Get Started with Needlepoint - Summertide Stitchery

Get Started with Needlepoint

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Welcome to the World of Needlepoint: A Beginner's Guide

Are you ready to embark on a creative journey that sparks joy and allows you to express yourself through art? Look no further! Welcome to the exciting world of needlepoint, a vibrant form of stitching that combines timeless tradition with modern flair. Whether you're seeking a new hobby, a way to destress, or a means of creating beautiful handmade gifts, needlepoint is the perfect fit for you.

What is Needlepoint?

Needlepoint, also known as canvaswork, is a type of embroidery that involves stitching designs on a woven canvas using a needle and thread. It's like painting with yarn! The canvas acts as your creative playground, guiding you as you bring beautiful patterns to life with a variety of stitches. From intricate tapestries to delicate ornaments, needlepoint offers endless possibilities for artistic expression.

Emma Homent explains it perfectly - If embroidery is the umbrella encapsulating all stitches worked on any type of surface, needlepoint is one arc coming down from the top of the umbrella - all manner of stitching worked on an openweave canvas. The other side is what we traditionally think of when we hear embroidery - delicate stitches worked on a tightly woven evenweave fabric. 

So, is needlepoint embroidery? Yes! And also, no! 

Getting Started with Needlepoint

As a beginner, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the basics before diving into more complex projects. The book "Needlepoint: A Modern Stitch Directory" is the perfect companion for your needlepoint journey. This comprehensive guide, filled with step-by-step instructions and stunning visuals, will introduce you to various stitches, techniques, and designs, helping you build a strong foundation in needlepoint. I highly recommend this book as an approachable way to understand the different types of canvas, needles and threads you will work with. 

Must-Have Products for Beginners

Now that you have a basic understanding of needlepoint, it's time to start stitching! Here are some fantastic products curated just for you, the enthusiastic beginner:

1. A Beginner Friendly Canvas: Jumpstart your needlepoint adventure with a beginner-friendly needlepoint canvas. We recommend looking for a canvas on 13 mesh, with large areas of one color. This will allow you to get the hang of your stitch and to not have to switch out threads too often. We suggest this Garden Rose Round by Summer Hayes Designs for Atlantic Blue Canvas, or Halloween Painted Lady by Audrey Wu.

2. Stitch Cards: Once you get the hang of the basic tent stitches (half cross, continental, and basketweave*) it's helpful to have stitch cards laying around to choose other decorative stitches for your project. I find these more useful than just a book because it's easier to visualize when you lay the card next to your project. You can also check out my favorite background stitches!

*Pro-tip that took me too long to figure out - all 3 of these stitches look the same on the front of your canvas. The difference is the direction you work them, which makes the back of your canvas look different. If you're worried about long-term stability (i.e. you are making a pillow for a toddler) you're going to want to go with basketweave!

3. A Thread Type Chart: So you've got your canvas. You've picked out your stitches. Now its time to pick out threads! But there are SO MANY! Grab yourself a handy thread type chart to understand the basic qualities of the most popular threads on the market and which size canvases they are good for. To save you time, we've created a digital download with all the information you need to pick your next project threads.

Your Needlepoint Adventure Awaits!

With needle in hand and creativity aflame, you're now equipped to embark on a delightful needlepoint adventure. Don't be afraid to experiment, try new stitches, and let your imagination soar. Remember, Summertide Stitchery is here to support you every step of the way. Visit our website,, for a wide range of needlepoint canvases, threads, and other essentials to bring your artistic vision to life.

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