Posted by: Jocelyn | January 30, 2008

Needlepoint on linens

I have been intrigued to see Sharon B talking in her blog about working needlepoint on linen and even-weave fabrics; until 2006 when I got the pattern for the Puzzle Purse, I had no idea there was anything else to use! I suppose because I started doing needlepoint after becoming bored with cross-stitch, I just kept using the same fabrics. When I saw in the Puzzle Purse pattern that I should be using needlepoint canvas I was stunned – I was envisaging the canvas that deckchairs and old tents are made of.  <grin>  I learned needlepoint from books, and I really only looked at the actual stitch directions, not the chapters that discussed materials and tools. In fact my first needlepoint book, a liitle square book put out by Anchor, only had stitch instructions. I still refer to that little book.

Here are 2 needlepoint samplers I worked on linen – if you click on them you will go to my Flickr page where you can see them closer up (click on ‘All Sizes’). The first one is on 24 count, and is 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter. I just started stitching this, with no set plan, and I was pleased with how it turned out.
needlepoint sampler 1
The next sampler is 49 squares, each with a different stitch, and is just over 7 inches (18cm) square.  It is done on 28 count linen but I think it would be more effective with fewer threads to the inch. It is difficult to see the details sometimes. But I was pleased with the overall look – 2 subdued colours with just enough difference to distinguish them; it seems to reinforce the play of light on the stitches. I think that is one of the reasons I love needlepoint – because the light catches the stitches differently depending on the angle of the thread, and creates high points and shadows. I love the way you can use one thread and yet it often looks like 2 distinct tones of colour because the vertical threads seem different to the horizontal.
needlepoint sampler 2



  1. Very nice! Your work is an inspiration to me to plod on with my tapestry wool on canvas sampler – the linen versions look great – what types of threads do you use?

  2. Thanks, Paula. These are done with DMC floss, as is most of my embroidery. We have little access to fancier ranges in Auckland – some Caron Waterlilies and Watercolors, but not much else.

  3. These are beautiful. I have wanted to try using some canvas stitches on linen but I wasn’t sure it would work. I will definitely try it now.

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