Basic Needlepoint Stitches
16 March 2009
Author: Elaine Trout
If you’re new to needle crafting, these step-by-step instructions and diagrams will walk you through how to do some of the most basic Needlepoint stitches. You may find it helpful to practice on a piece of scrap canvas first before starting a project. With a little practice, you’ll become a pro in no time!
Use this stitch in narrow or complicated areas.
- Work through the holes in the canvas. Begin at the right and work to the left by coming up at A, going down at B, crossing the canvas thread intersection diagonally. Come up at C, go down at D, etc.
Work the second row from left to right by coming up at I, down at J, etc. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to fill the area.
The stitches should also appear slanted on the back, only in the opposite direction from the front.
Work vertical stitches as shown.
Use this stitch in large areas and the background. It distorts the canvas less than Continental Stitch.
Start in the upper right corner of the area. Come up at A, go down at B, up at C, down at D, etc. The numbered arrows show the order and direction of the rows. When working an irregularly shaped area, continue to work diagonal rows. When your thread runs out, start exactly where you stopped. If you don’t, a shadow line will appear on the right side of your stitching.
After you have stitched an area, you should see a woven effect on the back of the canvas.
Use this stitch to add outlines and highlights.
Come up at A, go down at B. Come up at C, then go down at D (same hole as A). Continue, always going back down in the same hole as the previous stitch so your stitches look connected. Make your stitches the length needed to follow the shape of the area.
Use this stitch to add highlights to certain objects, such as eyes or flower centers.
Come up at A. Hold the thread about 2" away from A. Wrap the thread once around the needle.
Continuing to hold the thread, insert the tip of the needle at B (very close to A), to form a loop around the needle.
Pull the thread until the loop is tight around the needle. Holding the thread taut against the canvas, slowly pull the needle through the canvas.
This shows the completed knot.
Try one of these basic Needlepoint stitches on your next project!