Stitch of the Month
January 2002: Four-Way Continental

by Ann Dean Landry

The Four-Way Continental creates a lacy effect on the canvas. As the name implies, the continental stitch is stitched in four directions. However, since it is an open stitch, it must be worked in horizontal or vertical rows in order to establish a path back to the beginning of the row. Because the Four-Way Continental does not have a distinct pattern, it is a great background stitch. When using this stitch for a background, it is a good idea to choose a thread smaller than the threads of the ground fabric.

Row 1, Step 1

Row 2, Step 2

Four Completed Rows

Samples stitched by Pat Timpanaro

There are many variations of the Four-Way Continental  Some of the most popular are those in which the basic stitch is extended to cover 2 or more canvas threads, leaving space for other stitches.

Variation Over 3 Canvas Threads

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