Official blog of www.NeedlePaint.com
where you can design your own Needlepoint!

Official blog of www.NeedlePaint.com – where you can design your own Needlepoint Kit!

It is probably no surprise to you, that here at NeedlePaint we love our dogs! They are all so different in size, shape, and personality; and the perfect inspiration for designing new dog themed needlepoint kits, such as belts, pillows, wallets, and flasks. It’s hard to pick a favorite dog breed, but I would have to say the English Bulldog is definitely one of my favorites. This dog is clever, devoted and has so much personality both in physical appearance and attitude. There is a lot of love in all of those wrinkles!

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We’ve designed this English Bulldog needlepoint belt canvas with three perfectly playful poses. 

This breed of dog has a special spot in my heart, after once dog sitting my next door neighbors English Bulldog. This dog was getting on in years and I know her people were a little nervous about leaving, as she did everything with them. I would check in several times a day, and by day three, I could tell she desperately missed her people. It didn’t look as though she had been sleeping in her bed, but on the rug by the front door. I decided to bring a book with me on my next visit, found a comfortable spot next to her bed and began to read out loud. Two hours later, I think she enjoyed the book as much as I did or maybe having someone nearby was the remedy. Finally falling asleep in her bed, I could tell she was comfortable and content by the rhythmic snoring that was taking place. Her people came back the next day, and life was back to normal for this sweet old English Bulldog. I wouldn’t have guessed that this dog would have left such a special spot in my heart, but she did.

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Full of personality and interest, our English Bulldog needlepoint pillow canvas
will definitely add some life to your living space.

You’ve heard the saying, “they come into our lives, steal our hearts, and life will never be the same again”, . . . so very true! At NeedlePaint, we feature many breeds of dogs on our belts, pillows, wallets, flasks, and even offer custom dog needlepoint kits taken from your own photos.

These are all available as needlepoint canvases for you to stitch, or if you prefer we will do the stitching for you. This is a great way to celebrate or commemorate, the dog that touched your heart.

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Fun, playful, and practical! Our English Bulldog needlepoint wallet canvas will add some
long needed personality to that tired old wallet in your back pocket.

I’ve driven by the same local shopping center for over twenty years. When they first moved in, I thought their nautical theme a bit strange as we are located in “landlocked” Denver. Not a location where serious boating happens, but a place where family time is spent skiing down the slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This shopping center’s sign proudly displayed their name “Marina Pointe” flanked with colorful graphic squares, of which I assumed had something to do with boating. I didn’t think much more about this sign, until I noticed all of the nautical belts that customers order here at NeedlePaint. As the placement of these flags varied, I soon realized they were spelling out a message, not just randomly placed; and then the idea for a personalized nautical flag needlepoint pillow began.

Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 1.29.12 PMNautical Flag Alphabet

After further exploration (and some help from Seth’s sailing expertise), I discovered these colorful nautical signal flags began before short wave radio, as an easy and safe way to relay messages to other boats and people on shore. Each of these flags represents a letter of the alphabet or a phrase.

IMG_0314Sketching some new ideas for a nautical pillow.

In today’s busy world, it’s important to connect with family members, whether it be spending quality “unplugged” time together at home or through outdoor activities like boating or sailing. When your not sailing, creating a comforting tranquil home environment, and surrounding yourself with the things that are meaningful is key. Incorporating personal items your grandmother made, your kids created in school, or that you have hand stitched; help save the memories your family has created together. This is truly what makes a living space “a home”.

1823022233953342Our new needlepoint design for a personalized nautical pillow.

We’ve created this nautical pillow to remind you of the times your family has spent on the water together. Personalized with your last name and the coordinating nautical flags that represent each letter. Available as a needlepoint canvas for you to stitch, or if you prefer we will do the stitching and create your pillow. Happy Sailing!

 

If you’ve purchased needlepoint kits from NeedlePaint in the past, you may know that we offer many types of finishing services.  We have some very talented employees here, and I’d love to take a minute to show you what we can do!

