All Arts Challenge

All Arts Challenge – Needlepoint

Needlepoint is not a new skill for me, but this was the first time I did the “traditional needlepoint” of the half crosses. I picked up this handpainted canvas at Salty Yarns in Ocean City, during my SNB’s trip there for the Fall MAAFS Judging School

The craft: There are several different kinds of needlepoint. People are generally more familiar with what some of us call “traditional needlepoint” – the half cross stitches filling a canvas to make a picture. Nowadays you can find charts that call for the painted canvases to be filled with a variety of intricate stitches with different textures. Or, you can find charts that have you work a blank canvas in stunning variations of geometric thread patterns. 

My piece:  A sand dollar to represent the trip to the beach, worked in cotton “overdyed” or varigated floss. I used the traditional half cross stitch for the sand dollar, and chose a geometric pattern to represent waves for the blue background.

The work: I really enjoy geometric needlepoint. I love the challenge of the stitches and the way the piece comes together. That being said, like embroidery, there’s something soothing about not having to count, and being able to fill in a painted canvas with stitches. I have a Needlework case (below) that I keep my threads, projects, and tools organized in, so I can quickly grab it and have the work with me anywhere I go. I will definitely continue to Needlepoint, both in Geometrics and in Hand – Painted canvases. I have a few fun stitches and “to do” project pinned on Pinterest!

Tools: As with other stitching projects, a good needle threader (I love the one linked below – I always break the flimsy ones that look like dimes with a tiny wire sticking out of them!), and a nice needle nanny can make a world of difference in your work. In many of my pictures, you can see I have my needle threader and needle stuck to the work with a magnet. This is a genius idea, and I’m surprised how many stitchers have never seen one before! You can use something simple, like the plain magnets I use, or buy an adorable one below. For these smaller needlepoint pieces, on stiff canvas, I traditionally don’t use any sort of frame, because the canvas holds itself stiff enough to work with. However, for larger projects, a frame is a good idea.


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I ran out of white, and had to track it down at a needlepoint store north of Baltimore. They didn’t have the exact one I started with, but they did have an exact match in another brand. I was really impressed that the owner was able to color match it in her head! Many thanks to The Stitching Post!np2

 Here’s where I noticed that the hand painted blue wasn’t a true square to the sand dollar, which would be a problem if I wanted to surround it with geometric waves. 

So I sketched out a true square, and modified a wave pattern to fit!

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 Here are some examples of past Needlepoint Projects:

  My first ever piece, worked in a combination of wool and silk, and finished in a trivet so I can use it on my table.

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 This was my second piece, and it placed 1st in the 2014 County Fair.

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 This was the third piece I made, nicknamed T Minus Ten, because I finished it 10 minutes before the deadline to turn things in. Also placed 1st in 2014.

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