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 Get our FREE needlepoint newsletter with tips and techniques, sale items, new prodcts and much, much more. 
As a THANK YOU for signing up we will email you a 10% discount coupon.
Rest assured, we will never share, rent, or sell your info to anyone.

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Featured Needlepoint Kit

Stitch an icon! Keep Calm and Carry On handpainted needlepoint canvas with threads.

How To Needlepoint Books

The Needlepoint Book
The Needlepoint Book is the needlepoint "bible". The only resource you will ever need.

How to Stitch a Needlepoint Curve

 Needlepoint is easiest when you are stitching straight lines. But sometimes it throws you a curve. Here are three great ways to stitch a needlepoint curve

stitch a needlepoint curve1. Stitch A Needlepoint Curve - Zig Zag

Use a tent stitch to follow the curved line as closely as you can, in a step-wise or zig-zag fashion. This is the most common way of stitching a curve or diagonal line in needlepoint.

The zig-zag approach creates a strong-looking line, but it is not a very smooth curve as the stitches are laid down in steps.

backstitch2. Stitch A Needlepoint Curve - Backstitch

stitch a needlepoint curveUsing a backstitch is a great way to stitch a needlepoint curve. Use a long stitch over two or more stitch intersections to follow the arc of the curve.

You can see in this photo (where we have stitched white thread on a green curve so you can see the stitches), that we have used stitches of different lengths and directions to hug the curve. You can find directions on our website for how to do a needlepoint backstitch. It can be done as surface embroidery (stitched on in a finer thread after the canvas is completed), or you can do what I have done here and stitch it directly onto the canvas. See how much smoother the arc of the curve is when you stitch a needlepoint curve using a backstitch?

3. Stitch A Needlepoint Curve - Wrapped Backstitch

If you decide to use a backstitch to stitch a needlepoint curve, you can get a thicker, smoother, more defined line by wrapping the stitches. This is called a Wrapped Backstitch. When you have placed the last backstitch on the curve, go back and wrap the thread around each stitch.

stitch a needlepoint curveTo do this, bring the needle up at the start of the last backstitch you placed and then slide the needle under this last stitch, working from the outside of the curve toward the inside. The needle stays on top of the canvas and just slides under the stitches. You can see in this photo how I am sliding the needle under the stitch.

Wrapping the backstitch forms a thick, ridged curve, and it gives the curve a nice curvy shape! You can imagine that when all the other tent stitches come in around it that this curve will be standing out nicely. Using a wrapped backstitch is a very effective and easy way to stitch a needlepoint curve.

4. Stitch A Needlepoint Curve - Spiral Satin Stitch

The Spiral Satin Stitch is a very handy stitch to have in your repertoire because it creates nice flowing curves in any direction and eliminates the stepped look of basketweave when curving to the left.

How to Create a Spiral Satin Stitch.

Spiral Satin Stitch

It’s easy! The only thing to remember is that some of the holes will be shared with more than one stitch and you want to make these holes on the tighter or inner side of the curve. So, always being your needle down toward the tighter/inner arcs of the curve where the holes might be shared. See in this photo all the even numbers of this stitch, where the needle is brought up from behind, occur in the inner curve.

The stitches don’t need to all be the same length as you curve around.

Where to Use a Satin Spiral Stitch.

Anywhere you have a thick(ish) curved pattern like you see with this design. Also, flower stems, tree trunks.

Notes on this South Pacific Design:

needlepoint spiral satin stitch

Needlepoint Spiral Satin Stitch

I have stitched the white curves in a mauve color so you can see it. I have then stitched around the Spiral Satin Stitch in basketweave and added a backstitch surface embroidery using a single strand of embroidery floss. Find the South Pacific canvas here.

Contact us with questions about how to stitch a needlepoint curve.