Needlepoint Pillow Finishing – offering finishing on all sizes  (Prices Ranges from $100 – $150)

Once you are done with your needlepoint, we’d love to help.  We offer a solid back with a hidden zipper (or no zipper on 8 inches or smaller), and can do piping or no piping.  We include a removable pillow form on pillows that have a zipper.  For the backing and piping, we have 20 colors of velvet to choose from.

Needlepoint Pillow Finishing

Needlepoint Pillow Finishing

Needlepoint Stocking Finishing – (Ranges from $125 to $155)

We finish stockings with a velvet back, piping, and hanging loop.  Inside we put a white liner or coordination cotton liner.

Needlepoint Stocking Blocking and Finishing

Needlepoint Stocking Blocking and Finishing

Needlepoint Tallis Bag Finishing (Ranges from $100 to $150)

We will include a hidden zipper on the back, piping is optional on the front, and the inside is lined with a white liner to protect the tallis.

Key Fob Finishing$23.00

Leather backed “loop” with leather tabs at the end, and circular key ring included.

Needlepoint Key Fob Finishing

Needlepoint Key Fob Finishing

Flask Finishing$60

We offer a 5 oz stainless steel flask, with leather wrap on top and bottom, and 1 side (outside edges of needlepoint)  Dimensions: 4.5″h x 4″w x 1.25″deep

Needlepoint Flask Finishing

Needlepoint Flask Finishing

Card Wallet Finishing – $60

Card wallets made with full grain leather, and include three card slots, and an opening in the top to fold and store money and/or more cards.

Needlepoint Card Wallet Finishing

Needlepoint Card Wallet Finishing

People love to wear their needlepoint!  It is the biggest trend I’ve seen over the last 7 years, more and more needlepoint is being turned into products that can be used, especially amongst the younger generations.

The most eye popping project we’ve worked on recently are needlepoint slippers and needlepoint loafers.  Check these out!

Needlepoint Slippers

Needlepoint Slippers and Needlepoint Loafers

This project came to us from a customer in New Orleans.  We designed two new custom needlepoint slipper canvases for him.  (The link actually shows another project we did for a pair of womens needlepoint slippers, but pricing and template are the same)

As far as needlepointing a project like this goes, it is pretty simple.  There are two needlepoint kits that come with thread, which you needlepoint the design area like most projects (in a tent stitch).  Once you are done with the needlepoint, you send them off to be turned into slippers or loafers.  Our customer recommended using: George Cleverly in London.  Another finisher in the UK is Bowhill and Elliot.

Below you can see a needlepointed canvas before and fully finished needlepoint loafers after, enjoy!

Needlepoint Slippers Template Stitched

Needlepoint Slippers Template Stitched

By: Peggy Bond

We’re continuing our 12 days of Christmas Needlepoint Projects!  (See other posts for all 12 projects!)

Day 7, Seven Swans a-Swimming

The swan is the last of the birds. The only fancy feathering here is on the wings.

Seven Swans o-Laying Christmas Needlepoint Kit

Seven Swans a-Laying Christmas Needlepoint Kit

Seven Swans Swimming Stitch Chart

L Wing Stitch Detail

The pink “L”s in the wing are done with two Cashmere 2×4 stitches – one worked horizontally and the other vertically. The “L”s are surrounded by brown “L”s where space permits and then the remainder of the wing is done in Continental as shown below.

 

 

 

 

Wave Stitch DetailThe main portion of the wave is the Double Parisian with the peaks done with left and right slanting Continental.

Slanted Straight Stitch NeedlepointAnd, the background Slanted Straight stitch is done over three canvas threads working right to left. It is quick and easy.

Day 8, Eight Maids a-Milking

Our Maid is done with her work and is carrying her milk home from a job well done.

Eight Maids a-Milking Christmas Needlepoint

Eight Maids a-Milking Christmas Needlepoint

Eight Maids Christmas Stitch Chart

Eight Maids Christmas Stitch Chart

Needlepoint Vest DetailHer vest and pocket of flowers require some explanation.

The center of the vest of worked in Slanted Gobelin 3×3 working left to right and right to left to form the lower points of the vest. The edges are Continental and button French knots.

