We get a fair amount of orders from people who are purchasing custom needlepoint projects as gifts for other people (especially around Christmas).
One of the most common questions we get is what is the “correct” mesh count to purchase and how “easy” is the design.
To start out, there is no “correct” mesh count as different stitchers prefer different counts.
For a newbie learning about needlepoint, the mesh count stands for the number of stitches in one linear inch. That means you measure 1 inch along a line on the canvas, and count the number holes. A 10 mesh count means there are 10 holes per inch. A 18 mesh count canvas means that there are 18 holes per inch. This may not sound like a lot, but to a stitcher it is a HUGE difference. If you consider that 10 mesh count canvas has 100 stitches in a square inch and 18 mesh count has 324 stitches per sq. in. that means that the stitcher has a LOT more stitching to do if you order 18 mesh count canvas. Thus, I suggest not ordering 18 count canvas on any design that is wider or taller than 12 inches. For smaller canvases it is OK to use 18 mesh count because it allows the design to show a lot more detail. Some stitchers do prefer more detail at larger sizes, so this is just a guideline for reference.
Things to consider when choosing mesh count:
- The stitchers eyesight. 18 count has more stitches per inch, so the holes are a lot smaller and harder to see. 10 mesh has the largest holes. If she has weakening eyesight, you may want to avoid 18 mesh count canvas. 14 or larger should be OK.
- Fiber preference. Needlepointers love to work with a lot of different fibers, the most common are wool, cotton, and silk. 13 and 14 mesh count canvas will work with almost any fiber and are the most commonly used canvas today. If the stitcher prefers wool, you may want to use a canvas with 14, 12, or 10 mesh count. With 18 count canvas we only supply cotton, but there are other fibers that will work, just not as many.
- The design details. Higher mesh counts (18 and 14) will show more detail than the larger mesh counts (12 and 10). Belt canvases often come on 18 mesh count canvas because you need the extra stitches to show designs on an area that is so limited in height. If your design is very detailed or you want to fit a lot into a smaller area, you will want to use 18 mesh count. But, if you try the 14 mesh count option on the website and still think it looks good, you can use that too.
- The design size. If you find that you need more detail but have to use larger holes, you can always increase the overall size of the design, this an alternative way to increase the detail, but does add to the cost of the project. Typically I think the sweet spot for design size is around 12 x 8 inches.
- To see how to adjust the mesh count and height, watch our how to design a pillow instructional video.
Carrots of Many Colors 10 mesh count vs 18 mesh count canvas. The 18 mesh is on the right and shows a lot more detail.
Next we have the “easy” question, or degree of difficulty.
This is very subjective, but there are some obvious guidelines that can help you determine how difficult a project will be to stitch.
- The number of colors. Often, the more colors there are on a canvas the trickier it will be to stitch. This is especially true with photo needlepoint canvas designs. The shadowing and gradients get harder to see the more colors there are. Also the thread colors get very close, so even they get hard to tell apart. When stitched this looks amazing, but a beginner stitcher may find this very tedious. Typically I recommend keeping the number of colors below 20 if possible. If you are using the website and want help, feel free to email us, we’d be happy to help!
- The nature of the design. If you are using a photo there is often a lot of intricacy in the placement of the stitches. Easier canvases will group the colors together in larger blocks, so the stitcher does not need to change thread every third stitch. Designs and artwork with plain colors and patterns often are the easiest to stitch as the contrast between the colors is big and the patterns are simple to follow. The dog needlepoint designs we have on our website range from moderate to difficult, the new stitcher can do a moderate design, but it will take them a while. The original artist needlepoint designs we have licensed are easy to moderate, mostly they go in the easy category. And our baby and kids designs all are also in the easy realm.
Carrots of Many Colors 25 colors on left vs 11 colors on right. Notice the white carrots loose detail. Not a very big difference to the eye, but to the stitcher 25 colors would be significantly harder.
If you decide to reduce the number of colors, but notice something that you would like adjusted, go ahead and place your order and email us the image you used, we can touch up the design for you!
Here are some of the great needlepoint projects we made this week.
I’m really excited about one of our needlepoint belt designs! You may be able to guess which one, but it is overshadowed by the large art needlepoint designs we did this week. If you look closely at the needlepoint belt canvas, you’ll see we did a whole landscape scene. It came out really well!
Large Art Needlepoint Canvases and Custom Scene Belt
The image below shows a custom christmas stocking canvas we did from a photo, an art canvas, and a needlepoint design from a stamp.
Needlepoint Stocking, Stamp, and Artwork
Finally, I’m adding some feedback we got from our customers last week! We get a lot of great feedback that makes me smile but our marketing director said I should be sharing it, too.
