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!

Written by: Peggy Bond

The Tent Stitch, is the basic diagonal stitch which is the most recognized of needlepoint stitches, and can be stitched in three variations: The Basketweave, the Continental and the Half-Cross. There are pros and cons and a time and place for each of these stitches.

Tent Stitch 

The Basketweave Stitch is stitched on the diagonal as diagramed (see Figure 2) and creates a solid pattern on the back of the canvas (see Figure 1). This is the stitch of choice for chair seats, upholstery items or any piece that will receive wear and tear. It is durable and flexible and the finished piece does not warp as much as those done in the Half-Cross or Continental Stitches. It is truly a background stitch to be done around designs. I didn’t use it anywhere on the yarmulkes I made, but I did use it for the purple border of my Pansy Quilt Rug.

Basketweave diagram

View of the Basketweave Stitch back side (Figure 1) and Basketweave Stitch diagram (Figure 2)

 

The Continental Stitch is also a good backing stitch. It lacks the durability of the Basketweave Stitch but can be worked in small areas, while providing a solid backing (as shown in Figure 3). My hat bands are usually done entirely in Continental Stitches. The No Tears Pillow was also done entirely in Continental Stitch. This is a good example of when you would not want to use the Basketweave Stitch for the background as it would have made the canvas much heavier than the fabric.

Continental Diagram

View of the Continental Stitch back side (Figure 3) and stitching diagram 

 

The Half-Cross Stitch provides no backing and is not recommended for backgrounds. It does not cover the canvas well and should only be used on printed canvases where the thread color matches the color of the print. It does, however, use less thread than the Basketweave and Continental stitches. I have used it as the final row around a headband which is going to be turned under when I sew on the backing fabric.

Half-cross Diagram

View of the Half-Cross stitch back side and stitching diagram

 

One thing to bear in mind with the Tent Stitch, and indeed all stitching, is that thread and canvas need to match. Too fine a thread will not cover adequately, and too heavy a thread will be difficult with which to work and will usually create uneven stitches. Below is a chart matching the threads
(6-strand DMC Cotton Floss and 3-strand Waverly Wool) and the canvases that NeedlePaint offers.

Canvas Mesh DMC Cotton Floss Wavely Wool  Notes
10 Not Recommended 3 Strands
12 Not Recommended 3 Strands For rugs and heavy use items
2 Strands For lighter-weight projects: soft pillows, purses
14 6 Strands 2 Strands
1 Strand Use only on printed canvas where thread matches color
18 6 Strands 1 Strand  Great to use for belts, wallets, flasks

 

Now having explained the how, when, where, and why of the Tent Stitch, I have to admit that I use it sparingly.

Coming soon My Favorite Background Stitches!

By Peggy Bond:

How to finish off a needlepoint kippah.

As an example the mosaic needlepoint yarlmuke has been made with four blank triangular areas. These are the “darts” which will be sewn together to give the yarmulke its shape.

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After your yarmulke canvas has been stitched and blocked, trim the canvas leaving a ¼ boarder beyond the stitching. Save this extra canvas and use it as a pattern for the lining. I recommend using 100% quilting-weight cotton for the lining.

Mark darts on the lining to match those of the yarmulke.

Yarmulke with darts sewn

Sew the dart on the canvas together. Steam press the edges of the darts to one side, so they lay flat and form a smooth rounded shape on the top of the yarmulke. Repeat for the lining, pressing the dart in the opposite direction of the direction that you pressed the canvas. 

With wrong sides together, stitch the lining and canvas together at the edge of the needlepointing. Trim as needed so that the ¼ inch bias tape can be attached to the outside edge, covering the unstitched canvas.

Finished yarmulke

The materials I used were:

1 black fat quarter of cotton quilting-weight fabric
1 package Wrights’ ¼ inch double fold bias tape.

I stitched the yarmulke, lining, and bias tape on my home sewing machine, but it can also be hand stitched, which will take just a little bit longer.

At NeedlePaint, let us create a custom yarmulke canvas for you to stitch!

