Guest Blogger “My First Lesson in Needlepoint” + Fantastic Beth Gantz Painted Canvases and DMC Threads Giveaway!Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Due to technical issues I am re-posting the blog with revisions to simplify the needlepoint lesson into two posts instead of four and extending the giveaway drawing date.
I wanted to have a guest blogger on DMCThreads show us from a beginners perspective what it is like to learn how to needlepoint. My friend Alice volunteered to be my guinea pig so we could show you a step-by-step tutorial of how to needlepoint. We also are giving away Needlepoint Kits with Beth Gantz’s canvases and DMC Tapestry Wool so you can make this fun design at home! Same rules apply, become a Google Friend and leave a comment on one of my posts! So without further ado let me introduce my guest blogger….
I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful designer and store owner, Beth Gantz, at the TNNA winter show in Anaheim California. I was hanging out with Emma at the DMC booth and Beth and I got to talking. We discussed how cool and trendy needlework can be, and that we think it’s not as hot as it should be considering how easy and enjoyable it is. Beth, Emma and I decided it would be a great to develop a lesson in needlepoint using a basic stitch, and post it for our wonderful followers on the DMC Blog.
To overcome the challenge of distance, me being in New Jersey and Beth being in Ohio, we decided we should take advantage of today’s technology and utilize Skype. I could see and hear Beth as she taught me needlepoint, almost as good as being in the room with her! Beth sent me one of her painted canvases beforehand. Beth hand paints beautiful canvases. Her fun initial canvases are very popular as they are an easy stitch and look great framed, or adhered to a bag.
For this needlepoint lesson I chose Beth’s initial canvas in the argyle background in aqua and brown colors. After I was done stitching the canvas, Beth was going to show me how to put it on one of her tote bags that she sells in her store.
For our project we chose:
DMC Tapestry Thread colors 7995, 7801, 7900, and white
Size 20 tapestry needle
Beth Gantz’s 10 count mesh painted canvas
Beth’s Stitching Tips:
• You want to work with thread that is no longer than 18 inches at a time. A quick measuring tip is to measure the distance from your nose to your outstretched arm.
• If you get your rows mixed up lay your needle down to help you straighten out what row your stitches should be in.
• If your thread gets twisted up simply let go of the needle and let it hang and untwist.
• Make sure to clip all your the ends of your threads as you go so that you don’t pick up threads as you stitch.
• Stitch the smaller details on your canvas first, larger areas later.
I didn’t use a frame for this project as the canvas was very stiff, but you should first tape the sides of your canvas to keep it from snagging your threads. You can also mount the canvas on a square wooden stretcher and hold with brass thumbtacks (brass wont rust!) to keep it taught.
I first settled myself into a comfortable chair, made sure I had good lighting, and threaded my needle. Remember the diagram below?
We are stitching this canvas using a basketweave stitch, which is very easy to learn and looks beautiful when finished! Beth first showed me how to knot my thread at the end using a regular sewing knot. I was to start my first stitch by inserting the needle into my canvas an inch away from my starting point with the knot showing on top of the design. This knot is called a waste or away knot, and it will be snipped off later.
Compliments of stitching.com
The basketweave stitch is worked on the diagonal of the canvas, or on the bias line. The finished stitch results in the look of basketweave on the back of the canvas.
Compliments of Stitching.com
I started to stitch my diamond by carrying the thread over and starting the first stitch by coming up from under the canvas on the bottom left hole, and over to the top right into the next hole to complete the first stitch.
Beth held up the canvas to the camera and demonstrated how to follow the rows on your canvas to complete the first row of diagonal basketweave stitches.
Beth then showed me how to end my stitches by running the thread underneath my stitches like this.
I was ready to start stitching in my brown background. We once again made a waste knot and started stitching the brown areas of the canvas using the basketweave stitch.
I am loving needlepoint and now that I am done with my brown background, its time to move onto my blue initial.
I threaded my needle using my dark blue thread. I started in the right hand corner of the initial stitching on a diagonal from bottom left to top right. I made sure to keep all my stitches going in the same direction, and worked on keeping the tension of the threads the same so my stitches looked neat and uniform.
At the end of the lesson my A turned out really well!
Beth then showed me how to stitch in my white background which was the last element of this design to be stitched.
It’s amazing and so much fun to see the design develop and take shape with every stitch I take! For homework I finished up the design. It sort of consumed me, in a good way, and I felt peaceful and relaxed for those glorious two hours it took me to finish my design.
So here is my finished canvas, what do we think??
Stay tuned for tomorrows tutorial on how to finish your canvas onto a tote bag.
I wanted to round up some great stitch guides that you can take a look at to practice your needlepoint.
Janet Perry has a great free needlepoint tutorial that gets emailed to you in increments.
About.com Needlepoint has great simple stitch guides for you
Don’t forget to enter in the DMC Needlepoint Kit Giveaway!
Beth Gantz’s heart and polka dot canvases and butterfly and polka dot canvases with the DMC thread to complete your stitched piece. We are giving away five needlepoint kits that will include:
Painted canvas by Beth Gantz
DMC Pearl Cotton or DMC Tapestry Wool
DMC Tapestry needle
Become a Google Friend and leave a comment to enter! Drawing is Friday April 30th at noon. Good Luck!