Recently, I’ve had so many people DM me on Instagram asking about resources to learn how to needlepoint. It’s amazing to see so many people want to try a new hobby. I created this blog post as a guide on where you can learn how to needlepoint.
One question that I get asked a lot is, “Is needlepoint easy to learn?”. Yes! When I’m explaining needlepoint to people who haven’t heard of the craft – I always refer to it as ‘paint-by-numbers with thread’ since you just follow the canvas. For me, the most difficult part was learning how to tie off my thread and change thread colors. However, once you get past the small learning curve – it’s easy.
Below I’ve laid out specific ways to learn. There isn’t a specific way to learn that is better than others – it is honestly based on how you learn best. Please keep that in mind as you’re reading these suggestions! I also want to note that this post is not sponsored and I’m not receiving compensation for recommending any of the resources below. I either have used these resources or know the artists and professionals who run them, so I can vouch for them!
Learn Needlepoint In Person:
Local Needlepoint Shops
Before you check any other resources out, I encourage you to search for a local needlepoint store (LNS)! They will be your best help going forward because they have all of the supplies you will need: canvases, threads, accessories, and other resources. They can help you with almost anything you need. It’s also great to have a LNS because that’s often where you will send your finishing.
Many LNS offer stitching classes, stitching meet-ups, or some class of the sort for beginners. It’s worth giving your LNS a call to see what they offer. Some stores even encourage their employees to sit down and teach a new customer if the store isn’t too busy which I love!
It’s important to support your local needlepoint shop so that the needlepoint industry can grow! I always suggest to my customers who want to purchase from an LNS that it’s okay to support small business owners online too.
This may be a shocking statement because it kind of goes against the ‘needlepoint norm’, but I always recommend supporting LNS and individual artists! One idea is to purchase a canvas from a designer if possible and then buying threads and getting your items finished from an LNS. That way, artists and LNS can make a profit and you’re supporting many small businesses!
What if I can’t find a LNS?
If you don’t have a LNS near you, I would suggest checking to see if there are any other specialty yarn or knitting stores. Often times, an employee will know how to needlepoint or know someone that does.
Lastly, if you’re struggling to find a LNS or a local store, I suggest reaching out in the Facebook group Needlepoint Nation for local suggestions. You may be able to connect with a local stitcher who is willing to teach you!
Stitch clubs have also been popping up all over the US. You may have heard the phrase “Stitch Club is the New Book Club”. Stitch clubs are groups who meet up to stitch either weekly, monthly, or have events. They are often centered around locations – so it’s great to meet some local people and friends. Most meet ups are free, but some do special events with a small fee.
Many stitch clubs welcome new stitchers! If you’re interested in finding a local group, you can see them on @StitchClubOfficial. You may also try to search on Instagram @StitchClub______ (with the blank being your city’s name). If there isn’t one currently available, you’re free to make your own!
Also if you’re in Annapolis and want to join an Annapolis stitch club, please email me!
Learning Needlepoint Virtually:
If you’re pretty good at teaching yourself, online videos or online classes might be the way to go! I learned entirely online from free videos, but it did take some trial and mess ups before I finally got it.
Free Online Videos
Here are a few online videos that helped me learn.
Once you’ve watched that series and learned above, I recommend checking out YouTube. There are TONS of videos.
One of my favorite channels is Needlepoint.com. They have great videos for beginners & advanced stitchers. They should how to use different materials & a lot of different stitches.
I actually just taught myself how to do a French knot from their video!
If you know the basics of needlepoint and want to learn more advanced stitches, Pinterest has tons of free stitch diagrams that you can use. They also have a lot of great inspiration for finishing, canvases, thread colors, etc. If you’re on Pinterest, feel free to follow Morgan Julia Designs!
If you get stuck or have any questions, remember you can always post in the Facebook Group Needlepoint Nation! Everyone in that group is friendly & lovely and will always help.
Needlepoint.com also has a whole section of their website dedicated to resources. Here is their page for complete beginners: https://needlepoint.com/pages/learn-how-to-needlepoint
If you head to their homepage, you may also check out their “Resources” tab. They have so much wonderful information.
