Three Go-Anywhere Needlepoint Background Stitches

Do you think of needlepoint backgrounds like the sky in a jigsaw puzzle? They can seem like a lot of same-same when you just want the project to be finished so you can start another one.

Here are three versatile needlepoint background stitches - or filler stitches - that go anywhere. They will transform the large spaces on your needlepoint canvas from "meh" to "yeah"!

1. Nobuko Needlepoint Background Stitch

Nobuko needlepoint stitch shown as a stitched sample.

This is such a fun little needlepoint background stitch. It uses diagonal stitches but it doesn't really have a direction, so it can go anywhere.

The Nobuko stitch adds some nice texture to an otherwise bland background. See how it elevates this Klimatet needlepoint kit design.

Klimatet needlepoint kit with Nobuko decorative stitch background


The Nobuko stitch is easy to create. It is stitched in rows, like a Continental stitch.

Nobuko needlepoint background stitch

It's best to compensate this stitch as you go by reducing the long diagonal stitch to fit in around other objects in your design. The Nobuku stitch is one of the easier ones to compensate as everything flows in the same direction.

Pro Tip: Use an over-dyed thread with the Nobuko stitch to create realistic sky or water. 

2. Upright Cross Needlepoint Filler Stitch

The Upright Cross is a great filler stitch for those niggly little spots where you need a small stitch that doesn't show any direction. It can also be used to add texture to a larger background - but you might want to thin your thread as it is a closely packed stitch (not all threads can be "thinned"; only those that have individual plies).

The Upright Cross stitch offers great coverage and has a luxurious texture. If you are using a stranded thread, consider reducing the thickness so the stitches are not so tightly packed.

We used the Upright Cross stitch to provide a decorative frame to this Fancy Bitch needlepoint kit.

Fancy Bitch needlepoint design with Upright Cross stitch.

Stitch the Upright Cross in diagonal rows, as shown in the diagram below. It stitches up fast, so your needlepoint background will soon be a rich tapestry.

upright cross needlepoint background stitch

Pro Tip: Use a Very Velvet thread to stitch clothing, e.g. a Santa jacket, in the Upright Cross stitch and marvel at the smooth, sumptuous garment you create.

3. Parisian Needlepoint Background Stitch

Are you looking for a needlepoint background stitch that stitches up super-fast? The Parisian needlepoint embroidery stitch might be just the ticket.

It's an orderly stitch and is great to fill geometric spaces or large background areas. We used it on this Comin' In Hot needlepoint kit to add a decorative frame. The long stitch in this Parisian stitch crosses over 6 intersections which is why this is a needlepoint background stitch that gobbles up the canvas.

 Comin In Hot needlepoint kit with Parisian stitch frame

Here's how the needlepoint Parisian stitch is made...

needlepoint Parisian background stitch

Pro Tip: You can also lay this stitch down horizontally. Choose which way will work best depending upon the space you want to fill.

We hope you find plenty of uses for these three very versatile, very easy needlepoint background stitches.

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