Updated March 24, 2023.
While many of us use charted designs or do our own thing to make Scrap Bag Needlepoint Projects, many of us prefer to stitch on painted and printed canvases.
I almost always have one canvas in my rotation which is a scrap bag project, and I always have my eyes open for others to add to my stash.
But, all too often, I’m stymied because I can’t see what the piece will look like when applied to my own stash. So I thought I’d provide you with the guidelines I use when buying canvases for my Scrap Bag Projects.
Picking Canvases for Scrap Bag Needlepoint
These canvases need to have discrete areas of color. This is the most important thing. Because you are using up your scraps, the chances are really good that you won’t have enough thread to finish any large area, even lots of outlining, so you need to be able to change threads. Discrete areas of the same color mean that even if dye lots don’t match, it won’t matter. In the Maggie pillow above, I used at least three different hot pink threads, all from my stash. On another Maggie pillow, I used four dark brown threads.
Look for canvases that use many colors or shades. In the vintage Patt & Lee canvas above, there are 40 different blocks. I used 40 different threads, only repeating 2.
If possible, pick a design that has a limited background. For me, background threads tend to get used up quickly, so I try to pick canvases with no background. If the canvas you like has lots of background, consider buying thread for it. I have done this with some of the folk art geometrics from Maggie I’ve stitched. This will pull the design together nicely. My Amish Quilt Pillow, below, is a perfect example. While I only used stash for the diamonds, I bought a cotton knitting yarn for the background.
Scrap Bag Needlepoint canvases can be big or small. The vintage Patt & Lee Star, above, is 4″ inches across. It took me about a Sunday to stitch. The quilt pillow is 13″ and took quite a while.
Keep your eyes open for canvases like this.