Here at NeedlePaint, we’ve been inspired by our favorite games, and have created some new needlepoint accessories you’ll love stitching, as well as using after they are finished. We’ve also discovered that both needlepointing and playing games, share some amazing benefits.

Playing a fun game provides for a break from the routine of day to day life. Games let you reconnect with family and friends, and enable you to enjoy the social aspects of spending time with those, whose company you love. Playing games are also a great way to get everyone involved, young and old, in one single activity.

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Rack ’em up! Our new Billiards needlepoint wallet canvas, is fun for both the novice and competitive player. A game of great skill, accuracy, calculated moves, and precision study. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have paid attention in geometry class, as knowledge of angles can really boost your game. Just look out for that eight ball . . . it will always cause you trouble. This wallet will definitely add some color to your back pocket.

Did you know that needlepointing has some of the same benefits as playing billiards? Both improve analytical thinking, require planning, decision making, and are great for your eye-hand coordination.

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There’s no spell check in this game!  Our Custom Classic Word Game needlepoint belt canvas, lets you create a custom phrase, spell out a quick message, list your kids names, or use our shown phrase “May the force be with you”. A fun belt to stitch and later to wear on family game night. Obi Wan Kenobi would love wearing this belt!

Needlepointing and word games are well known for keeping your mind sharp, as well as providing exercise for the brain, helping to maintaining memory function. Both require a certain level of singular focus, and concentration. No multi-tasking, necessary. 

Poker Needlepoint wallet

Ante Up! With our Poker needlepoint wallet canvas you will be the envy of all of your poker buddies. This is a game of chance, and it never hurts to have a fair amount of skill. Knowing when to bet and when to fold are crucial to your success of this game. You’ll enjoy opening this wallet and tossing a five spot onto the kitty.

Needlepointing and the game of poker develop logical thinking and develop concentration to help expand your long term ability to focus.

Check Mate! Stitch our Chess Needlepoint belt canvas for the novice or a competition player of the game of chess. We have designed this belt with that familiar game board and all of its pieces: pawns, rooks, knights, bishop, king and the queen. We guarantee stitching this needlepoint belt canvas will be easier than playing the game of chess.

Needlepointing and the game of chess, increase your creativity, exercise both sides of your brain, along with lowering your stress levels and blood pressure.

It’s time to enjoy a little down time, relax, reconnect with family and friends while playing a game; or do a little needlepointing . . . especially if you’ve had too much family togetherness. Calculate your next move and enjoy stitching your new NeedlePaint projects!

With the warmer weather upon us, we definitely take notice of the living creatures that have been missing all winter; only to have made new homes and habitats in our backyards. Some of these creatures are sweet and friendly; the rabbit that likes to eat your flowers. Some annoying; the wasps that have made a new nest in your wind chime. And some . . . we’ve just never seen in our backyard before. This month at NeedlePaint, we’ve taken inspiration from nature, and have created two new needlepoint belts canvases. 

gecko belt blog

Our first new creation is the Southwestern Gecko needlepoint belt canvas; inspired by a sighting in my own backyard, and from some ancient cliff dwelling drawings. We’ve added a modern southwestern color twist to this gecko who runs along the length of our needlepoint belt. These gecko’s are clever, and secretive, and famous for climbing sheer vertical surfaces, walking up a wall, or hanging from the ceiling. What’s not to love about this lizard.

frog blog

Another NeedlePaint nature inspired creation, is our Green Frog needlepoint belt canvas. Jumping across the length of this belt, who doesn’t have a vivid childhood memory of trying to catch that one elusive frog at the nearby pond or ditch. Too bad Mom, wouldn’t let you keep him! 

These belts are both colorful, both playful, both great for young and old. Available as a belt canvas you can stitch yourself, or a completely finished belt. This is the perfect sized needlepoint project to take on a vacation; it’s smaller, more manageable, and will fit into your carry-on, or in your car’s glove box.

We hope that you enjoy your summer, and embrace what nature has to offer. Even if it’s not cute and fuzzy!

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A “never seen before” visitor to my back yard . . . design inspiration!

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!