Abstract Needlepoint – Stitches

Originally posted 2009-07-13 08:48:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

abstract cross stitch as needlepoint, showing stitches

Needlepoint, when done in all Basketweave, looks dull to me. It’s too flat. While I want there to be flat places, so the eye can rest, I also want texture. This is even more important when the design is abstract, so your mind can’t “imagine” the real things depicted. That’s one reason for using other stitches. Another is that with the restricted color scheme I’m using, the texture of the stitches is needed to enliven it.

In the few blocks of the abstract I’ve done, you can see the plan which is developing. I only have two rules for picking stitches. 1. All single thread wide blocks are done in Tent Stitch. 2. Blocks of the same size in the same thread use the same stitch, blocks in different threads may use the same stitch.

I’m using as my inspiration Amy Wolfson’s wonderful stitch pieces, such as Rhapsody and AmyBear’s Adventure. I’ve stitched Rhapsody and Romance, so her stitches are familiar to me. But these blocks are different sizes from hers, so I’m improvising.

Because the canvas is sandy brown and my threads don’t go with it, I’m needing to make sure the canvas is completely covered. In cases like the pink crosses at the bottom, I have to lay down threads first, then make the stitches. The pink and rose rectangles near the bottom use a variation of another of her stitches. The skinny rectangles with two crosses and a Cashmere between them are also directly inspired by some of her combinations.

Some of the blocks use box stitches, like Cashmere, but too many of them will look dull as well. One way I’m varying them is by dividing the block unevenly. I’m doing this for the larger blocks in Velour and in Watercolors because I want to show off the thread.

When you are using an overdyed thread, getting a consistent result can be a problem,. U handled the Sheep’s Silk by using a narrow Herringbone. Typically you would use two threads, one for each pass of the stitch. By using the overdye, I get changes of color (most of the time) without changing threads. Along the left edge of the piece you can see several of these.

I’ve found picking the stitches for these spaces to be more challenging than I thought it would be initially, but I just love the result.


  1. Cara says

    Although there is a lot to be stitched yet, I like your interplay of values–some dark, some medium and just a little light. It adds interest to vary proportions among values used as you have done.

  2. says

    Love all the different style’s you do in needlepointand mixing the stitches but what do you do with all of your needlepoint? Thanks Dee

  3. says

    Dee — Check out my blog post on Monday, July 20, I’m going to talk about this.

    Keep Stitching, Janet

  4. says

    I really like some of the styles you’ve mentioned here. I’m trying to get my kids into stitching, so the site is great for us. Keep up the good posting!


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