Needlepainting & Canvaswork Project

Hello everyone

Hope you are all well. This week I have a little stitch a long to share with you. Many years ago I was asked by our local embroidery guild to design a workshop that would encourage the many members of the guild who did counted thread work/cross stitch to branch out into Needlepainting.

I came up with a fun concept that includes a novel way to include both Needlepainting and Canvas work embroidery. I came across this design lately in a folder on my computer and remembered how much I had enjoyed stitching it – it is great fun and very addictive! So I have created a little free design for you to try out and also a pattern which could be used to make quick Christmas decorations or gifts. The Christmas Collection pattern includes the two projects shown below and can be purchased online.


Here are the instructions for the Free White Helleborus flower project. The finished size is 7 x 7cm (2.7 x 2.7inches). Please note that it does not include the stitch instructions for the canvas work, if you are not familiar with them, you will find diagrams in the Christmas Collection pattern.


You will need:

  • A piece of very fine batiste cotton in white – approx 25 x 25cm (( x 9 inches)
  • Threads – DMC stranded cotton in Blanc, 3865, 762, 415, 640, 166, 833, 18
  • Hoop size 150cm (6 inches).
  • Needle – size 10 sharps


Transfer the flower outline on to the piece of batiste cotton and mount in a hoop. You can find the outline here – print out actual size. Choose a cotton fabric that is fine, and quite lightweight. It should of course have a close weave for Needlepainting and little or no stretch in it. I have used Zweigart cotton batiste, you can also search for Swiss heirloom fabrics online, the type used for Christening gowns or handkerchiefs.


Step 2

Stitch the flower as shown in the diagram above. Use one strand of cotton unless otherwise specified.

  • Step 1 = Fill each petal with long and short stitch, outline in split stitch
  • Step 2 = Add straight stitches around the centre.
  • Step 3 = Add french knots using 2 strands and 2 twists.


When all the stitching is complete, cut around the printed outline leaving an allowance of about 1cm (05 inches).

Tack/baste this on to the prepared canvas.


You will need:

  • A piece of 18 count mono deluxe canvas – I have used Zweigart.
  • Threads – DMC stranded cotton in 3813, Blanc, 165, 932, 931, Gloriana 12 strand silk in Highland Meadow No 040.
  • Stretcher frame size 15cm (6 inches).
  • Chenille needle size 22


I have used Gloriana silk, but you can use any brand of hand dyed variagated threads such as silk or cotton, in similar colours. Here are some suggestions: Chameleon Threads, Carons Threads, Thread Gatherer Silk N Colors.


Bind the edges of your canvas with tape to prevent snagging. Secure the canvas to the stretcher frame using thumb tacks as shown.


Tack or baste the completed Needlepainting on to the centre of your canvas.


Using a chenille needle size 22 thread all six strands of stranded cotton in to the needle. Start stitching tent stitch right through both the fabric and the canvas as shown. The stitches should be as close to the flower outline as possible.

You want to aim at filling the square around the flower. You will need a total of 26 tent stitches. Don’t worry if your stitches don’t line up with the printed outline it will all work out in the end.


Cut away the excess fabric as close to the edge as is possible. These edges will now be covered by the canvas work as you progress.


You are now working through the canvas only. You will need to use all 6 strands of cotton in the chenille needle – when using Gloriana silk separate 6 strands from the 12.

Stitch the borders as shown below.


When all the canvas work stitches are complete, cut around the border – leave about 1cm (0.5 inches) for the seam allowance. You can make this into a pincushion or item of your choice – for the pincushion choose a suitable matching fabric for the back and make into a pincushion.

There it is – don’t you just love the way the patterns come together and the overall effect? Hope this will give you some ideas for using small Needlepainting designs in a novel way. Till next time, wherever you are in the world keep smiling and happy stitching.


12 thoughts on “Needlepainting & Canvaswork Project”

  1. what a beautiful way to use different types of embroidery and cleaning out those small titbits that seam to be left whenever you start/finish a larger project – very handy idea too to turn them into needlebooks – i will love making them – keep it up and thanks again for the way your mind works.

  2. Trish, what a delight. Your designs are always magic. I look forward to tackling this one. Many, many thanks.

  3. Adorable designs but too pretty to stick pins into. Love the idea of combining 2 types of needlework. You are such a generous person!

  4. Thank you Trish. Who would have thought to combine needle painting with canvas work? Looking forward to giving it a go.

  5. Thank you very much for this lovely “little” gift. I will enjoy stitching this. I do all types of needle work.

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