Three Tips for Choosing Needlepoint Stitches That Work Well Together

Three Tips for Choosing Needlepoint Stitches That Work Well Together

Now that you know about stitch families, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’re ready to learn how to use that information to help you choose stitches that work well together on your projects. And in this blog post, I’m going to share three of my favorite tips with you. 🙂

Before I start, though – if you’re new around here, you definitely ought to check out this post and this post first.

But if you’re not new to the Serendipity Needleworks family (especially if you’re a member of The Stitcher’s Club™), we can dive right in. 😉

The first tip I have for you about choosing needlepoint stitches that work well together is…

Match the shape of the stitch with the shape on your canvas.

That means you’ll need to carefully examine your canvas.

Around here, we call that Evaluating Your Canvas. (It’s the first step in the Stitch Guide Formula™.)

So, how do you do that? Great question!

I begin by looking closely at the design components on the canvas. Then I make a list of them. Beside each design component, I write down what general shape it is: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, etc.

After I complete that step, I begin browsing through stitch books to find stitches that have a similar shape. The easiest way to keep up with those stitches (so you don’t forget which ones you like) is to jot them down beside the design component.

My second tip is…

Keep perspective/proportion in mind when choosing needlepoint stitches.

Lots of stitches that belong to the same stitch family look similar to one another. For example, in the straight stitch family, the Criss-Cross Hungarian stitch looks a lot like the Serendipity stitch.

Need a visual? Alrighty…

Here’s the stitch diagram for the Criss-Cross Hungarian stitch.

The criss-cross Hungarian stitch works well with the Serendipity stitch.


And here’s the stitch diagram for the Serendipity stitch…

The Serendipity stitch is a really good companion stitch for the criss-cross Hungarian stitch.

Notice how much they look alike?

The Criss-Cross Hungarian stitch is the larger of the two, so you would want to use it on a design component that is in the foreground of the design.

And the Serendipity stitch is smaller, so it would work better on an area of the canvas that is more toward the middle ground or background.

See, it’s important to keep scale/perspective in mind when choosing stitches for a project because you want your canvas to convey a sense of balance. When things are out of proportion, they look wonky – and they aren’t pleasing to look at.

And that brings me to my third tip for choosing stitches that work well together on your projects…

Use a doodle canvas to test stitches out before executing them on your project.


A doodle canvas is the best way to audition stitches for your projects.


There’s nothing like trying out stitches on a doodle (aka practice) canvas to ensure that the stitches you choose for your project will look good side by side.

I always keep both 13/14 and 18 mesh doodle canvases handy so I can easily audition stitches before actually stitching them on my project.

This one little action will save you oodles of time (and frustration!).

And it will also save you M O N E Y!

How so? Well, you won’t find yourself continuously ripping out your beautiful (and, sometimes expensive!) threads because you don’t like how the stitches look next to each other.

Of course, there are lots of other guidelines to use when choosing the best stitches for your needlepoint canvases. (That’s the kind of thing we talk about inside The Stitcher’s Club and in my workshops.)

But, hopefully, these tips will serve you well as you begin choosing stitches that work well together for your very own projects.

Okey dokey, my friend… that’s all for now.

Thank you ever so much for stopping by and, until next time – happy stitching!!

Stitch with a smile!




PS: We have a YouTube channel where I share even more needlepoint nuggets, so hop on over and check it out here.

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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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