Where To Start Stitching A Needlepoint Canvas

Needlepoint experts recommend stitching white or light areas first on a needlepoint canvas.

And, there's a good reason for this. 

If you stitch the white areas first then the white stitches won't "trap" the ends of darker threads beneath them (which causes shadows). 

This strategy usually works well. But, what if you have a canvas like this Absof--kinlutely design where there is a lot of colored detail that would be much easier if it were stitched in first?  

Absofuckinlutely needlepoint canvas

We recommend stitching the detail first in these instances. But ...

...when you come to the end of a dark thread, snip it long (1/4 - 1/2" inch) if it is close to the white areas. If you are finishing off a thread in the middle of a dark area then you won't need to do this as it is unlikely to get trapped by a white stitch.

When you cut the thread ends long they are less likely to trap fuzzy ends beneath the white or lighter stitches. And, if they do get caught, the ends are more easily pulled out from beneath the white or light stitches. 

Then, when all your white stitches are stitched (especially those close to the dark areas), you can trim these longer threads closer to the stitches so the back of your work looks neater. Not too close, though, if the threads are slippery as the ends may pull through or loosen the tension on the stitch. Leaving approximately 1/4" on the back is best for silks and other smooth threads.


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Where to start stitching a needlepoint canvas

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