Stitch Options

Most of our designs will be stitched in tent stitch, which is a diagonal stitch that covers the intersection of the canvas. The tent stitch always runs from bottom left to top right. There are two basic tent stitches- continental and basketweave. Continental is a little simpler for a beginner. It comes in handy in smaller areas, and when trying to compensate around a font. Basketweave is often used to cover larger areas, and has certain advantages, like keeping canvases from becoming distorted in shape.  Don't forget that the stitches should all run the same way - the good news is that diagonal is the same if you hold the canvas upside down, which often helps when you are in an awkward spot in the design.

Continental Stitch

This is the most commonly used needlepoint stitch. It is often used for smaller areas.


Following the diagram to the right, bring your needle up at 1, down at 2, and so on.

For the second row, come up through the canvas at 9, down at 10, and so on.  Repeat! 


Basketweave Stitch

Basketweave is often used for larger areas of canvas.  It also has the benefit of keeping the canvas close to its original shape. It gets its name because the back of the canvas will have a woven appearance.


Follow the diagram - this stitch works from the top corner of the area to be stitched, and woks diagonally over the canvas.



This stitch will be incredibly helpful with the narrow lines in the letters, or adding a stem to a floral pattern. You can stitch horizontally or vertically. If stitching letters, use this stitch in combination with tent stitch to form the message. If using for stems or other detail, use this stitch OVER your background tent stitch.

WSBackstitch cropped.jpg

French Knots

Some of our kits have a floral design that may have a French Knot suggested for dotting an I, or the center of a flower. I dare you to not get hooked on these, they are fun to make and very effective!


Pull your needle up from the back in the spot where you want the French Knot. Holding the point of the needle near the canvas, wrap your thread two times around the needle, and insert the needle back into the original spot. Keeping the thread taut, pull the needle through the canvas carefully. Voila! A perfect little accent.

french knot.jpg

Water Stitch

The Water Stitch is a fun way to break up the monotony of stitching a background with tent stitch.  It is recommended for the background of our Stay Salty canvas to add movement.

Start at point number 1(on the left) and go diagonally one stitch as if you are making a tent stitch. From the back you move over 3 and down 1, come up through the canvas and go back to spot number 2. It's easier to follow the diagram to the right.  This stitch is worked left to right, top to bottom.

water-stitch (1).png

Upright Cross

The Upright Cross is a fun and textural way to fill an open area. It works wonderfully as a border area to define a space within a sea of tent stitch, or as a textural stripe, or fill up an area that needs more than flat tent stitches.

The stitch is worked from the top right, then moves left and down the area.

Although the numbers may be a bit hard to see on this diagram, remember that you will finish each cross as you go. And the really only important part is the top stitch on every cross is horizontal - this needs to be consistent, or it will frankly drive you crazy.