Let’s be really honest with ourselves here: Do you stitch and finish your needlepoint or do you just stitch it?
I mostly just stitch. I have boxes of needlepoint all ready to be turned into something, but what?
A Hamlet would say “There’s the rub.” I don’t want pillows, I have lots of ornaments. But I still keep on stitching.
I must not be alone in this because more and more I see needlepoint that’s made to be three-dimensional. 3-D needlepoint isn’t new but what is new is how widespread it has become and how many companies are making canvases meant to be finished as objects. And what’s intriguing is that so much of it is small and often only meant to be ornamental.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Fancy Carole cone ornaments and Melissa Shirley chocolates were among the few 3-D pieces out there. The first designs by Little Shoppe Canvas Company showed us the many possibilities of needlepoint as sculpture. I know when I first saw their wonderful needlepoint desserts I went nuts. All that kept me from buying them right then and there was a house too crowded with kids for such loveliness. I did go home and make some 3-D cookies for a shop as models.
If you look at the many designers’ sites you’ll see 3-D cupcakes (Melissa Shirley, Needledeeva, and others), ornaments finished into balls (Colors of Praise), birdhouses (In Good Company), candles (Little Shoppe), food (Little Shoppe, Substance Designs, Sandy Jenkins), and so much more.
There’s lots out there, more than enough to make it a trend, but the interesting question is why. It’s for several reasons. First, most of those pieces are small so they can be completed quickly. Second, many of these pieces are seasonal so you can use them to change your decor easily. Third, many of us have too many pillows and such so that smaller items can be put places where we haven’t seen needlepoint before.
There are also cultural and design trends that feed into this. Handmade items and homes that reflect the individual have become important design trends. How often these days do you see magazines celebrating finding handmade items on Etsy, or celebrating remaking a thrift shop find? Well we have our own source right here. in addition, in a world where too many of us have jobs where we work with information not with stuff, this connection to the work of our hands in our homes is important.
This trend won’t be going away soon. Celebrate it with some needlepoint.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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