A little needlepoint (4)

For my 19th-century style sampler book, I tried out some designs from Mrs Henry Owen’s The Illuminated Book of Needlework (1847) which you can read online here. Clockwise from top left are Berlin stitch, Perspective stitch, Darmstadt pattern, Willow stitch, Diamonds, Double pointed star, Point stitch, Feather stitch, and (centre) Sutherland stitch.

9 x 2″ samples from 1847 needlework book

I don’t know much about Mrs Henry Owen, but she certainly knew a lot about needlework. I’ve worked these samples on 22-count mono canvas, with various silk and cotton perle threads, mostly no. 8 or 12. The space-dyed threads are particularly effective when worked on canvas like this.

I particularly like the centre design, which Mrs Owen calls Sutherland stitch:

Sample of Sutherland stitch, from Mrs Owen’s 1847 needlework book, worked with hand-dyed cotton sashiko thread. Mrs Owen suggests adding beads.

I also like the double-pointed star:

Double pointed star, from Mrs Owen’s 1847 needlework book. I added the long cross stitches to unify the space between the stars.

And this is Perspective stitch, surprisingly effective and quite modern:

Perspective stitch, from Mrs Owen’s book of needlework (1847)

I wouldn’t normally choose to do this kind of counted canvas work, and I don’t normally enjoy following charts, but I did enjoy making this little sample. It’s very satisfying how the stitches come to life as they are worked. Soon I will be able to start compiling the pages of my sampler book to bring all the samples together.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

8 thoughts on “A little needlepoint (4)”

  1. the variegated thread colors make these endlessly fascinating to look at … I wasn’t able to get past Mrs Henry Owen’s historical account of needlework, but found the second volume online and was gobsmacked at how you took those dry little patterns and made so much of them!

    1. Ha, yes she does go on a bit doesn’t she? The line drawings are not very inspiring at all, but I’m amazed by how fresh and contemporary they look when stitched.

    2. PS – I edited the post with the correct link – I think I accidentally found the historical preamble rather than the more interesting stitch diagrams and instructions.

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