Beginner Next Steps

I am so thrilled that so many of you use my designs as your first project! My canvases are designed with every level of stitcher in mind. I often hear people who have stitched beginner friendly projects seem nervous about taking on a more challenging project without biting off more than they can chew. I’m here to cheer you on and hopefully provide some advice for picking out a project that isn’t quite intermediate, but what I like to refer to as “Beginner Plus.”

Mesh size. Most beginners start on 13 mesh projects, which is a perfect starting point! Once you have stitched on 13 mesh (one time or a few times!) I encourage you to try out 18 mesh. Some people have strong preferences for one or the other. 18 mesh captures details that 13 mesh can’t always convey which I love for my travel rounds.

Start small. Smaller projects are great for new beginners, but also for those trying out something new! My dog canvases are wonderful projects for “Beginner Plus” stitchers because they’re small enough that you can still complete them in a relatively short amount of time and relish in the success that you tried something new!

Pick a project with fewer colors. Generally speaking, canvases with fewer colors keep trying a smaller mesh size a bit easier. My Queen of Hearts canvas (and her King and Jack companions) is a great way to try out 18 mesh without a need for an overwhelming amount of thread. I made suggestions here, but you could certainly switch those up to match your personal taste!

Keep your thread selection simple. Another way to challenge yourself in the “Beginner Plus” realm is to try out some new-to-your threads. I have a blog post here on some of my favorites. You don’t have to immediately use all of them or abandon what you’ve been working with thus far. Pick one or maybe two to try out on your next project. That’s how I found I loved working with Treenway Silk ribbon on my Cupid canvas, I took a leap of faith and it worked out! But the rest of the threads were tried and true to me.

Be patient. Like learning anything new, you have to take your time and be willing to practice. If you realize you aren’t quite ready to make the jump into a bigger or more complicated project, there is no shame in putting the canvas aside while you build your skill and confidence level. 

I hope this helps those of you who have stitched a few projects but were feeling shaky about moving to projects that still felt too difficult. Needlepoint is supposed to be a fun and relaxing hobby, so there is no pressure to move at any set pace. Please keep tagging me in all of your projects or drop me a line if you need help picking out a new project!

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