Counted Canvas Needlepoint, Charted Needlepoint, and Creating Your Own Designs!

Color Delights by Kathy Rees

Needlepoint is such a fun hobby… and if you’re like me, you want to stitch ALL the pretty canvases! Last week, we chatted about painted canvases and screen-printed designs. And this week, we’re going to explore some other options that I think you’ll L-O-V-E, too! So, what are they? Well, first you have counted canvas needlepoint. Next is charted needlepoint. And finally, if you’re feeling extra creative, you can design your own projects. 

Let’s start by taking a closer look at counted canvas needlepoint…

These kinds of needlepoint projects include instructions for creating the design on a piece of blank canvas. Instructions typically include stitch diagrams. And sometimes, you can purchase the project as a kit that comes with both blank canvas and all the threads you’ll need to complete the design.

My friend, Kathy Rees, is the designer behind Needle Delights Originals. Kathy’s counted canvas projects include wonderful instructions and stitch diagrams. She has something for every stitcher – from beginners (check out “Inchies”) to those who have more experience (take a peek at “Graphite”).

Other terrific counted canvas designers include DebBee’s Designs, Amybear Needlepoint, Laura J. Perin Designs, and Lorene Salt Needlearts .

"Inchies" by Kathy Rees is a terrific beginner counted canvas needlepoint design

Another possibility is to stitch a counted cross stitch design…

on needlepoint canvas. When choosing this option, you’ll want to use patterns that include only full stitches. (It’s impossible to stitch half stitches in needlepoint unless you’re using Penelope canvas.)

Sampler charts are a terrific place to begin. Many designs are reproductions of antique samplers and they are super fun to stitch. There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to choosing a counted cross stitch chart. The Silver Needle in Tulsa, Oklahoma has an amazing assortment of charts, so if you’re looking for a place to start, I’d check out their website. 😉

There are also books of charted needlepoint designs. Kaffe Fassett and Elizabeth Bradley Designs come to mind first. And, as I mentioned on Needlepoint TV™ last week, Elizabeth Bradley kits come with a printed chart.

Charted needlepoint designs by Kaffe Fassett and Elizabeth Bradley

And finally, if you’re up for a truly DIY approach….

you can design, paint, choose threads and stitches, and stitch your creations all on your own. Heck – you can even finish them yourself. 🙂 

There are lots of different ways to design your own needlepoint project.

You can draw a design on graph paper or plain paper and simply trace over it. Or you can paint the design onto a piece of blank canvas. (I recommend using Liquitex acrylic paint, slightly thinned with water so as not to clog the canvas holes.)

There is also computer software that allows you to create your own designs. You can even turn a photograph into a pattern!

Whether you choose to draw or paint an image or chart a counted canvas needlepoint design, your creation will be a one-of-a-kind heirloom treasure. 

Counted canvas needlepoint designs make terrific holiday ornaments.

All of these different types of needlepoint make terrific gifts…

especially since they’re not as expensive as hand painted canvases – or even screen printed designs.

And speaking of making gifts, you may have seen that I’m hosting a special Christmas in July needlepoint workshop.

During that one-day workshop, I’ll be sharing oodles of stitches that you can use to embellish your holiday canvases.

And I’ll also share ideas for creating counted canvas needlepoint ornaments that you can gift to family and friends.

I think  my favorite part of this workshop, though, is the fact that I’ll be sharing tips for how to compensate decorative stitches. Not sure what that means? Compensating is where you adjust the stitches to fit into the spaces on YOUR canvases. 😉

So, if you’d like to learn more, just click here.  I’d love to have you join me!

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

Until next time, happy stitching…

Stitch with a smile!


PS: If you want to learn more about my Christmas in July needlepoint workshop, click 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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