 

 

 

 

Pocket Stitch DetailThe pocket is done in a manner similar to the heart of the Day 2 and the flowers are a satin stitch.

The Milanese stitch, like the Medieval Mosaic stitch, is quick and easy to do after getting it established.

Now on to Dancing Ladies and Leaping Lads…

We’re back!  I’ve been short on time because our lead designer is away on Maternity Leave.  Also note, our other designer is going away for 3 weeks in August to help her mom move, so we’re taking a break on custom work from Aug.1 – 22.  We can still do simple custom projects and Karen is here to do production on photo designs and stock designs, so feel free to email and check if you are in a rush.

And onto Peggy’s next two stitch guides!!!

DAY 5, Five Golden Rings

Five Golden Rings Needlepoint

Five Golden Rings Needlepoint

The Five Golden Rings needlepoint kit is a diversion from all the feathers, and also a challenge to get the correct placement of stitches for the interlocking of the rings. The center of each ring is done in Continental and each ring is done in a different stitch as noted on the diagram.

Five Golden Rings Needlepoint Stitches

The interlockings of the rings are number and a detail below shows how the stitches overlap. I am not a fan of metallic threads, but if I were, this block would be an ideal one for them. (Using different stiches for each ring does complicate the block but it gives the finished block more depth. Some depth can be achieved by using the Mosaic or Brick stitch for all the rings.)

5 Golden Rings Stitch Details

Medieval Mosaic Needlepoint Stitch

The Medieval Mosaic background stitch is a pattern found in mosaic ancient floors. Once the first rows are done, working top to bottom, and the patterns established, the stitch is easy and it covers canvas quickly.

 

 

 

 

Day 6, Six Geese A-Laying

Six Geese A Laying Needlepoint

Six Geese A-Laying Needlepoint

It’s back to the birds with one of the Laying Geese. I doubt that the geese of the original song were Canadian geese, but I couldn’t resist making make one for Day 6.  The Six laying geese needlepoint kit is on our website here.Six Geese a laying needlepoint guide

Nor could I resist giving my goose colored eggs. The blue and pink eggs are done in standard stitches as shown above, but the lavender egg has horizontally symmetric stitching as shown in the detail below.Lavender Egg Slanted Needlepoint Stitch Detail

The center is a vertical straight stitch over 3 canvas threads and the top and bottom are Continental and Slanted Gobelin 2×2, done left to right for the top and right to left for the bottom.

The Shingle stitch for the background is my favorite of the background stitches used in this project and is the only one that I repeated. It will be seen again on Day 11.

This is the half way mark… only one more feathered friend to go!

Stitched and written By:  Peggy Bond

Day 3, Three French Hens Needlepoint Kit

French Hen Needlepoint Kit with Stitch Chart

The French hens were just too plump to put all three on the block so we only have one, sitting fat and happy on her flowering nest. No eggs in view!

All but one of the stitches for this and the next block can be found in The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen. However, some are worked in different directions than shown in the book.

The head of our lonesome hen is stitched in Continental as are her comb and beak. Her eye is a French Knot. Her breast and tail are Kennan and the wing tips are alternation rows of Slanted Gobelin 2 x 2 and Continetal worked slanted from top left to right.

Flowers are Continental with their centers done is varying numbers of French Knots to fill the canvas. The branches are Continental as well, and the leaves are done in variations of the leaf stitch.

French Hen Needlepoint Stitch Guide

French Hen Needlepoint Stitch Guide

Victoria and Albert Herringbone

V and A Herringbone

The hen’s wing is done in Victoria and Albert Herringbone, show below. It is a variation of the standard Herringbone was adapted from a Victory and Albert Museum Handbook of embroidery stitches by Sherlee Lanz.

Background is Woven Plait which is similar to and simpler than the Victoria Albert Herringbone. The Woven Plait is a quick background stitch that has texture.

 

 

 

 

Day 4, Four Calling Birds Needlepoint

Four Calling Birds Needlepoint Canvas fully Stitched

Four Calling Birds Needlepoint Kit

The Four Calling Birds block is the other symmetrically designed block.

