There is more to needlepoint than printed canvases and half cross stitch, but this is the introduction that many of us remember, I am sure.
I know I do. My first pieces had many beginner mistakes - like not working on a frame and ending up with a skewed piece of work. But with practice and a little curiosity I moved on to more interesting projects and achieved better results.
I learned that the term tapestry was really describing something else entirely - and that it was woven not stitched.
In the 1970s I played with bargello patterns, also known as florentine work, a form of needlepoint that is making a comeback.
I visited stately homes throughout the UK and marvelled over the exquisite items that had been stitched in the past, such as the chair photographed at Arlington Court.
I came to understand that needlepoint encompassed a vast array of possibilities! I would love to share that experience with you through the pages of this site.
If you are eager to jump straight in, why not try these two free patterns straight away.
For something a little bigger check out my Textures to Dye For range of needlepoint patterns.
Enjoyed those freebies? If you are interested in taking it further, let's look at what you will need. Maybe one day you will then be ready to take on a monumental task such as the panels I photograhed at Wallington House in Northumberland shown below!
Canvas - in different mesh sizes
Tapestry needles - which are blunt with a big eye
Frame to hold the project taut while you work
Scissors - large for cutting canvas and small for snipping fiber ends
Laying tool - for helping you achieve smooth stitches (optional)
Gobelin stitch - simple to work, with many variations
Leaf stitch - A fancy textured stitch
Rice stitch - also known as crossed corners
Rhodes - large and bumpy
Scotch stitch - a square stitch which can vary in size
Tent stitch and its variations - continental and basketweave
Velvet stitch - which makes wonderful fur
Needlepoint creates attractive, hardwearing, useful items, that can become family heirlooms. Here is a quick list of some of uses it can be put to...
Doll house carpets
If you can't find the answer to a question about needlepoint then why not ask it here? Other visitors to the site might be able to help you.
Or perhaps you have a tip you wish to pass on. This section is for you to interact with other needlepointers, create you own page and help others.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
My grandfather loved to needlepoint, and he was about 90% done with a canvas before he passed away. I am an advanced cross stitcher so I was wanting …
Vicki’s Needlepoint stocking
Someone has already started the needlepoint kit that I bought. However, they didn’t follow the instructions. It is on a blank mesh canvas. Instead of …
Using only one strand of thread
I use Aida 14 to stitch. I only like to use 1 thread. On patterns where you blend 2 colors - how do you know which one not to use. Thank you for reading …
outline details for cross stitch
I am stitching a counted cross stitch on plastic canvas. When completing outline details, do I do in and out of every hole or do I extend outline in longer …
I have been doing needlepoint for many years, at first I would do it on the cloth, but had so much trouble getting the completed cloth in the correct shape …
Needlepoint questions from beginner
I am a novice needlepointer - who travels long distance frequently and likes to needlepoint on the flight. First - does on start at the top of a canvas …
Do I need a needlepoint border
I am an expat living in Nanjing China. I brought several pieces to finish. The piece I am working on is surrounded by a border. The last piece I …
using plastic canvas
How do I needlepoint a Circle shaped Plastic Canvas. There does not seem to anything to show you the correct pattern to follow the circle format. HELP!!! …
I am a beginner in Needlepoint
Hi, I have two questions. I am a real newbie in needlepoint, although I do know how to do the basic stitches. I found a pre-stamped kit which includes …
If using 3 threads of wool what is the canvas count..size of the hole?
Counting Holes or Threads and Where to Start
I'm a novice needlepointer and am so confused about how to follow a chart. I've done a lot of preparation and in all the books (except one) I've read …
Can you possibly tell me how old this might be and exactlly what type of needlework it is. Thanks for any information. cheryl
Salvaging vintage needlepoint canvas Not rated yet
I found a treasure trove from an estate. Two boxes stuffed with an assortment of high quality needlepoint canvases, some which appear to be hand-painted. …
Needlepoint chair cover guide Not rated yet
I would like to cover a small chair with needlepoint however, I seem to find never-ending conflicting information on what to do. So far, I haven’t found …
Needlepoint Threads and Mesh Size Not rated yet
I'm Leslie and my favorite canvas to use is 10 mesh or 12 mesh mono needlepoint canvas. I know that today, those sizes are not the most popular. I …
To use a hoop or bigger scroll/laptop frame? Not rated yet
I am new to needlepoint and am starting on an Ehrman 16 x 16" pillow. What kind of frame do I need to use? I am confused as to whether I need to get …
Starting bargello Not rated yet
My mom did a lot of bargello needle work in the 70s and I cherish her colorful pillows. I want to try my hand at it. How do you recommend that I start …
How to Avoid Seeing the canvas through your work Not rated yet
I have just started needlepointing and I'm making a belt. For the most part, my canvas is covered....but I still can see some of the paint, from the design …
May 25, 22 01:08 PM
The first step in our hand embroidery for beginners course, learn how to embroider names and letters, using a variety of embroidery stitches
May 25, 22 12:51 PM
I am often asked if I use cross stitch software to design. I do now and this is my story of how I started designing needlework
May 23, 22 02:47 AM
This stem stitch tutorial covers the basic stitch, raised stem and portuguese knotted stem. Videos explain how to work the stitches.
May 20, 22 06:26 AM
Simple embroidery stitches for small flowers - ideas and videos showing how to stitch them