leaf green. I like what I'm seeing.

Progress on crewel leaves on snowdrop design

All leaves are now complete. The subtle differences in shading between the odds and evens is nice. It's also interesting to see the jump in colour to the lightest shade on each pair of leaves. I rather like the jump, but if I wanted a smoother transition I could have used 8, 6, 5 instead of 8, 6, 4 (for the evens). As this is something of an experimental piece, it's fun to see how things turn out.

Leaves completed on crewel snowdrop design

Next up will be the big flower in the middle and re-stitching the bud with Bella Lusso white.


  1. Making good progress .....it is such a pretty piece !

    1. Thank you! It has indeed been a lovely project to stitch.

  2. Replies
    1. Couldn't have done it without you! :-)