A Stitch in Time: The Velvet Stitch

The velvet stitch, consisting of a cross-stitch and a loop, is a counted-thread stitch most often used in canvas work. Known by a variety of names—Astrakhan, Astrakhan velvet, Berlin plush, plush, raised, rug, and tassel—velvet stitches produce a raised surface of loops that may be left intact or cut; if cut, the stitches resemble velvet […]

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The tête de boeuf (commonly referred to as head of the bull, although a direct translation from the French is “head of beef”) stitch, which also goes by the names of ox head and detached wheat ear, presents much confusion to those who wish to explore its origins. As I reviewed my present-day reference books […]

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For centuries, samplers have been a common way for needleworkers to not only practice their craft but showcase their ability with needle and thread. In PieceWork’s September/October 2014 issue, Christopher John Brooke Phillips describes the hidden symbolism in several common historical motifs in cross-stitch samplers. What is the meaning behind motifs like the pineapple? Today […]

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In 1887, Weldon’s Practical Needlework recognized the popularity of cross-stitch embroidery in Victorian England. In the introduction they wrote, “Cross-stitch work has now become so universal that we feel sure a book can well be devoted to this quickly executed and attractive decoration . . . .” Attractive indeed! Over a hundred years later, the […]

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