Some needlepoint canvases have thin outlines around features and stitchers often ask if they're supposed to stitch these lines. Here's a canvas with the type of outlines we're talking about.
|Green Brontosaurus by Alice Peterson with a fine black outline around the dinosaur and other features.|
There are a few ways to approach this:
1. Don't stitch the outlines
In some cases ignoring the outline would be okay, but on this canvas the outline separates anatomical features on the dinosaur. The artist could have used shading or color changes to do this but, here, an outline was used and it needs to be stitched in. But, the outline is very fine, so if you were to use option number 2...
2. Use a tent stitch to stitch in the outline.
This will give you a thicker line, which might work well on a large canvas, but on a small piece like the dinosaur design, a black line of one tent stitch in width will overwhelm the piece. Also, doing it this way won't give you a smooth line, as tent stitches don't curve well.
|An outline using a tent stitch gives a thicker line and one that doesn't curve well - it looks like steps.||A thicker line works well on a larger canvas like the green outlines on the white flowers on this Aqua Flower Burst pillow canvas.|
3. Use surface embroidery.
To outline the dinosaur and other features in the design above, you might use a single strand of cotton i.e. 1 or possibly 2 strands of 6-stranded cotton floss, and stitch the outline on at the end as surface embroidery using a Back Stitch, or a Wrapped Back Stitch (great for smoothing out curves). In order to do this, you should take a photograph of the canvas before you stitch it so you can see where these fine outlines are - because you'll be stitching over them before you stitch them on at the end!
|This No Worries design by Jennifer Pudney has had the outlines stitched on at the end as Back Stitch surface embroidery.|
Share it on Pinterest or Facebook...or both....or any other social media platform you "enjoy".
But, most importantly, don't miss out on reading more information just like it.
You'll get exclusive content like what you've just read, you'll hear about new designs and kits as soon as we receive them, plus we run specials on popular items that only our newsletter readers hear about.