Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Tent Stitch Issue on a Diagonal

According to The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen, a tent stitch is either a half cross, continental, or basketweave stitch depending on what direction you stitch it. They all look like a 1 x 1 diagonal stitch on the top of the canvas. The way I stitched the single row of the zig zag white line doesn’t appear to follow any one of these directions. So, I will just call it a tent stitch and you know I am referring to a 1 x 1 diagonal stitch going from the bottom left to the upper right.

There is an issue with a single line of tent stitch when you are moving on the diagonal of a V shape. On the right side of the V, the stitches form a connecting line. However, on the left side of the V, the stitches form something like a step ladder not touching one another. On occasion, I have laid a thread from upper left end of the V to the center of the V in the same color thread to form a connecting line on both sides of the V and make it a stronger visual. It’s like couching on the diagonal. I’m sure I learned it in a class and used it before (but can’t remember where).

I decided to see if it would work for the coaster I painted. I stitched the first V with all tent stitches (right V). The second V (left V) has Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line.

Once the tent stitches were placed on top, it resulted in a thicker line than the right side of the V. It may not be visible in the photo (center V) but you can feel it. The third V (left V) has one strand of Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line. Silk & Ivory is a 3-ply thread not normally split into 3 strands but it can be.

Then, tent stitches were placed on top.

Once the green thread was added, it pinched the laid white into a very thin noticeable line.

The fourth V (on far left) has two strands of Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line after I stitched the surrounding green thread first.

Then, I placed tent stitches placed on top. This was the end result of my experiment.

I’m glad I practiced because I decided that it didn’t work as well as I remembered. My husband likes the third V from the left. I will stick with far right V which has the tent stitches on the left side of the V without a laid thread allowing the eye to perceive it as a line even though it doesn’t actually connect as a continuous line.

Then, it dawned on me that it might work better if the line were a darker thread surrounded by the white thread. So, I had to test my theory.

Again, my husband likes the third V from the left. I’m inclined to agree. And, I least like the V on the far right. So, my take away is the darker the thread worked better than the lighter. However, I will probably try this again on the 18 count canvas. I think it’ll work better with either color combination because the canvas threads will be closer together to begin with.

Did anyone stay with me through this discussion? What are your thoughts? Have you done or heard anything like this before?

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Melita, this post is very interesting. I’ve never thought of laying a thread and then stitching over it to form a continuous line, but I like your solution. I will use this. Thank you.

Comment by caroltoll

Thanks Carol for commenting! Glad you found it interesting. I think it’ll look better with 18 count and will post that test stitching eventually.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

This issue has bugged me, too. Not sure if it fits this project, but what about reverse tent for the left side of the V? Or couching both sides of V?

Comment by JoanneP

Reverse tent works but not this piece. And, couching both sides? Not sure about that.

Comment by melitastitches4fun

This is something that has always bugged me. I’ve sometimes used reverse tent on the left side but that doesn’t always work with the other stitches around it. I’ll have to try your suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by dmbstitch

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