Wave Stitch is a beautiful surface embroidery filling stitch that is ideal for stitching waves. This requires minimal piercing of fabric as thread is laced through short straight stitches.
A row of short vertical straight stitches are made. This is the base and the next row of waves will be laced through these stitches. The distance between these stitches will decide the shape of the wave. I will talk more about this later in this tutorial. For demo purposes, I have made it with dark blue thread. You can use a lighter color thread to make it inconspicuous.
For the next row, lace through the short stitches like shown below.
Come down to anchor the wave to the fabric by picking up a few strands of the fabric.
And continue to lace through the next straight stitch to make the next wave.
For the next row, lace through the anchor stitches made in the previous row.
After a few rows, it will look like this.
If you notice in the image above, the stitch looks tall and narrow. To make it more wave like, make the stitches shorter and wider. In the demo above, the straight stitches had 4 aida squares in between them. Now I am going to have 7 aida squares in between the two straight stitches.
The waves look better don’t they?
Continue to make rows of waves. I have used variegated blue thread to give it a natural look.
Some more rows later. Scroll up to see the difference between tall and narrow wave stitches and the ones below.
Wave stitch is done. But lets make it more interesting.
This stitch is super easy and fast and hence can be used to fill large spaces in embroidery patterns quickly. So this is ideal for school projects like show and tell for sea creatures. Since it requires minimal piercing of fabric, it can be embroidered on paper or chart paper.
The back side will look like this.
The fins are made below the waves. They can be above too. Purely personal preference.
I embroidered a small cross stitch fish.
How about some bubbles coming out of the fish’s mouth?
Want more sea creatures? You can design one using grid paper and color pencils. There are a web web applications or you can make one with Microsoft paint, a free tool already available in most computers. If you have older kids, ask them to design their own cross stitch patterns. It will ignite their creativity and they will love the work as they designed it themselves.
For standard shapes like star fish, they can use the inbuilt tools. (inside green circle)
Here are some Cross stitch patterns for a mini crab, a mini jelly fish, star fish and sea weeds. You can also stitch these first especially the sea weeds and then embroider the waves above them / by lacing through them.
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