Updated July 7, 2020.
It’s a truism of needlepoint that for a stitch to fit in an area there should be three repeats of it — in every direction.
While for larger needlepoints, this isn’t a problem, for something small, such as this mirror, three repeats can be a problem. Several of the patches are very small and won’t fit three of much.
The reason for the rule is that our brains need repetition to see something as a pattern. And the number of repeats we need tp see is three. Fewer than three and we aren’t really sure there is a pattern.
So what to do when area are small? Begin by analyzing the piece.
Are the colors repeated? If so, you could use the same stitch for all. PIck your stitch to fit in the middle or largest area. Then the other areas just look like pieces of the same fabric.
Are two areas divided by another object? Then you can consider them as one with the object “in front” of it.
There are four colors here. The burgundy has three areas, but all were quite small. So they became my Basketweave blocks. (Remember every canvas should have some Basketweave in it).
Next are the three overdye blocks. One is considerably larger than the others, so I want a stitch to fit the middle-sized block, otherwise the two small blocks will look too incomplete. I chose Nobuko.
For the pink blocks, we have a relatively large block and a long skinny diagonal block. The long skinny block won’t let me do three repeats across, so I need something narrow and horizontal, so I will get repeats in that direction. With the bigger block I know I can get the horizontal repeats if I don’t pick a big stitch. So I went with Annapolis Brick (a Cashmere and Mosaic pattern based on brick buildings in Annapolis, Maryland).
That left the red blocks, more equal in size. Here I picked a bigger Mosaic variation. The upper block just manages to squeeze in three repeats. But when combined with the lower block you have a good feel for the stitch.
I did the lower block first. If I had felt it didn’t fit the area because I didn’t have three repeats anywhere, I would have ripped it out and picked another stitch. But I easily have three repeats across on one line, most of three on another, and most of three repeats vertically. If this was the only place with this stitch, it would be too big to fit. But when combined with the other patch, it works.