Another way that you can learn is through online classes. Most of these do have a fee because it’s structured like a class and they send you materials. If you’re not local to a LNS or stitch club, but you’d prefer to learn from someone else, this is the way to go. Online classes also make great gifts!!
The first resource for online classes that I recommend is Needlepoint.com. I know I’ve mentioned them like a million times in this post – but it’s for good reason. They make really high quality content. You may browse all of their online classes here: https://needlepoint.com/collections/online-classes-for-needlepoint
What I love is that they have online classes for beginners to experienced stitchers. I have my eye on the beading technique class since I’ve actually never stitched with beads before.
A fellow needlepoint canvas designer, Shana Brooke of SBT Stitches, just launched online classes! She keeps them small and all classes are live – meaning you can ask questions and get personalized help via video. Here is a link to browse her online classes: https://sbtstitches.com/upcoming-sessions/
SBT Beginners Class
Her beginners class is 2 hours long and it comes with a kit. You can purchase the beginner's class on her website and there are more details below. While I haven't taken the class, I know Shana and can say she is a wonderful teacher and an amazing stitcher and designer. I love that she keeps the classes small and that it's live - so you can ask and get help as needed!
"Learn how to needlepoint in a very intimate online group! The Beginner’s Technique class is a virtual, 2 hour LIVE course with Shana from SBT Stitches where you will learn all the proper technique of getting started on any needlepoint canvas. This course covers topics from threading a needle, anchoring your thread, learning 3 new stitches and more! The course also includes a full kit including the canvas, threads, needles a fully detailed PDF and everything else you will need to get started. Once you have completed the Beginner’s Technique Class, make sure to sign up for the Weekly Check In to cover any questions that may come up when stitching on your own! Find out more on www.SBTstitches.com!"
SBT Weekly Check-Ins
If you’ve taught yourself a bit of needlepoint and aren’t a total beginner, Shana also offers weekly Check-Ins. These are online video chats on Thursday Nights at 7:30pm EST for $20. This is open to all levels and is a great way to connect with other stitchers, get personalized help, and ask any questions you may have. More information about the weekly check-in can be found here: https://sbtstitches.com/product/weekly-webinar-checkin/
I hope that was a helpful starting point for you! If you have any questions about the resources listed above, feel free to email me. If you’re ready to jump in and get started stitching, I’ll link some helpful tips about choosing your first project below!
Ready to Start Stitching?
Here are some helpful tips for choosing your first project.
- Start Small
- I always recommend a key fob for a first project because it’s small and can be stitched quickly. It can also be finished into a leather fob for about $30.
- Here’s a great key fob canvas for beginners.
- You may also consider doing an ornament sized canvas.
- Pick 2-3 Colors
- Changing colors of threads can also be a bit overwhelming. I recommend stitching to a canvas that has 2-3 colors (or just stitching it in 2-3 colors) until you get a good handle on how to end a thread and start a new one.
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help
- There are so many stitchers that can offer guidance! You’re always welcome to email or DM me, post on Instagram, or post in Needlepoint Nation.
- Remember, it’s fun!
- Your first project may be difficult and overwhelming, but I promise that with every stitch you do it will get easier. It’s supposed to be a fun hobby and that’s what I always remind myself.
- Financial Cost
- If you’re worried about the financial cost of needlepoint, I always recommend putting some money aside every week if possible. When I first started and didn’t have a lot of disposable income, I would set aside $20 every week. By the end of the month, I would have $80-100 that could help me pay for finishing, thread, or any other accessories I may need.
- I also recommend taking advantages of sales when possible. I developed quite the stash from buying canvases on sale!
Here’s what I recommend all beginners learn:
- Starting a Canvas
- Starting a Thread
- Using the Right Type of Thread
- Continental Stitch
- Basketweave Stitch
- Ending a Thread
I hope that was a helpful starting point for you! If you have any questions about the resources listed above, feel free to email me. Happy Stitching!