Serendipity Needleworks
Frequently Asked Questions

Meet Your Needlepoint Guide…

Hi there! I’m Ellen Johnson, a former needlework shop owner turned online needlepoint teacher. When I opened Serendipity Needleworks in 2003, I thought I knew everything there was to know about needlepoint.

Then I attended my first market. Boy-oh-boy was I ever W R O N G!! 

After stumbling upon the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous pieces of needlepoint that I’d ever seen, I decided - right then and there - that I had to learn how to stitch like that, too. 

So I bought some kits with stitch guides and the adventure began. After experiencing success with a variety of professionally written stitch guides, I decided to try my own hand at choosing stitches and threads for a project.  

It. Was. AWFUL!! I’ll even go so far as to say that my first attempt at writing a stitch guide was downright hideous. (And no, I didn’t keep the canvas, although I should have. It would’ve been a terrific teaching prop. Teehee!)

Like so many stitchers, I couldn’t figure out the “how” behind the stitch and thread choices in those professionally written stitch guides.

So I was back to square one.
 And that’s when my stubborn streak kicked into high gear. Not being one who gives up easily, I dove in - head first - and started learning all that I could about using canvas embroidery stitches to embellish painted canvases. 

I read every article and book I could get my hands on. I watched every single video I could find. And I took every class I could sign up for when Market rolled around. Heck, I even hosted guest teachers in my shop so I could learn from them alongside my customers. 

And slowly, but surely, ideas began to form. Then concepts crystallized. I tested my theories on my own canvases and I was pleased with the results, so I shared my strategies with the students who took my classes at the shop - and they had success, too. 

Today, as a needlepoint teacher and author, I'm dedicated to keeping this timeless art alive by helping fellow stitchers of all ages and stages find joy and confidence through needlework. I feel privileged to have helped thousands of new and experienced stitchers develop their needlepoint and embroidery skills over the past 25 years. With my step-by-step approach to teaching online, I'm here to make sure you have all the knowledge you need to choose the best stitches and threads for your projects, without wasting hours searching across the internet.

Learn more about Ellen!