Gay Ann Rogers Needlework

Gay Ann Rogers Needlework

Intermediate Lessons







Click here for 8 Lessons for

Beginning Students


Click here for  an Overview of


Intermediate Lessons

Lesson #8 Compensation Revisited

Compensation is more than making a stitch fit a shape; it is also about finding a stitch that naturally fits the shape.

My World of Needlework


Intermediate Lessons


After you have been stitching for a while, you will learn to look at your work with a more critical eye.


Here are a series of lessons for people who would like to refine their stitching abilities.


The current lesson is on this page and on Queendom Website's home page.

The buttons below will connect you to previous lessons.

Lesson #8 Compensation Revisited

In my Beginner's Lesson on

compensation,  I

posted the two graphs

on the right, to show the

basic use of compensation.


Compensation is the art of

using a stitch to fill a specific

space, such as the polygon

in light blue.


The way I used compensation

(on the far right) is OK as it

makes the shape, but it isn’t a

graceful or elegant job.


There is a bit more to compensation than simply filling the shape. It is also important where you start the stitch and how the stitch falls within the shape. Look at the two graphs below and see if you don’t think they do a better job of filling the shape.

On the graph above I found the center channels of the polygon (marked by the arrows) then I balanced the stitch within the shape so that the stitch is the same on the left and right, and  the same on the top and bottom.

On the graph above is another option. I made the stitch a four-way design by finding the center and changing the direction of the stitch and I think it is the most successful.

Below are all four graphs without the blue overlay so that you can see the stitch progression.

The compensation is better on the last two than on the top right, but I am still not happy with the way the polygon looks.


It’s not the compensation that makes me unhappy; it’s the stitch choice. The scale of the stitch doesn’t fit the shape well, so no matter how many adjustments I make to achieve the shape of the polygon, the stitch fights with the shape. To see what I mean, look at the next two graphs. Here the shape of the stitch fits the shape of the polygon. It looks so simple and it is. More often than not, if I find I am struggling to force a stitch to fit a shape, I look for another variation of the stitch.