Monthly Archives: April 2016

Improve your stitching without much work!

Happy Sunday everyone! Today on Stitch Style, I wanted to share my top easiest ways to improve your stitching, without too much work at all! These are simple fixes, that I often notice and get asked about when I’m working in the shop at Needlepoint.Com. I hope you all find them helpful!

1. Work on Stretcher Bars

Whether it’s a little 5 x 5 ornament for your Christmas tree, or a giant canvas you’re going to have framed in your house, work on stretcher bars that fit the piece! I can’t tell you all how much of a must this is in my book- I work everything on stretcher bars. The more you can preserve the original shape of the canvas, the easier a job your finisher will have, and the nicer your needlepoint will look when you go to have it framed or finished!
(Plus they only cost $2-3 a pair!)

2. If you’re not working on Stretcher Bars, don’t fold your canvas!

I see this all the time! If you want to work a piece of needlework in hand, when you go to put it away, don’t fold the canvas! When you fold your projects in half or in quarters, you will distort the weave of the canvas, ultimately putting ridges in your project, and meaning it will probably need to be blocked when you’re finished.
The best way of storing your needlepoint when you’re not working on it is to roll it up!

3. Take care with Dye Lots

If you’re planning on stitching an entire background in one color, pay attention to dye lots. With most threads, there will likely be a dye lot listed on the label. You want to make sure you are using skeins all dyed at the same time.
This will ensure your background color will all match perfectly!

4. Learn to Basketweave

Often times I get asked by customers “Why do I have lines in my canvas?” Stitching large areas of color (like a background) in all Continental Stitch, Half Cross, or a combination of the two, will likely result in you seeing horizontal lines in your canvas. The answer to this is to learn to Basketweave. This stitch will tension more evenly and result in a prettier finished product. Here’s a “how to” diagram if you want to learn how:

Improve your stitching with basketweave

5. Pay attention to your tension

It is important to take care and make sure that you are pulling evenly through the canvas with each stitch you do. Don’t pull super hard on one stitch, and then hardly pull your thread through the canvas on the next stitch. This is made easier by making sure you are using the correct weight of thread on your canvas.

6. Don’t put knots in the back of your canvas

When it comes to starting a new thread, you have a few different options to chose from. You could use a waste knot, run your thread through the back of an area that is already stitched, or hold it in place and stitch over the top of it. But please, don’t put knots in the back of your canvas! You run the risk of threads coming lose, or having lumps in the front of your canvas when it is finished.

7. Finish your threads with the canvas thread

When it comes to finishing your threads, make sure you run them either horizontal or vertical, with the lines of the canvas. If you are Basketweaving, and finish your thread with the diagonal rows you are stitching, you may see a diagonal line in your canvas where you ended your thread.

8. Take a class!

If there’s a specific technique you’ve always wanted to learn…take a class! Whether it’s a technique class, canvas embellishment, or a set piece, it’s impossible to go to a class and not learn something! There are many techniques that don’t lend themselves well to diagrams in a book, and are much easier to master if you see them in person.
If you don’t live near a shop, consider taking an online class!

6. Don’t be afraid to try new things!

With so many books to chose from, and a plethora of online resources, it’s easy to find stitch diagrams and how to videos. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and use a new stitch you’ve never done before, or leave some canvas open!

CBK Trunk Show at Needlepoint.Com

One thing is for sure… we all love having the CBK Trunk Show here at Needlepoint.Com!
With so many designers to chose from, it’s impossible not to find something you would want to stitch. There is certainly something for everyone! Scott Church Creative (one of my all time favorite designers!), Keep your pants on (who make tons of great belts!), Shari Beaubien and, Laura Megroz… to name only a few!

CBK Trunk Show

I found this darling little round of two labs sitting side by side. They look just like my parent’s dogs Dilly and Mimi. Don’t you think?

CBK Trunk Show

I’ve chosen to keep my stitches fairly simple on this one. Skip Tent for the background in Silk Lamé Braid, Gobelin and Reverse Gobelin for the dogs themselves (one of my favorite stitches for fur!) and simple Basketweave for the border.

One thing I love about Laura Megroz‘s designs, is the amount of open space and large blocks of color you have to stitch in. It gives such a fantastic opportunity to try decorative stitches. And since, many of her designs are on 13 count, they are perfect for the beginner stitcher! Here are a few more of my favorites:

CBK Trunk Show

CBK Trunk Show

CBK Trunk Show

CBK Trunk Show


Click here to shop the CBK Trunk Show online. 

