4 Needlepoint Myths and How to Avoid Them

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If you’ve ever worked a needlepoint canvas using a professional stitch guide, you know the difference that decorative stitches and fancy threads can make in your finished project. The added texture and sparkle bring a flat 2-dimensional design to life and transform a plain needlepoint canvas into a hand-stitched work of art.

Maybe you’ve even taken a class from a guest instructor at a needlepoint shop or guild meeting. You got all inspired to branch out and try new stitches and embellishments. You bought new canvases and threads – the works!

So why does the idea of actually picking your own stitches and threads have you quaking in your boots?

Let me guess…
  • You love the idea of using different stitches on your canvas, but you have no idea where to start when choosing them yourself.
  • You know how to do the stitches, but you can’t make them fit on your canvas – and forget about compensating! That totally blows your mind.
  • You like trying new things, but there’s not a needlepoint shop nearby, so you don’t have anywhere to go to for help.
Busy stitchers (like you and me) don’t have time to waste, either. If you’ve ever tried creating your own stitch guide, you know that feeling of overwhelm, as the minutes tick by, and you STILL haven’t come up with even the first stitch to use.

In my experience, I’ve found that four major myths are to blame for stitchers getting stuck when it comes to choosing decorative stitches and threads for their needlepoint projects.

I’m going to debunk those myths for you, and show you how to replace them with truly effective practices that will not only reward all your hard work, but have you out of your chair with excitement.

Decorative stitches and threads bring your needlepoint to life!

Needlepoint Myth #1: Choosing decorative stitches for needlepoint canvases requires highly specialized skills and years of experience.

What most stitchers think of as “choosing stitches” is really just a small fraction of what it really entails.

Most view choosing stitches and threads as just the actual “working the canvas” component. In fact, choosing your materials and which stitches to use constitutes little more than half of an entire, well-integrated STRATEGY.

A truly effective strategy involves 5 Key Stages (evaluating the canvas, exploring stitch and thread options, making your plan, stitching the piece, and finishing), all of which MUST come together in perfect harmony in order for your project to turn out as you envision it.

In short, choosing stitches and threads isn’t a single tactic, but an entire system with many moving parts.

My system is so much more than just picking a bunch of stitches and threads that I think will look good on a particular canvas. In fact, I’ve given it a name – I call it The Needlepoint Success System.

Specifically, my Needlepoint Success System includes strategic planning that is precisely aligned with The Stitcher’s Club. It includes a color theory component, a canvas evaluation plan, a materials strategy, a focus on working the canvas and how it will be finished, and so much more.

And when everything lines up perfectly, your project turns out exactly like you envisioned (maybe even better!). Before you know it, you’re on your way to developing your skills beyond your wildest dreams so that you can stitch with confidence.

Needlepoint Myth #2: Choosing stitches and threads for needlepoint projects takes a TON of effort and entirely too much time.

True. Choosing stitches and threads ISN’T easy.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be relatively simple when met with the right A-Z blueprint that leaves nothing to chance.

From pairing together the most affordable and reliable information resources to knowing exactly which kind of threads to use to maximize canvas enhancement, a step-by-step blueprint can take an otherwise COMPLEX strategy and make it attainable for even the most time-starved stitcher.

And for the stitcher that possesses such a blueprint, the “complexity” of choosing stitches and threads for your projects actually becomes a huge creative advantage, giving them the unique chance to be able to write their very own stitch guides effectively and with confidence.

And on a final note, YES, executing the Needlepoint Success Strategy requires effort…but you’ve already proven that you’re willing to put in effort – you just need the reassurance of knowing that every bit of energy you put into developing your skills will come back to you tenfold.

What you CAN’T afford to do is waste time and energy in perpetual “figure it out” mode.

Needlepoint Myth #3: I’m fine; I’ve taken lots of classes and stitched several canvases using stitch guides.

While it’s awesome that you got a head start on learning to use decorative stitches and novelty threads a while back, relying on others to create stitch guides for you can actually become a detriment to your stitching success.

Your choices are limited to the whims of professional stitch guide writers…

On-site classes can be expensive…

Custom stitch guides can also be quite expensive…

Older designs (even those released as recently as 2 years ago) are regarded as passé…

it’s not the solution to being able to choose your very own stitches and threads for YOUR projects.

Hint: It’s not enough to just use professional stitch guides or take project based classes and expect to be able to eventually do it yourself.

So when you add it all up, there’s very little you can rely on from the tactics you’ve used in the past if you want to succeed at choosing the very best stitches and threads for the canvases in YOUR stash (and for those you’ll undoubtedly add to it!).

Which quickly helps us dispel our next myth…

Needlepoint Myth #4: It’s too late. I could never learn how to choose decorative stitches for my canvases.

Sure, you missed the boat by using professional stitch guides and classes as a tactic…

…but there’s always another boat coming!

And that next boat is…wait for it…

Choosing stitches and threads strategically using a needlepoint success process.

And if you’re reading this post RIGHT NOW, then you’re in a unique position to take advantage of this strategic approach, and in doing so, stake your claim to conquer overwhelm and frustration so you can finally stitch with confidence!

How so? Well, I’m offering a new workshop at the end of this month. You’ll hear more about it later this week, so keep an eye out for how you can join. 😉

Chances are that, even if you feel like you’ll never be able to choose stitches and threads for your canvases to create one-of-a-kind needlepoint treasures, you can up your game by implementing the strategies that I’ll share inside this workshop.

Alrighty – that’s all for now, my friend!

Have a terrific week and, until next time…

Happy Stitching!!
Stitch with a smile!

10 thoughts on “4 Needlepoint Myths and How to Avoid Them”

  1. I look forward to your upcoming workshops and continued encouragement! Meanwhile, will you identify the stitches/thread choices in the wedding ornament above this post?
    Kathy H

    • Hi Kathy
      Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I’ll be happy to share the list of stitches with you for the ornament. Just send an email to [email protected] and we’ll get you taken care of. I’m actually out of town right now, so it’ll be about 10 days before I can reply with the info. 😉
      Have a terrific rest of your day…

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Lynne! The workshop is going to be oodles of F U N, so I hope you can join me. We’ll share details soon…
      Have a terrific rest of your day!
      Ellen 🙂

  2. Oh my , I felt like you were speaking directly to me as I have experience all 4 of those myths. Was just about to throw in the towel but reading your encouraging post saved me and my projects. Looking forward to workshop. Thanks , your shared knowledge is very much appreciated.
    Charlette B

    • Oh wow, Charlette… I’m so glad you read this post – and that you changed your mind about throwing in the towel on your projects. Hang in there and we’ll get you going on those canvases super soon!
      And thank you for your kind words. It’s a joy to share what I’ve learned through the years with my followers. 🙂

  3. SOOOO ready to try to plan a stitch guide.I am ok at small projects with little detail…time to tackle a canvas that needs more attention.

    • Hi Susan!
      Do you have a canvas in mind? Be sure to bring it to our next Stitcher’s Club call, if you do. I’d love to see it – and we can start doing some brainstorming. 😉


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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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