The yellow of the birds is done in Lazy Knitting, worked left to right on the left half and right to left on the right. The same is true for the Slanted Gobelin 2×2 of the tails and the green Slanted Gobelin 2×2 of the wing. Lazy Knitting is one of the more tedious stitches, but contrasting texture to the Slanted Gobelin makes it worth the effort.

Four Calling Birds Needlepoint Guide

Four Calling Birds Needlepoint Guide

The flower is done with 4 Scotch squares on each petal. It is edged in Satin to round out each petal. The flower center can be stitched in white Continental, or yellow French Knots or maybe some beads? There are possibilities on all or the blocks to add some flare with beads and/or sequins. Flower centers and eyes are obvious choices for these types of embellishments.

The leaves are variations of the Leaf stitch and branches are vertical or horizontal Gobelin. (The traditional Gobelin is a straight stitch over 2 threads of the canvas. It can be stitched horizontally or vertically. And, as used for the birds, it can be stitch on diagonally, i.e. over 2 strands horizontally and vertically making it twice the size one of the Tent stitches – Continental, Half Cross, or Basketweave.)

The background is the Diagonal Mosaic, not to be confused with the Mosaic stitched diagonally. Unlike the background of the Two Turtle symmetrical block, this background is worked continuously across the entire block. That is not stitched in opposite directions on each half.

Coming up a break from birds…. Five Golden Rings, the most complex of the 12 blocks!

As I explained in my previous blog, I used at least 20 different stitches on the 12 Days of Christmas. Most are simple and many are quick-cover. They are only suggestions and we would love to get your recommendations for different ones.

Day 1, the Partridge in a Pear Tree

Partridge in Pear Tree Christmas Needlepoint

Partridge in Pear Tree Christmas Needlepoint

I tried to choose stitches to add textures that would mimic feathers and tree trunk textures. The partridge’s green feathers are done is 2 different stitches. The head and small portion of green near the tail are stitched in Continental to give smoothness, while the breast is done in an Austrian V.

The Continental stitch is used for the pears, tree limbs, partridge’s top knot, gold stripes, gold tail feathers, red wing, and background to fill the small areas around the image. Tree trunk is the Knitting stitch and red tail feathers are varying lengths of Elongated Cashmere. The leaves are variation of the Leaf stitch, some longer and other at different angles than the traditional stitch. Leaves can also be done with a satin stitch.

Partridge in Pear Tree Stitch Chart

Partridge in Pear Tree Stitch Chart

(NOTE: The stitches, which are not diagramed, can be found in The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen which is available from online book sellers and your local book store as a print book or eBook as well as in several needlepoint webpages.)

Austrian V Needlepoint Stitch

Figure 1 Austrian V

The Austrian V is 19th -century pattern taken from an Austrian Sampler of 1859. Typically, it is used is a vertical strip but it has been adapted here to repeat to fill the bird’s breast.

 

 

 

 

Medieval Mosaic Needlepoint Stitch

Figure 2 Medieval Ground

The gold portion of the wing is done in medieval mosaic stitch which was adapted from an ancient geometric pattern.

 

The background is the Diagonal Mosaic. An easy stitch to do which covers well and quickly, but not so quickly as some I will describe in the later blogs.

 

 

Day 2, Two Turtle Doves

Turtle Doves Christmas Needlepoint

Two Turtle Doves Christmas Needlepoint

This is one of two designs that are vertically symmetrical. Vertical line of the oblong cross separated the two halves. Stitches are worked right to left on the left half of the canvas and left to right on the right half so that each side is mirror of the other.

The bright yellow of the bird is done in four different stitches: Kalem for the outer wing, Continental for the head, Hungarian Ground for the breast, and Slanted Gobelin 2×2 for the tail feathers. The eyes are Continental and the beak, Satin stitch. The gold inner wing is Diagonal Stem (the stitch that I found the most tedious to execute) and the gold tail feathers are the Slanted Govelin 2×2. Leaves are worked as described above. Flowers are Continental. On this block, I used the Continental for the centers of the flower but in other blocks I used French Knots. (Flower centers and bird eyes can also be enhanced with beads and/or sequins.)

