My 3 Favorite Needlepoint Background Stitches

Needlepoint is not all about dainty details on painted canvases. Sometimes, the star of a canvas is the background player, or quite literally, the background.

Whether you are stitching large swaths of sky or need a background stitch for a small ornament, there are any number of stitches you can chose from. As with most things, I have a few go-to stitches that I use for backgrounds. Looking for options for your next project? Try one of these!

Mosaic Stitch

Graphic from the American Needlepoint Guild

I’m all about the mosaic stitch. It’s simple like the classic basketweave but just a little more interesting to look at in large quantities. Plus there’s so many ways to adapt it. Master the basic mosaic and then change things up with variations like reverse, framed or diagonal!

Brick Stitch

Graphic from the American Needlepoint Guild

The name says it all. It literally looks like bricks. Make it four stitches across for a more defined brick feel or two stitches across for a tighter project. This works well for backgrounds where you want to cover lots of ground quickly so you can get back to the more intricate elements. No judgement, we all play favorites with our projects.

Scotch Stitch

Graphic from the American Needlepoint Guild

This is one of my personal favorites for ornaments. It creates an absolutely beautiful square pattern that adds texture that can be seen from across the room. It works especially well if you have a thread with a little sheen on it.


Feeling inspired to get started on a new project full of large segments of background in need of thread? Let me know what you’re stitching!