Three Favorite Needlepoint Filler Stitches

needlepoint filler or background stitches
A filler stitch is simply a stitch that fills an area - it's versatile and can go anywhere. For this reason, filler stitches tend to provide texture but not direction. Here are our top three filler stitches that anyone can learn. They make great "standby" stitches when you're not sure what to use to fill a space, but you want an alternative to a Tent Stitch.

1. Serendipity Stitch

Love the name! This stitch delivers a quilted, somewhat woven look. It's textured and luxurious - especially if you stitch it in silk.

Use it for clothing, landscapes - this stitch goes anywhere that can carry some texture. So, let's just say don't use it on something that's supposed to look smooth!

Here's what the Serendipity Stitch looks like (it's the gold stitch on the bird's body)...
   needlepoint serendipity stitch     

...and here's how you create it.

serendipity stitch needlepoint filler

2. Upright Cross Stitch

This is not quite as 'busy' as the Serendipity Stitch, but it's a snug and elegant stitch that creates a lovely textured fabric. The Upright Cross stitch can also go anywhere, and as it's a small stitch it will fit into small spaces. 

Make sure your thread isn't too thick as this is quite a tight stitch.

Here's what it looks like...

needlepoint filler stitch upright cross

...and, here's how you create it.

needlepoint filler stitch upright cross
The Upright Cross stitch can also be worked in horizontal rows and some stitchers find this easier.

3. The Mosaic Stitch

This looks like small tiles lined up but when you see it as a background it has an overall quilted look. 

The Mosaic Stitch is square in shape and so it's great for geometric spaces and borders.

Here's what it looks like...

mosaic stitch needlepoint filler

...and here's how you create it.

mosaic stitch needlepoint filler
You can also work this one in horizontal rows if you find it easier.

So, there you have it - three needlepoint filler stitches to learn so you have a stitch in your repertoire that works for any occasion.

Here's a small needlepoint project called Mid-Century Modern Bird Ornament that uses both the Upright Cross Stitch (bird's head) and the Serendipity Stitch (bird's body). We've used a skip tent stitch for the background, You could replace it with the Mosaic Stitch and you've got all three covered!

mid century modern needlepoint bird filler stitches