Updated February 17, 2023.
You know that sinking feeling; the intersection on the hand-painted canvas is more than one color. You don’t know how to decide what color to stitch.
I call deciding this making an “executive decision” in needlepoint. I thought about what the process was for deciding and came up with some guidelines. Although beginners struggle with this issue, it can come up in just about any canvas which is not completely stitch-painted.
If one color covers more of the intersection than the other, stitch it in that color.
If it’s pretty much half and half, then you could do either. To help you choose, you can see if any of these apply:
1. Is it colored in both foreground and background colors? Choose the foreground color.
2. Is it the only intersection that has that color (no intersections with that color around it)? Choose the isolated color because it’s supposed to be a dot of that color.
3. Is it colored a light color or a dark color? Darker colors recede, so picking the darker color will probably make the two areas look more balanced.
4. I one color part of a line? Follow the line on the canvas to see how it will look if this intersection is stitched in that color. I’ve had it sometimes happen when stitching the color of the line instead of the other color made the line look bad.
Sometimes you choose wrong; everyone does. If this happens, don’t be afraid to pull the stitch out and use the other color.
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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