Turtle Doves Needlepoint Stitches

Turtle Doves Needlepoint Chart

Needlepoint Heart

Figure 3 Heart Detail

The heart is worked from the center line out. Start with the Oblique Cross and alternate vertical lines of the Continental stitch and Slanted Gobelin 2 x 2. To the left of the center line, stitches slant from left to right and to the right they slant right to left. As shown in the photo, the point of the heart forms a prefect “v” which fits smoothly with the Straight Diagonal.

The Straight Diagonal is worked over 3 canvas threads from top of canvas down. The stitch diagram shows in running from the top right down to the left. It would be reversed for the opposite half.

 

Slanted diagonal Needlepoint Stitch

Figure 4 Slanted Diagonal

Where the continuity large Straight Diagonal is difficult maintain, the background areas around the center line are worked in the Continental stitch, slanted left to right or right to left depending on side. Likewise, flowers are done the same way.

 

 

 

 

Coming next: Day 3 and Day 4 with more feathered friends and the second symmetrical design.

Needlepaint’s 12 Days of Christmas needlepoint canvases were inspired a quilt my mother made 25 years ago. Use the 3-inch circular, 18-point ornaments to decorate a tree or the 6 x 6-inch 18-point blocks to hang as a bunting (8 x 8 inch on 14 mesh). They are an ideal size to be  done while traveling, waiting in a doctor’s office, or babysitting a sleeping grandchild.  Or, in the tradition of a quilting bee, canvases can be done by several different needle-pointers.

I stitched and finished the bunting…….

12 Days of Christmas Needlepoint Kits

12 Days of Christmas Needlepoint Kits

The blocks can be stitched with the continental stitch However, I used a variety of stitches using DMC 6-strand floss.Quick-cover stitches for the backgrounds sped up completion and others I chose to provide texture. (Stitches will be described in subsequent blogs.) Beads, sequins, and/or ribbons could also be added for textures and highlights.

Finishing and display options are numerous…  If one has a large wall space or fireplace, a 12-block bunting would be cool, but it is easier to find a place for a shorter 4-block 3 string display. Also, consider a 2-block 6-string or 3 strings of 3 blocks, 4 blocks, and 5 blocks.

In the photo above, the blocks are framed and backed with red felt, hand-stitched together with 3 strands of red DMC floss to match, and strung on a ¾-inch strip of felt. If you are not into buntings, the blocks could be used to decorate a table or sewn together for wall hanging or table runner. Each could be framed in the Mill Hill Wooden 6 x 6-inch frames which are designed for needlework and available online from several vendors, including  JoAnn or Amazon.

Detailed directions and alternatives for finishing will be addressed in a later blog.

 

At NeedlePaint.com, we love to design Custom Needlepoint projects.  This blog post features amazing custom needlepoint ring bearer pillows and Wedding Needlepoint designs that were recently stitched.

This first custom needlepoint ring bearer pillow we stitched for a customer on Etsy, and was photographed by: Chris Bailey Photography

Custom Monogram Needlepoint Ring Bearer Pillow

Custom Monogram Needlepoint Ring Bearer Pillow

Next are some amazing custom wedding needlepoint projects that were stitched by our customers.  The Chap Lane Inn was stitched by Tish in VA.  Note the bride and grooms names repeating in the background!  The Fleur de Lis and Celtic Cross were needlepointed by Denise in KY.  She uses lots of lovely stitches.

Wedding Family Name Gift Needlepoint

Needlepoint Wedding Gifts

The last two custom wedding needlepoint designs have a fun, modern edge taken from the bride and groom’s wedding invitations.  The Acorn design was stitched by Susan in CT.  I love the beads and mosaic needlepoint stitch in the background!  The modern heart design was stitched by Betsy in SC.  Thanks so much for sharing your pictures!

Modern Wedding Needlepoint

Modern Wedding Needlepoint

If you are looking for a unique wedding gift or the perfect ring bearer pillow for your wedding, please let us know, we’d love to help!  www.NeedlePaint.com