Try decorative stitches for the first time with our helpful tips!
There are literally thousands of different needlepoint stitches, so it is completely understandable if it's overwhelming to know where to start. 

If you're tired of doing basketweave and continental and are looking to add more texture to your projects, it's time to try out different decorative stitches!

Decorative stitches are a great way to add texture and interest to a project. Plus, it can be a fun new challenge to try something you've never done before. 
Below we're sharing our tips for starting out with decorative stitches, along with our three favorite stitches to try!

1. Try one new stitch at a time:
If you're trying out decorative stitches for the first time, we recommend picking just one decorative stitch at a time to master. That way you don't get overwhelmed. There's nothing wrong with just adding one different stitch to a project to really make that area pop. The wonderful thing about needlepoint is that you can take any canvas and make it as complex or keep it as simple as you would like. 

2. Big open areas of color are your friend:
When deciding where to add a decorative stitch to your canvas, trying it on a large open area of color is suggested! Maybe you want to add some texture to the sky or a background. This will make it easy to get the rhythm of the stitch and gain your confidence. You don't want to have to immediately start doing what is called "compensating" (where you have to immediately start altering the stitch you're trying to master) to make it fit in the canvas. So, make it easy on yourself!
Our alphabet letter kits are a great design to try out a decorative stitch on the background. Click here to check them out. 

3. How to read a stitch diagram:
Reading a stitch diagram is relatively straightforward. Take a look at the diagrams below. You will see vertical and horizontal white lines. Those represent canvas threads. The grey squares represent holes in the canvas. 

In the case above, you'll also see diagonal lines outlined in black, likely with a series of numbers surrounding them. These lines represent where you place your needlepoint stitches. The numbers will teach you the direction in which to work the stitch. But it should be said, if it makes more sense for you to work the stitch differently, go for it. Just try and work your decorative stitches as consistently as possible. 

4. Try stitches out on a Doodle Canvas first, and you'll never have to rip:
If you're still gaining your confidence with decorative stitches, and selecting them for yourself, we've got a must have tool designed to help you out:
The Doodle Kit. 

A Doodle Canvas Kit is a blank canvas that comes with a selection of different threads for you to practice on. It's the perfect place to try out new stitches before you're ready to commit to putting them in the canvas itself. 

Save yourself the hassle of ripping stitches out of the canvas that you don't likeand practice on your doodle canvas.

Learn more about the by clicking here.

5. Our three favorite stitches to try for your first decorative stitch:
There are without a doubt varying difficulties of decorative stitch. We've pulled together our three favorite stitches for novice decorative stitchers. 

Diagonal Mosaic Stitch:
Diagonal Mosaic Stitch is a great diagonal stitch. It's made up of stitches that span over one canvas intersection and over two on the diagonal. It's a great stitch to add movement to your canvas, plus it's easy to compensate if you have to. 

Click here to head to The Stitch Vault to learn more about it. 

Scotch Stitch:
Scotch Stitch makes small squares in the canvas. It almost looks like little bricks so it makes a great border and also works well for architectural canvases.

Brick Stitch
There are TONS of variations on Brick Stitch, so once you've mastered one, you can do them all! We have a whole category on Brick Stitches in the vault. This version is worked with the stitch angled horizontally in the canvas. Try this stitch for smaller areas on your canvas.

Click here to head to The Stitch Vault to learn more about it. 

If you've already mastered the stitches above, don't forget we have hundreds of free stitch diagrams in The Stitch Vault...
Click here to find inspiration for your next project. 
September 15, 2021 — KC Needlepoint