Official blog of
where you can design your own Needlepoint!

NeedlePoint Kits and Canvas Designs | Design your own Needlepoint Kit!

Archive for August, 2011

Photo Needlepoint Vs “NeedlePainting”

Turning a Photo into a Needlepoint Canvas is not as simple as is seams.  Which which is why we are always looking for new ideas to create the best needlepoint canvases.

Recently we had an issue with one of our customers, because the image on the canvas turned out to be much blurrier than the original.  Since the person was a very experienced needlepointer, and they wanted to pick their own colors, we decided to try a direct photo transfer.  This process looks a lot better, but it does not directly follow the mesh.  They loved it!

Unfortunately, I don’t have the images of those exact canvases to compare with, but I did talk to some more stitchers and decide that in some cases a direct photo transfer would be better.  I experimented and took some pictures so you can see the clarity difference.

Left is Direct Transfer on the Right is NeedlePaint

You can see how the direct transfer is crisper (which is the one the customer picked), But to be clear, we do not recommend this unless you are experienced, and only if your image is not coming out clearly on

The reason we think the website’s “NeedlePainting” version is better, is that it groups similar colors for you, and it matches real floss colors to your canvas.  The end result is that even if you are experience and like to do the colors and grouping yourself, the final stitched canvas will come out almost identical.  With our counted stitch guides and color aids, we believe the NeedlePaint versions will come out stitched better.  And if you are having troubles with letters, just email us after you place the order, and we will fix them.

But, as mentioned, on some projects the direct transfer can make a big difference, so if you have any issues when placing an order, please use this image and description as reference to help make your decision.  We will also still include a counted stitch guide, color aid, and color chart for your reference, even though it won’t match identically, it may still help!

And, as always, feel free to email or call me to discuss.

‘Tis the Season for Needlepoint Christmas Ornaments

Christmas is still 4 months away, but it is never too early to begin that special needlepoint gift – a personalized needlepoint Christmas ornament. My new design was inspired by metallic threads and a shimmering gold fabric I saw at JoAnn’s.

The needlepoint canvas section is a  2.5 x 10 inch band to done in a variety of stiches selected from one of my favorite reference books, Jo Ippolito Christensen’s The Needlepoint Book.

  • Red ornament – horizontal brick stitch
  • Green ornament – diagonal plait stitch
  • Yellow ornament – slanted Gobelin variation
  • Light blue ornament – vertical beaty
  • Pink ornament – Parisian stripe with 2 shades of pink
  • Orange ornament – Byzantine stitch
  • Dark blue ornament – pavilion diamonds
  • Background – reversed mosaic
  • Lettering and ornament tops – continental stitch

The finished canvas is sewn onto a 6 x 11 inch piece of fabric. (Layout is shown below.) Trim the canvas, leaving a ½ inch edge and fold under as shown below. I got carried away with trim and used a 1/8- inch gold ribbon. (If you don’t use a narrow ribbon for trim, the canvas should be bound as described in my blog on Needlepoint Napkin Rings.)

Sew narrow hem at bottom of the fabric and place trim at top. (Optionally the top can be finished with a narrow hem.) With right sides together sew the 6-inch edges of the ornament together along the end of the worked needlepoint. Trim seam to ¼ inch and turn.

Gather the bottom tightly to close and stuff the ornament with a polyester fill or other light weight filler.

Gather top, attach a hanger, and a bow at the bottom. Your Christmas ornament is ready to hang for 2011 and for many more holiday seasons to come!

Needlepoint Napkin Rings – For the Eco-Conscious

I have to admit that I am addicted to cloth napkins. It is so bad that when we travel I take my own cloth napkins to our vacation rentals. This winter as usual my husband and I rented a house on the beach in Molokai, Hawaii, and we had several couples visiting. I got tired of trying to remember whose napkin was whose. It was time for custom needlepoint napkin rings with a Hawaiian theme.

Each ring measures 1.5 X 6.0 inches and I placed them on the needlepoint canvases an inch apart. I used 16 different traditional Hawaiian quilt blocks in bold primary colors. Each ring measures 1.5 X 6.0 inches and I placed them on the canvas an inch apart. I used 16 different traditional Hawaiian quilt blocks in bold primary colors. The background is a rusty-orange, probably influenced by the red soils of Molokai.

After I finished needlepointing the canvas, I cut the rings apart and did loop stitch over the 2 stitches on each edge as shown here. I used the background color along the length of each ring and a different color for the edges — that was so all my guest had to remember was the edge color of their ring in order to claim the correct napkin at each meal. If your canvas needs block, I recommend that you block it before cutting the rings apart. After edging the length, I found that I needed to reblock them again.

I lined each ring with 1 1/2-in gross grain ribbon which I purchased from JoAnn’s,

I slip-stitched the lining together to form the ring and then using the appropriate color overcast the edges.  Voila! My contribution to the ecosystem — no more paper napkins and everyone can remember their color so I save on water by not having to wash napkins so often. These would make a great needlepoint Christmas, wedding, or house warming gift.


NeedlePoint Custom Stitch Guide

Finally!  All orders will now ship with custom stitch guides.

Trying to needlepoint a photo or custom needlepoint canvases can be very tricky.  Especially since many colors in shading of faces or shadows are very similar.  These similar colors on a canvas often are hard to distinguish.  But, when the embroidery floss is laid out and the project is underway, these shades are key to making a stunning work of needle art!

Most custom needlepoint kit makers don’t have the ability to go into the amount of detail that allows when using photos.  When discussing with needlepoint shop owners who sell handpainted canvases, they have reviewed our product and agreed that offers a better and more real looking product than most handpainters are able to produce.

To help our customers tell the colors apart, we have been working on a counted stitch guide that shows the exact location for every stitch and color.  When this is combined with our color stitch aid and the printed canvas, it allows a needlepointer to quickly and easily figure out exactly where each color goes.

Needlepoint Stitch Guide, Color Aid, Canvas, Color Chart

Our new stitch guides are counted in rows of 10, and each symbol is referenced in our color chart which displays the color and number of the floss to be used.

Our color stitch aid is also organized in rows of 10, so cross referencing the color aid is very helpful when looking at the image on the canvas.  Our customers have been very happy with this new addition!