Portuguese stem stitch, Mary Corbet


Sat outside this morning considering whether I can find a place to use this stitch in my Coronation sampler. I am looking for something rope-like that gives a heavy-textured effect and can easily take a curve. I’ve not used this stitch before so will give it a go and see how it works out!

Have tried to find out about the origin of this stitch, but there is very little information that I can see in the historical texts I have in my Needlework library. The author, Deanna Hall West, suggests that because of its name, it is likely to have been popular in Portugal at some time. Interweave, July 2017.

Curved rope stitch, Mary Corbet – Needle n Thread video


Mary’s video is very clear and I find it very easy to follow as I stitch.

Will experiment today laying curved rope stitch on sampler ground fabric to see how it holds heavy stitching. Unsure what will happen. The ochre ground fabric is heavyweight and closed, but appears to take the threaded needle well. We will see.


Competition Coronation sampler

In 1997 I promised myself I would do everything I could to design and stitch an embroidery sampler that would win an embroidery competition.

I’d been, by chance, to an embroidery snd quilting show in Harrogate because I had nothing else to do. That’s was when and where my interest in embroidery was kindled. I watched Jack Robinson demonstrating the blackwork piece he was working on. Wow!

The catch? I couldn’t stitch. Never even picked up a needle. The internet was just beginning to take off. No apps or iPads. Didn’t have an email address.

I have spent the last 21 years learning to stitch. I’m at a point where I feel confident enough to have a go at researching, designing and stitching my own sampler for the Madeira 2019 competition. Don’t expect to win, but know I will enjoy the journey.  My last sampler acts as inspiration as I make the first stitch.