Needlepoint Stitches For Sky - Three Fab Ideas

What are the best needlepoint stitches for sky?

Here are three great needlepoint stitches for sky. Open skies, stitches for cloudy skies, windy days; you name it, one of these needlepoint stitches for sky will do the trick.

Needlepoint stitches for sky blog post

Needlepoint canvases that have a lot of sky, like this Beach Boys design (available on, can be enhanced by using clever decorative or open stitches.

The next time you're wondering, what are some good needlepoint stitches for sky, look no further than...

1. Needlepoint Stitch For Sky - Double Brick Stitch

The Double Brick needlepoint stitch doesn't have a strong directional appearance so it works well for any expansive area - like sky. It's a good needlepoint stitch for other background areas, too. 

The Double Brick stitch is oh-so-versatile:

  • It can be stitched over 2 or 4 canvas threads. So, if you have a smaller area of sky, stitch over 2 canvas threads, or stitch over 4 if you have a large area of sky. 
  • It can be oriented horizontally or vertically for different effects. 

Needlepoint stitches for sky double brick stitch


needlepoint stitches for sky horizontal double brick stitch

The Double Brick stitch works with a variety of thread types; Use a subtly variegated thread to give the sky depth and differentiation;  Ribbon threads and laid stranded threads (separate the threads into their individual strands and then "lay" them on the canvas by stitching with a laying tool) give a smooth appearance - perfect for sunny days or tranquil skies; Single-strand threads produce a more textured appearance.

Here's how you do a needlepoint Double Brick stitch for stitching sky or other background areas. Compensate by adding a half-length stitch to straighten the edge.

Needlepoint vertical double brick stitch diagram


 horizontal needlepoint double brick stitch diagram


#2 Needlepoint Stitch For Sky – Diagonal Elongated Cashmere Variation 

Most Cashmere stitches slant to the right. This elongated variation of a Cashmere stitch slants left. It gives a subtle sense of movement, like a breeze blowing, that can be varied by changing the height of the stitch and/or the number of stitches in the repeat.  We used 4 and 7 stitches in the repeat in the following examples which have the Cashmere stitch flowing horizontally.

Needlepoint stitches for sky elongated cashmere

needlepoint stitches for sky elongated cashmere

The Cashmere stitch can also be worked vertically...

needlepoint stitches for sky vertical elongated cashmere

This Cashmere variation works well with almost any thread you have - flat, multi-ply, or single-strand threads, as well as monochrome or variegated threads.

Here is a diagram for how to do this versatile needlepoint stitch for sky with a four stitch repeat.

needlepoint stitches for sky elongated cashmere diagram


#3 Needlepoint Stitch For Sky – Woven Variation 

Open stitches make great needlepoint stitches for sky. They are usually quick to stitch, so if you have a larger area you will make fast progress using an open stitch.

This woven variation needlepoint stitch works well when you have a lot of sky and want a quick stitch.  It is non-directional and its appearance can be changed with your thread choice. 

needlepoint stitches for sky open woven stitch

Try using different threads for the vertical and horizontal rows or slightly different colors or textures.

It's easy to create this Woven variation - stitch the vertical rows first using a darning stitch, then stitch the horizontal rows using the same darning stitch. 

needlepoint stitches for sky open woven diagram

 An open stitch like this woven variation is useful when you want the sky in your piece to fade into the background.  Consider using a thinner thread than you would normally use for your particular canvas so that it recedes rather than features in the overall design.

One of our favorite uses for this open woven stitch is when you have a beautifully painted, multicolored, sky that you cannot figure out how to stitch.  All the colors are stunning, but managing the transitions from one color to another seems impossible without looking splotchy. 

needlepoint stitches for sky open woven

An open stitch like the woven variation lets the beauty of the painted canvas sky show through.  Again, vary the weight and texture of the thread for different effects.

The Diagonal Elongated Cashmere Variation stitch and the Open Woven variation stitch were adapted for sky from the book Patchwork of Peace by Mary Clark Donegan.

Pro Tip: It's important to use stretcher bars when stitching an open darning stitch. Also, when you have a stranded thread and are using a laying tool.

These are all great needlepoint stitches for sky, and for other background areas, too. What else is good? Sticking with a needlepoint tent stitch like the go-anywhere Basketweave stitch. Find out how to do a perfect needlepoint Basketweave stitch.

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three needlepoint stitches for sky

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