When people ask how to get started in needlepoint, the best piece of advice I can offer is…just start!
I was inspired to begin stitching by watching someone I follow take up the hobby. She was a beginner, and I took notice of how she dove in, figuring it out as she went. There is not magic formula for beginning…you just have to begin!
As a novice stitcher, there are two main resources I draw on.
First, begin with your Local Needlepoint Store (LNS).
I live in Fort Worth, Texas, where we are so lucky to have The French Knot. The French Knot carries beautiful fibers, helpful notions, an assortment of different canvases, but most importantly a staff of knowledgable stitchers who are eager and ready to offer assistance and guidance. They teach classes, offer finishing services, and have a knack for knowing the perfect fiber for a particular project. I have found the staff of The French Knot to be a wonderful in-person resource.
If you do not have an LNS in your city, do a bit of research and find a shop in another city. While there is not a substitute for an in-person visit, the staff of needlepoint shops are eager to help and offer assistance. If you are seeking out a particular canvas, looking for a hard-to-find fiber, or need help with finishing services, any shop keeper would be happy to help. As a small business owner myself, I am always eager to engage with potential clients, and personalized attention is one of the benefits of connecting with an LNS.
The second resource is the internet, and specifically Instagram. If you are not on social media, I respect that decision, and I hope you will keep reading. There is a way for you to tap into the online needlepoint world without participating in social media, but I have found you must take a bit of initiative to stay in the loop.
The trick to finding cute canvases that you are excited to stitch is to follow artists that you like.
Needlepoint is art. Canvases are designed by artists and then painted by hand, reflecting a unique design, and requiring hours of tedious work to produce. Since needlepoint canvases are produced by hand in limited quantities, new designs typically sell out swiftly. The stitching community eagerly anticipates new designs, setting an alarm for when a new canvas goes live so that they don’t miss out on adding it to their stash.
Instagram is a wonderful way to get connected to the needlepoint community in general, but specifically to designers. When I started, I knew that I liked Morgan Julia Designs, who I had discovered by following my favorite blogger, Carly. Once I started following Morgan Julia, I clicked on her profile to see which needlepoint artists she was following, and I discovered an entire world of small designers offering amazing canvases. Inside Instagram you can click around from profile to profile and begin to follow artists whose work you enjoy. I have found all of my favorite needlepoint designers on Instagram.
But what if you are not on Instagram?
Good news! While most needlepoint designers are very active on Instagram, they are also very committed to communicating with their email subscribers. Once you have a list of designers who you like, I recommend joining their email newsletter list. You will be the first to know about new canvases, restocks, product launches, and exciting news. I never feel spammed by needlepoint emails. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I feel in the loop, and if there is a product that I want to make sure I add to my stash, I will be ready at launch time!
Below I am including a list of the needlepoint accounts that I enjoy following. This is a completely subjective list, based on my personal taste and style, but if you’re looking for a place to begin, I hope this list is helpful!
MY FAVORITE NEEDLEPOINT FOLLOWS…