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Needlework tips

by Kati Flood,

Kati's needlework tips:

  • Start of with a small pattern of interest! This allows one to finish something that looks as they like in a minimum amount of time, and leaves you with a feeling of success!
  • Decide on a material count. This refers to the number of holes/inch. The lower the count, the larger the completed image and more of your material background will show through. The higher the count, the tighter the stitches and image will be.  I recommend creations with a count of 14 or higher. This allows one to create with a minimum of background static, or interference in the completed piece!
  • Decide on a method of creation. Before beginning, decide if you are going to complete the pattern square by square or color by color; try not to change your mind in the middle!
  • All of the cross stitches should be created with the same flow; i.e. right over left or left over right.
  • Try not to view errors as major catastrophes! Weavers believe that errors release evil spirits from the woven piece! Try to take this viewpoint and manage the error into the patterns flow! If it is too major, carefully remove the stitches; try to use this as a last alternative.
  • This is a matter of preference, but, I recommend NOT using hoops! I prefer the easel stretchers! They are sold at most arts & craft stores, but, you can also get them at Wal-Mart and stores like that. They stretch the entire bolt of material, without leaving the image of the hoop on your piece! It is like working on a page or an easel, rather than a small circle.


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About Needlepoint

By Cathy Richey, the Cathy Factor

Needlepoint offers a wide range of possibilities for self-expression. It can be used to create pictures, pillows, seat cushions and other beautiful items to decorate your home. You can also stitch belts, purses, shoes, vests, and other clothing and accessories.

Needlepoint and embroidery are interrelated. Embroidery is any art which involves decorating fabrics with stitched designs; needlepoint consists of using a tent stitch, also known as a half cross-stitch, to create designs on stiff mesh or open-weave fabric, mostly canvas. Needlepoint is a type of embroidery.

The history of needlepoint and embroidery reaches back to the ancient world. Fragments of embroidered items have been found in numerous areas, mostly Egypt and China. Basic stitches such as cross stitch, half cross stitch and satin stitch have been found on textiles that are more than 3,000 years old. From this, needlepoint and cross stitch can be considered some of the oldest forms of embroidery.

Needlepoint has become a much-loved hobby and decorative art. There are a large number of organizations and crafter's groups who freely share information and patterns. Books on needlepoint and embroidery are available at most book stores in the crafts section, and needlepoint patterns can also be found through magazines and online sources. Patterns come in many varieties and can be charted out or directly printed onto the ground fabric.

Needlepoint supplies and kits can be found online and at craft and fabric stores. Needlepoint kits are an excellent way for a beginner to learn the basics of the art of embroidery. These kits include a pattern, stitching and finishing instructions, the ground fabric and all supplies needed to complete the project. Unlike most other forms of embroidery, a hoop is not required for needlepoint. Most crafters use some type of wooden frame to hold the canvas taut for ease of stitching. These frames can be found with needlepoint and embroidery kits at craft stores.

The fabric most used for needlepoint is stiff, open-weave canvas, and it is available in a variety of weights. Heavier-weight canvas is excellent for items such as cushions or wall hangings; lighter weight canvas is more suited to pieces such as table runners and eyeglass cases. The stiffness of the required canvas makes this type of embroidery more suited to decorative items than garments, and it is rarely found on clothing.

The weight of the canvas determines the thickness of the embroidery thread or yarn that is used for a project. The basic concept of needlepoint is to stitch over the design area and completely cover it with thread or yarn. For a heavy-weight canvas with wide spacing between threads, a thicker yarn must be used to ensure that none of the background fabric can be seen. For lighter weight fabric, lighter weight threads and novelty items such as ribbon can be used.

Needlepoint creates a beautiful and durable work of embroidery art that can be enjoyed for many years. Individual touches can be added by using novelty threads and materials and by learning to create patterns. Needlepoint and its cousin, cross stitch, are types of embroidery that have been in use for most of recorded history, and enjoyed by various cultures around the world.


About Cathy: She and her Doberman Trooper conduct research into all kinds of topics and produce articles like the one you see here. To contact Cathy, write to thecathyfactor@yahoo.com. Get the facts from Cathy, and let the Cathy Factor give you an edge.


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