Guest Blogger “My First Lesson in Needlepoint” + Fantastic Beth Gantz Painted Canvases and DMC Threads Giveaway!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hello Everyone-

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….

Alice’s Post

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.

Basketweave Stitch

Compliments of

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

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.

Barbara Bergsten

The tent stitch is very similiar to the basketweave that I am learning

Janet Perry has a great free needlepoint tutorial that gets emailed to you in increments. 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!


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Categories: Needlepoint, Needlework Tags: , , , , , ,

29 Responses to “Guest Blogger “My First Lesson in Needlepoint” + Fantastic Beth Gantz Painted Canvases and DMC Threads Giveaway!Comment RSS feed

  • Belinda
    April 14th, 2010 1:00 pm

    I have been following your needlepoint journey and enjoying it! Great diagrams and explanations – fabulous for beginners and a good refresher for seasoned needlepointers. Looking forward to reading your final installment…

  • Kelly
    April 20th, 2010 5:34 pm

    Nice easy to follow post.

    Please enter me in the draw.

    Cheers, Kelly

  • Zen
    April 20th, 2010 9:00 pm

    Thank you for the easy-to-follow tutorial. I have never done needlepoint before and am looking forward to doing my first project.
    Please enter my name in the draw.

  • Ramya Ramanan
    April 21st, 2010 9:27 pm

    I have never done needlepoint before and this is a great introductory session. Wonderful giveaway and please enter me in the draw! Would love to win it and start on needlepoint!

  • eska
    April 22nd, 2010 6:36 am

    You make it look so simple! Definitely I have to find time to do some needlework.

  • Kelly
    April 22nd, 2010 6:40 pm

    Love this post!!! I wanna win so I can learn to needlepoint with these lovely patterns!!! :o)

  • claudette
    April 23rd, 2010 11:17 am

    I think having a newbee to the art of cross stitch to do a piece is a wonderful idea! I would also like to enter your contest for the giveaway. With it, I would like to teach someone who would like to learn how to stitch .

    Thanks and have a great day!

  • claudette
    April 23rd, 2010 11:23 am

    I would love to enter your contest. Thankyou

  • Nicole
    April 23rd, 2010 12:31 pm

    Hi! I just found out about this blog! I LOVE IT!!! I only did a few projects on plastic canvas and I love using it. Please enter me in the contest I would love to win this prize it looks so nice!

  • trillium
    April 23rd, 2010 8:02 pm

    The diagrams are very clear and I’d like to try a small project.

  • trillium
    April 23rd, 2010 8:03 pm

    Oh, please enter my name in the drawing!

  • Rialette
    April 25th, 2010 9:11 am

    I love the designs! Looks like a fun project! Please enter my name into the draw.

  • Liz Morrow
    April 26th, 2010 12:36 am

    Very nice tutorial. Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Joan Burzinski
    April 26th, 2010 9:35 am

    I’ve been following the DMC website and finally found the blog. Just starting an Elsa Williams needlepoint and so happy to find a tutorial on basket weave stitch.

    Please submit my name in the draw.

  • Teresa S
    April 26th, 2010 7:02 pm

    Please enter me in your drawing. I enjoyed the tote finish tutorial-thanks!

  • Joanna
    April 26th, 2010 7:13 pm

    I am already a follower and a facebook fan. I appreciate the tutorial. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  • Kim R.
    April 27th, 2010 6:56 am

    I’d love a chance to enter your wonderful drawing – Thanks!

  • Julie
    April 27th, 2010 7:11 am

    Thanks so much for posting this on facebook-had you not, I might have missed it! I’ve been cross stitching for more than 20 years but haven’t attempted needlepoint yet. The heart pattern in the giveaway looks just like what we used for our wedding. I’d love to enter this contest! Thanks a million for the chance!

  • Kim Dellow
    April 27th, 2010 7:15 am

    Lovely designs, thanks for the tutorial. Kim

  • Barbara Norris
    April 27th, 2010 8:02 am

    I follow you on Facebook and have the blog in my Google Reader. So glad you started this site! Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Mary Grace McNamara
    April 27th, 2010 8:11 am

    Lovely needlepoint and great giveaway! Thanks for entering me!

    I am a follower on facebook and google!


  • AnnieNZ
    April 27th, 2010 10:31 am

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • Jackie Yingling
    April 27th, 2010 10:35 am

    I have only done cross stitch but after seeing what needlepoint is and looks like, I’m interested in a new hobby. Thank you for the wonderful tutorials. Please enter my name into the drawing.

  • Carol
    April 28th, 2010 11:15 am

    Loved the post on the finishing…I didn’t know Kreinik makes a double sided tape, but will have to check it out.

    Would love to be entered in the drawing as well.

    Thanks for a great giveaway!


  • C in DC
    April 28th, 2010 11:49 am

    Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks.

  • Beth Jackson
    April 29th, 2010 7:53 am

    I loved seeing the studios/craft rooms and tutorials of everyone on here! Please enter me in the giveaway too.

  • Marjorie
    April 29th, 2010 9:24 am

    Lovely project. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  • Barbara Crawford
    April 30th, 2010 2:45 am

    I really enjoy following your blog. Your tutorials are easy to follow and you have very interesting topics. Thank you. Please include me in your drawing. I would love to stitch one of Beth’s lovely needlepoint designs.
    Barb in TX

  • […] blog post about some recent interactive training with needlepoint designer Beth Gantz here), virtual pattern portfolios, interactive presentations… it all can start at the touch of a […]

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