Mid-Century Modern Needlepoint

calder inspired hand painted canvas needlepoint from magic needle

Earlier this week I got a query about finding hand painted canvas needlepoint for a mid-century modern house. That got me thinking. Often we want to do needlepoint that will work with the decor in our home.

That’s easy enough if your furniture is traditional of some kind, but if your house is modern, mid-century modernneedlepoint to fit is harder to find.

Here are some places to look.

Heartland House has authorized reproductions of Frank Lloyd Wright designs. I’ve done one of the windows in Cross Stitch and have seen the canvases, I think they’d work well. The albums (links at the bottom of the page) give a more complete view of everything they have available.

You may not associate him with mid-century modern, but many of his architectural ideas and his houses (especially from the 40’s and 50’s) are this style. He is a huge influence for this period of architecture.

Another possibility is to pick designs from other artists working around the same period.

Lani Designs has some interesting abstracts, many inspired by Miro which might work.

Art Needlepoint has reproductions of art, including some great Georgia O’Keefe flowers, as well, as other artists.

Charley Harper’s designs are popular for needlepoint. Many shops carry them and they are often available on eBay. There are very mid-century modern in there colors and style, but add a dash of whimsy to the decor.

Other things you might look for are designs inspired by Matisse cutouts (Magic Needle and Changing Woman Designs have some) or posters from that period. Magic Needle also has Miro adaptations and Calder one is pictured at the top of this post), another mid-century artist and one of my favorites.

Another idea is to look to geometric canvases, and stitch them in a mid-century color scheme. Look for reproduction fabrics and paint color collections for ideas. Then pick threads in those colors and use them to fill shapes.

You can also do this yourself easily by tracing a shape onto canvas. I like this idea, I’m doing it myself, in the Arts & Crafts colors I love as an inset in a tote bag.


  1. says

    Although Adler has great mid-century designs, they are already made needlepoint. The designs mentioned in the post are for stitching yourself.

    I love his stuff though and wish he licensed his work for kits or canvases.

    Keep Stitching,

  2. says

    Hi! you may to have a look a look at my website. I have a few cushions with a mid century feel and more on the way in 2014. Visit me at the studio.
    Best wishes, Barbara

  3. says

    Hi Janet, My three new French needlepoint designs are also very mid-century, based as they are on the paintings of Charles Cobelle, very active in the 1950s. In the film “An American in Paris” made in the 50s, Gene Kelly’s famous 19-minute ballet, toward the end, features paintings very reminiscent of Cobelle’s style – so 50s! Thanks, Sally


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