Lately I’ve been obsessed with geometric patterns. The balance between simple and bold, mesmerizing and minimal capture my imagination. So for today’s project we’ll be playing with geometric patterns, color, and drawing with thread to create gift-worthy, frame-ready artwork. It’s an easy, quick and inexpensive home decor project that requires minimal materials, and best of all, looks fancy. For added dimension I’ve used watercolors, but you can skip the watercolors and jump right to stitching the patterns with thread. Try using a colored card stock to stitch onto and playing with layered thread colors.
I’ve created several patterns, inspired by sacred geometry and gemstones, for you to try, but I encourage you to draw your own patterns or make it up as you go. This method of stitching on paper can be very intuitive, especially for making abstract, geometric patterns with straight lines. It can be as simple as making a few holes here and there on your paper and connecting them with thread to see what you get. Speaking of thread, I’ve used my stash of silk thread for a shimmer effect, but standard DMC embroidery floss is an excellent choice as well for this project. However you choose to make your geometric stitched artwork, I hope this project is a great jumping-off point for creativity and experimenting with pattern, color, and maybe a new technique for drawing with thread. —Jessica
- Template (download below)
- Washi tape or paperclips
- Push pin or awl
- Watercolor paper
- Paint brush
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needle
- Thread conditioner (optional)
Print out the template, draw your own design, or trace an existing pattern on printer paper. Layer the design over watercolor paper and tape or paper clip together to secure. Place the template and paper over several layers of cardboard and punch holes using a push pin or awl into each point in the pattern where the lines intersect.
Using the holes as guides, apply a wash of watercolor paint. Practice on another piece of paper to get the effect you’d like. I outlined the shape with a thick layer of paint and then diluted the color by dipping the brush into the water and filling the rest of the shape with a thin wash of color. Let dry. You can also skip the watercolor and jump straight to stitching.
Thread your needle with an arms length of thread and double knot the end with a ½” tail. Using the template as a guide, stitch the pattern by using a backstitch or jump from point to point when the pattern isn’t a continuous line. Watercolor paper, and paper in general, is a rough surface for thread, which can strip the sheen from thread more quickly and make it look rough. Use shorter lengths of thread and you can also try using a thread conditioner, like Thread Heaven, bee’s wax or even a clear lip balm. Glide a thin layer over your thread before stitching.
To end a length of thread, slip the needle under existing stitches on the back side creating a loop. Insert the needle and pull through to form a knot.