5 Background Stitches for Needlepoint - Summertide Stitchery

5 Background Stitches for Needlepoint

I'm constantly looking for a good background stitch that goes beyond basketweave and diagonal mosaic (no hate for those stitches, they are just on the majority of my projects). If you also have this problem, take a look at these 5 background stitches and their uses!

1. Pavillion Diamonds

This stitch is incredibly beautiful and works quickly. Its excellent for large background areas to add texture and interest. I'd consider using on a stocking or large pillow! You can alternate color rows for added interest or do everything in one color for subtle texture over large sections of canvas. 

2. T-Stitch

I'll admit, I'm not normally one for an open stitch. But let me tell you - you can make the T-stitch look absolutely stunning. Choose a shade of thread that's slightly lighter or darker than the background to add dimension. Choose a very fine thread (petite silk lame or 3 strands of DMC) to make a delicate lace appearance. Just be careful how you work this stitch so you don't see threads from the back through the front of the canvas. Keep a consistent direction!


3. I know its number 3 on this list, but it is honestly one of my favorite stitches. I love it for a background, but it's also amazing for smaller details. Kalem stitch really is the workhorse of decorative stitches in my opinion. Work it vertically, as shown in the diagram, to give your background a cozy knit appearance. Work it horizontally to add texture to water or sky. Or you can work it diagonally in any direction for added interest. I also love to use diagonal kalem stitch to mimic feathers on a bird. 

4. With a nod to bargello, the small scallop stitch is an incredible choice for all sorts of backgrounds. Use it for sky or water. Use it anywhere you want to add texture and interest. For example, stitch a sunset in all small scallop but alter the thread color to match the painted canvas. Alternatively, stitch water in small scallop alternating between light and dark shades of blue to add movement - even throw in a small section of white to make it look like a cresting wave. Keep the thread fine to have the painted canvas show through or pick a thicker thread for full coverage. The opportunities are endless with the small scallop. 

5. Last, but certainly not least on this list is the double nobuko stitch. You know and love nobuko. Did you know that doubling it up creates a column effect. Its a wonderful background for anything you want to add height to. I use it behind trees or buildings to add extra length and draw the eye up and down on the canvas. It gives complete canvas coverage and works quickly to cover large areas. If you've loved nobuko, give double nobuko a try!

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