Top Tips for New Stitchers

Good morning everyone!

I mentioned in a post a few days ago that I was planning on sharing my top tips for new stitchers with you all.

Here are my eight easy things to do, that will hopefully simplify and improve a new stitching experience:

1. There are two different sizes of holes that most canvases are painted on now a days- 13 and 18 mesh. (13 mesh canvas has 13 holes to a linear inch of canvas, and 18 has 18… )

Larger holes are sometimes easier on the eyes for new stitchers- so selecting a design on 13 mesh canvas a good option, especially if you have any vision trouble.

There are a lot of great companies with designs on 13 mesh, but Elizabeth Turner Collection seems to have an exceptionally large selection.

Top tips for new stitchers

2. Most needlepoint canvases do not come with threads included. This is because there is such an incredible selection of fun fibers to play with… everyone wants to pick something different!

When selecting threads for your piece, single strand threads are your friend! (These are threads that don’t need to be plied and laid).

I recommend Planet Earth’s Pepper Pot, or Vineyard Silk for 18 mesh canvas, and Planet Earth Silk for 13. All three of these options are beautiful 100% silk fibers. No they aren’t as cheap as DMC, but they are easy to stitch with and will give you a lovely finished product.
Cut one thread for yourself- and you’re ready to go.

No fuss necessary!

3. In my opinion, it’s important to learn to basketweave, rather than continental from the get-go…
(Basketweave entails working on the diagonal (usually) beginning in the upper right hand corner of the canvas, rather than stitching horizontally.

It’s well worth the extra little bit of work to learn this stitch in the beginning- your canvas won’t be so easily distorted!

Here’s a video explaining how to basketweave from Stitch-for-Fun

http://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/basketweave-stitch.htm


4.
Work on stretcher bars… Please! In my book, this is a must. It makes your canvas much easier to hold, and helps maintain the tension and original shape.
I find it makes a huge difference in the quality of your finished project. They are very inexpensive, and even come in light weight mini-sizes too!


5.
Pick a piece that is a manageable size, so you feel like you’re making good progress. You don’t want to start with something too big overwhelm yourself.


6.
Designs with big areas of color are great too- you don’t have to stop and change the color thread you are using as often.


7.
If you wear glasses or contacts, consider upping the magnification of your reading glasses. I’m fortunate that I don’t have eye problems myself (yet), but I have friends who do this and tell me it makes a big difference.


8.
Above all, pick a piece that you LOVE! If you don’t love it, you’ll never stitch it… believe me… that’s the truth!

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  • Thanks! I put this on Blog’s Tips Section and when you write on this again, that’ll go there, too. These are things I hadn’t thought of to tell new folks.

    • stitchstyle

      Thank you for sharing them Jane!

  • Sara Dunn

    I just found your blog–and I’m so glad I did! Thank you for these tips. I’m a fairly new stitcher, and it can be very overwhelming! I have a couple 13 mesh canvases. I think i’ll start with them. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    Sara

  • Emilie Burke

    Do you have stretcher bars you recommend? I’ just took on my first needlepoint project!

    • stitchstyle

      Hi Emilie! The stretcher bars I always use are from Edmunds Co. Most needlepoint stores I’ve ever been to carry them. They have a pink wrapper. Hope that is helpful! So glad you’ve started stitching too 🙂