A wallet fit for a queen (stitch)

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in progress

 

This is my second entry for the &Stitches: Old Stitches, New Tricks competition. For this project I wanted to use an antiquated stitch with a contemporary pattern. I settled on queen stitch, which I’m using to create a wee wallet for my credit cards. I figure it’s the modern equivalent of an 18th-19th century pocket book. Check out these charming examples of queen stitch wallets and cases:

Queen stitch is very slow going. After 20+ hours of stitching I’m not even close to being done! The finished piece will be almost square with one side folded down to create a pocket (like this leather card holder). Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

I followed Joanna Cormier’s stitch diagram for queen stitch, which is essentially four vertical stitches anchored along the middle to create a diamond shape. Rococo stitch is a variation with six vertical stitches. I found that tugging on the thread while the needle was inserted helped with the tension. Tugging on the thread normally creates small gaps in between the stitches, especially if you use even weave linen like they did in the 18th century. The canvas I’m using is very rigid, so the holes in my pattern are more subtle. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

Bonus round

People used all sorts of stitches to decorate their pocket books (check out this fantastic list for more examples). Before deciding on queen stitch, I experimented with rice stitch. I found that rice stitch goes through thread like nothing else and covers ground quickly. It’s very similar to your basic cross stitch, but there are two layers of stitches. If you use a different colour for the second layer you end up with a grid pattern. Check it out!

***UPDATE: My Wonder Woman submission came in third place! Take a look through the other submissions here. I’m looking forward to the next &Stitches contest already! ***

– Shannon Quigley

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I'm a dye hard fan of textile history and come from a family of crafters and needlewomen. I'm interested in learning more about embroidery and experimenting with new stitches and techniques. I hope you enjoy looking through my recent projects.

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