• Have Fun With Open Spaces

    Large open spaces on needlepoint canvases allow you to play with more complex stitches and patterns.

    In recent years the trend in needlepoint has been toward smaller projects. We get it - that instant gratification thing is hard to resist.

    Pink Hair needlepoint by Voila

    However, small designs have small stitch areas which makes it harder to build momentum with more fun and interesting stitches, like:

    • Byzantine 
    • Woven Ribbons
    • Alicia's Lace
    • Staircase
    • Oriental

    All of these stitches and many more are described in this wonderful little book...

    Sharon G's Simply Essential Needlepoint Stitch Explanations book

    Large open spaces are also really good spots for darning and bargello patterns about which whole books have been written.

    Another book we really like, here at Needlepoint.com, is Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book, by Carole H. Lake and Michael E. Boren. This book has several pages on "Large Areas" (and lots of other good ideas).

     Painted Canvas Embellishment An Idea book needlepoint

    On a design like this Little Black Dresses canvas, you could add a different stitch to each dress - almost any stitch will work here so you could try ones you haven't found a spot for before.

    Little Black Dresses needlepoint by Pippin

    These Morocco canvases by Raymond Crawford are already colorful and striking. Embellished with decorative stitches they can be made texturally beautiful as well.

    morocco needlepoint Raymond Crawford


    There is plenty of room on these long animal canvases by Zecca (below) to apply darning patterns (let the shading come through) or stitches that need a lot of room to play out and come to life.

    Zecca needlepoint designs Gator and Chicken

     Canvases with bold stripes like these ones by Two Sisters are perfect for linear stitches.

    Nautical needlepoint by Two Sisters

     Try open stitches and darning patterns for skies and backgrounds - they stitch up quickly and add interest to an otherwise one-dimensional area.

    bear in sailboat needlepoint canvas

    sleigh needlepoint Birds of a Feather

    Aqua Flower Burst needlepoint by Unique NZ Designs

    Green Santa by Raymond Crawford

     If you're new(ish) to needlepoint and want to try out decorative stitches, then canvases like these that have large spaces are excellent places to practice. 

    Tip: When using decorative stitches in large areas start your stitch pattern in the middle of the design area. This will center the design and make it look more natural.

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