How To Fill Your Canvas With A Needlepoint Random Stitch

A needlepoint Random Stitch might sound a bit, well, random, but it's actually a really useful stitch to have around. It's a fantastic filler stitch and can fill any size area or shape on your canvas -  no counting, no figuring out if it's going to fit, none of that.

For anyone who likes their stitching to be less rule-bound and more freeform, this stitch needs to be in your arsenal.

We approached the "splashes" on this Maori Landscape canvas using the needlepoint Random Stitch because we wanted an organic look that had a textured and slightly wild coverage. 

maori landscape needlepoint random stitch
Here's what it looked like with the Random Stitch randomly stitched!

needlepoint random stitch
And here's how we did it...
needlepoint random stitch
We used one color, but a Random Stitch is often used to stitch in shading, so the 'rows' can be applied using slightly different shades of color and you will get a lovely graduated shading effect. But, we wanted overall texture, not shading, so we didn't do that.

There are next to no instructions for this stitch. All you're doing is laying down long and short straight stitches (the Random Stitch is often called Long and Short stitch) in a direction that suits the "flow" of the object. The stitches are laid down in irregular rows so that the bottom of each line of stitches has a jagged effect as each row encroaches upon the row above. It's very similar to an Encroaching Gobelin Stitch but the stitches are not necessarily parallel or symmetrical - they're random, right?

So, in the diagram above, we started at the top with the black thread row and stitched a line of random long and short stitches, and then the next row (shown in yellow) shows another layer/row beneath that encroaches upon the one above in a random fashion. 

And that's about all the instructions there are - it's freeform and there's no right or wrong way of doing this. You're really just filling the canvas with random stitches in a way that the rows encroach upon each other so that you get good coverage. And that's it!

Here's a close up of our Random Stitches, which are a bit all over the place - your Random Stitches would be randomly your own. Love that no rules thing!
needlepoint random stitch