I got my canvas and it looks great! – Lee 2/25/14
I’m almost done the “A.” This is awesome! Thank you sir – Andrew 2/25/14
I got the canvas last night. It looks absolutely amazing. Even better than I could have hoped. Thank you so much for everything.
So many great projects this week!
We had personalized wedding, baby, and belt canvases, illustrated designs and some fantastic photo needlepoint designs!
Oh, did I mention the new horse belt design? That will be available soon on the website.
I took pictures of my favorites to share… Have a very loving weekend!
Illustrated Needlepoint Kits
Personalized Wedding and Baby Announcement Needlepoint Canvases
Photo Needlepoint Kits
Custom Designed Needlepoint Belt Kits with new Horse Belt Design
Another great week at NeedlePaint! Lots of fun projects are on their way…
Two of these dog needlepoint canvases are in our shop, the other two are custom!
Dog Needlepoint Canvases from Photos
Below are a Bird Hunting, Life Treasures Custom Belt Canvas, and a Track and Field canvas.
Needlepoint Belt Designs Track Hunting and Life Treasures
Here is a Poitiers Ring Bearer Canvas and a blue version of the Taza Wedding Pillow Canvas
Custom Ring Bearer Pillow Canvases
A few more fun custom art needlepoint designs created this week!
Art Needlepoint Canvases
Our track and field needlepoint belt is for that special track star in your life, or it makes a great gift for a great coach!
This simple design will certainly stand out when worn! The colors can be changed to match your school’s and the monogram and jersey letters are designed to per personalized.
I’m also attaching some cool needlepoint belt designs we made last week below!
Track and Field Needlepoint Belt
Cool Needlepoint Belt Canvases
Looking for a groomsman gift that can be used during the wedding and will still be worn for years after?
Our classic pinstripe groomsmen needlepoint belt makes a prefect gift for your groomsmen!
Change the letter to the recipient’s last name or replace the letter with a design of your own. The colors can be changed to match your wedding, and if you order four or more, you can get a discount! (email us for information on that)
Custom Groomsmen Needlepoint Belt
I know it is no longer Friday, but these images were taken then, and I’m just trying to keep up with the holiday orders.
I’m excited we sold our first Marilyn Monroe needlepoint canvas from New York Needleworks. It came out very well!
Marilyn Monroe Needlepoint Canvas
Of course I had to share an image of our custom needlepoint belt canvases, every week brings new challenges and creative new concepts that will end up on a lucky person’s waist.
Custom Needlepoint Belt Canvases
And last but certainly not least, we have a spread of custom dog needlepoint canvases from photos and one from artist Fowler Ruffin. Holiday season is here, and keep in mind you have until Dec. 10th to guarantee arrival before Christmas without any domestic shipping surcharge. (Dec. 17th is the hard cutoff).
Custom Dog Needlepoint Canvases from Photos
I love to design the custom needlepoint belt canvases, but they look so much better when they have been finished!
Big thanks to Jenny in Connecticut for sharing her fabulous stitching, and her input in creating this design.
Also, I want to mention one of our recommended needlepoint belt finishers, Kathy at Leatherprize who took Jenny’s work and put it onto the belt.
If you’ve got an idea for a needlepoint belt canvas, please contact us, we’d love to help!
Custom Needlepoint Belt Photo 1
Custom Needlepoint Belt Photo 2
Custom Needlepoint Belt Photo 3
Custom Needlepoint Belt Photo Last
Custom Needlepoint Belts have been a hot idea for Christmas!
We’ve got lots of new needlepoint belt canvas ideas, so when you’re ready to stitch the belt of your dreams, just let us know what you want, and we’ll create it for you. Orders placed by Dec. 11th are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas, and orders placed by Dec. 17th can be 2nd day aired for an extra fee to arrive in time, too!
If you are looking for a finished belt, you have until Nov. 21st to email us your design. We will be away from the office this week, so you will not get an invoice from us until Nov. 19, but don’t fear, we’ll make sure your belt is designed and stitched before Christmas. Please send us an email or leave a message on our voicemail and we’ll be sure your order is processed in time. Click here to contact us.
Anyway, back to the needlepoint belts. The images below feature the canvases we made this week. Some really fun needlepoint canvases, I can’t wait to see the belts!
Fluer De Lis, Life Treasures, Texas, Football, Rock and Roll, Mountain, Turtle and another Life Treasures Needlepoint Canvases
A close up of the Turtle, Texas, and Rock and Roll Needlepoint Canvases!
Here are four needlepoint belt canvases that we made last week!
The one with the monograms and years represent the whole family on a belt, I kind of like that idea. I may have to design a version for the website…
The others are a custom needlepoint life treasures belt, a colorado belt, and a single monogram belt.
Custom Needlepoint Belt Canvases