Updated December 20, 2022.
This abstract canvas from Isabel’s Needlepoint (no longer available) is a perfect jumping-off point for creating an original landscape to be stitched in Bargello needlepoint.
You can make a charming seasonal landscape easily.
First, draw a long rectangle on your canvas, using a marker, safe for fabric, such as Pigma Microns. This rectangle is 6.5×4. If you want it to be easy to finish, make it the size of a panoramic photo frame.
Next, decide on your season. This will tell you what kind of paints/markers you need. Our canvas has snow-covered peaks and sky at the top (needed for all seasons). Bare mountains (the two shades of violet), trees (dark green), and meadow (light green). For spring, make the dark green a bright spring green and pick out different flower colors for the meadow. For autumn, change the dark green to a brilliant orange or gold, make the light green a muted yellow-green (for the dry grass), and change the violets to grey or brown to coordinate better. For winter, choose a much more muted palette by replacing the light green with a pale grey or blue-grey for snow.
Buy COPIC markers or craft paints in your chosen colors. You will also need a ruler or straight edge.
You can see that there are three peaks and four valleys in this design. But not all of these line up, nor are the lines the same width throughout. That’s what makes the design lively.
You might think that is also what makes the design hard, but by going and drawing each line, you can do this yourself.
Start with the bottom, light green area. This area isn’t lines so much as a series of triangles. Start by marking the points for the peaks and valleys. These should not line up. Use your straightedge to make lines between each of the points you made using your Pigma marker.
Follow this process for each subsequent line, draw the peaks and valleys, then connect them with your straightedge or ruler. The peaks and valleys should rarely line up with each other; even being off by one thread is enough. They should also be varying distances from the previous line. On the inspiration canvas, the closest is four threads, and the most far is twelve threads.
Between the meadow and the sky, you will have four lines.
Once you have drawn all your lines, you are ready to color. I prefer using COPIC markers because I’m a disaster at painting. Color one line at a time. Because you are doing this for you, not for sale, your result does not have to be a perfectly even coat. Strive for good coverage, as this will make your Bargello look better. Where you have very light colors, you do not need to color.
Let dry overnight before starting to stitch.
Come back Friday to learn how to stitch this project and see the finished result!
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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