Counted thread embroidery emcompasses a wide variety of embroidery types, styles and techniques, including drawn thread and pulled thread embroidery, hardanger, cross stitch and needlepoint. In this type of embroidery, a design is worked over a designated number of threads using a specified stitch, instead of being pre-marked on the fabric and stitching over the design.
This Northern Woods counted thread embroidery project is a sampler of various stitches used on a small scale, and is a perfect project for people who have not yet tried this type of embroidery. The square design can be finished as a coaster (shown) with easy self-fringed edges, or you can finish them as ornaments for the tree and gift tags or knob and scissor fobs.
While this would be considered an intermediate embroidery technique, stitching a counted thread design on a small scale such as this is a great way to learn the basics involved in a counted thread project. Six different counted thread stitches are used in the project, giving you an opportunity to build your embroidery skills as you work the pretty design.
The diagram for working the design is shown on the next page, along with a list of stitches used to work the sample. All of the stitches used to work this design are available in the alphabetical Embroidery Stitches Section of the web site, or click the link to each stitch from the next page.
The actual size of the design is approximately 3.5 x 3.5 (not including the fringe) when worked on 28 count linen. To save and print the pattern, simply double-click the images (provided as a standard .jpg images) and save them to your desktop. You can then re-size the images using any photo editing software you have on your computer or laptop to make it easier to see.
Stitch the designs using two strands of embroidery floss throughout. I have used DMC's Color Variations Thread - a pretty over-dyed floss for the red and green areas - which gives the illusion of using more than just the four colors indicated on the pattern. You could also jazz up the design by using metallic or specialty embroidery threads, or stitching beads to the tops if the trees and the centers of the textured squares. If you plan to finish the design as a coaster, you can use French knots instead of beads so your glass or cup remains level while the coaster is in use.