All canvases from the show are 20% off!
I’m certain you will find lots of fun designs to stitch yourself!

Upcoming Class: “To The Shore”

Good morning everyone! Happy Tuesday! I’m so excited  to share with you all that I will be teaching one of my all time favorite pieces at Needlepoint.Com this summer. The upcoming class is Peter Ashe’s “To The Shore.” Class will be held on June 15th from 10-3 pm. Lunch will be provided, since it’s an all day affair.

Upcoming Class: To The Shore This is a great opportunity to get comfortable working with open stitches, different French Knot techniques, overdyed threads, and much, much more! There really is a ton of different techniques and to learn.

I always joke that this is the house I want to move into when I “grow up.”
It’s just so gorgeous!

The total cost for canvas, thread pack, stitch guide and instruction is $475.
Call the shop at 919-828-5538 for more information.
Space is limited, and spots are filling up quickly. I hope to see you all there!

The perfect thank you gift

When James and I moved to Fort Bragg, of course we were a little overwhelmed by the logistics of it all! Where should we rent an apartment? What are the best places to go grocery shopping? What should James and I expect with his new job? All the questions anyone would need to know when moving, plus so many more!

We were so lucky to have two very dear friends who had moved here the year before- Rich and Shannon McPhee! James had actually gone to high school with Shannon, and upon graduation, they both ended up Cadets at West Point. While there, Shannon met her now husband, Rich and James was even a groomsman in their wedding party.
It’s a crazy small world, because now almost seven years later, Rich and James work in the same company right next door to each other on base! What are the odds!?

Rich and Shannon could not have been more helpful and welcoming when we got here. They insisted we stay with them rather than spending money on hotels, fixed us dinner and made us feel so at home! Looking back on it now, it’s really in large part due to them that we got settled here so quickly.

Thank You Gift
As a small token of our immense appreciation, I stitched them this little Kirk & Bradley  Blue House Ornament to say thank you. It looks just like the house they moved into when they came to Bragg- their first home together as newlyweds. I wish I had a picture of it because the resemblance is uncanny!

Thank You Gift
To tie the whole piece together, I had the finisher embroider their last name and the year they were married on the back.

Thank You Gift
The finished piece makes such a sweet memento of their special day and their first home together in North Carolina. The perfect way to say thank you… although there is no way we could ever express enough gratitude for all their hospitality!

Sapper School Graduation

The last few weeks have been crazy busy! James was away for a month of training at Sapper School, in the woods of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (which meant that I had lots of time to stitch… promise to share more of those projects soon!) But it’s meant that our regular routine (and my blogging schedule) got turned a little upside down.

Sapper School

After a month of intense training and lots of hard work on his part, I was so happy to see James graduate Sapper School.  On my flight out to Missouri I worked on this Elizabeth Bradley Pansy Mini Kit. I loved that it included all the “ingredients” I needed to get stitching. Not only do EB Kits include your canvas, color card and needles, your threads are even precut- so no need to even fuss with bringing scissors through security! As much as I love my decorative stitches, when I’m traveling I don’t like to be doing anything that I have to pay too much close attention to counting canvas threads. Elizabeth Bradley Kits are traditionally worked in a Victorian Cross Stitch. It’s such a relaxing, rhythmical way to stitch that it made the perfect project to work on while I was on the road…. And certainly helped me keep my cool while I took this tiny eight person flight on to the base!

Sapper School Graduation

Sapper Graduation was such a cool experience! The Secretary of the Army happened to be visiting FLW that week, and was there to congratulate all the newly tabbed Sappers.

Just after taking this picture, we hit the road and began driving back to Fort Bragg. Rather… I did the driving and James slept about 12 hours of our 14 hour trip! After not eating or sleeping very much for two weeks straight he was beyond exhausted.
Needless to say… I didn’t get much stitching done on the way back home!

Sapper School

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Freshly Picked Classes!

Hey everyone! Happy April Fools Day! I wanted to write a quick post to share our upcoming “Freshly Picked Classes” at Needlepoint.Com with you all! We’re going to have a very busy spring full of lots of different opportunities to work on your stitching… or maybe even learn from scratch if you’re new to the craft!

Here’s our upcoming schedule. Classes fill up quickly, so mark your calendars, and give us a call today!

Freshly Picked Classes

For more Stitch Style fun, be sure to subscribe by email in the box on the right and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin’ and Pinterest so you don’t miss out !