How to Adapt Needlepoint – Step 5

Step 5 – Choosing Motifs and Practice Stitching

Time to get specific. The basics are sketched out and now I have to decide what motifs to use.

I start by studying each motif, looking for ones that I have not yet adapted. I know there will be some repeats, but adding new ones from the different areas helps to set them apart.

For new motifs I like to do some practice stitching. I did a lot of this with the blue rug, showing you how I worked out most of them ahead of time. I’ve set limits on the amount of space I can use for the bands on this rug, so I need to play with the motifs and see how best to adapt each of them to 27 stitches or less. Some of the new motifs are tall, so I may have to use a combination of tall and then small motifs to make the bands look good. A lot to play with. I started with an easy one – the boxes with the large X inside it.

The photo on the left is the original motif. My first adaptation attempt is in the middle. I’m using the brick stitch horizontally over two threads to make it look like a woven rug. The X took up the whole box and was too thin. So I tried again making the stitches for the X go over 3 threads instead of two in the photo on the right. I also shortened it so that there is room for some of the background color around the edges of the square. This looks better.


This second motif reminds me of Irish Chain. In the photo in the center, I did the entire square using three straight stitches for each of the little squares that make up the motif. Again, I didn’t like the look of it.

I didn’t do a complete square for the second attempt. I just moved a few rows above the first attempt and tried part of the motif in Scotch Stitch. This is the photo to the right. I think the motif will stand out a little more this way, so I’ll us the Scotch Stitch on the rug and Horizontal Brick Stitch around it as background.
IrishChainThis gives you an idea of what I’m currently working on. This step takes some time – one to three weeks as a rule. In the next post, I’ll show you a few more motifs and a possible arrangement for the first vertical band.


One response to “How to Adapt Needlepoint – Step 5

  1. I’m loving this! It’s like a college course in fiber arts design (Appreciation of the Minor Arts 102) This one is going to be a beauty, and I look forward to its development. You have a lot more patience than I do.

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