Stitch of the Month
April 2005: Cathedral Windows

by Sharon G

One of the privileges of designing a stitch is that you get to name it. When I looked at the finished product, I saw Cathedral Windows.

The stitch is made up of several common stitches. When combined with interesting threads and the addition of metallic thread, the effect is elegant.

This stitch can be expanded to fit areas that are larger than the sample application. And you can introduce color by using a stained glass color overdyed thread, a single solid color or several solid colors arranged in a pattern.

The stitch is broken down in 5 steps. The final step shows both the continuous pattern and an optional plaited variation top as shown in the diagram if you would like a contrasting border edge.

April SotM Photo
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Figure 1: Cathedral Windows shown above the rose area

Step 1, Diagram 1: The first step is to place the stitches that are inside the black areas. I used 3 ply of cream silk. You can add color by using an overdyed thread such as Gloriana 112 Harvest Grape to show a muted stained glass or any of the jewel toned colors.

Another interesting look might be to use a velour thread. Pay attention to the direction of the stitches. See Diagram 1.

Diagram 1
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Step 2, Diagram 2: In step 2, you will add the cross stitches with 3 ply of stranded silk. These areas are shown in red in the diagram. I used black but you can use any color. If you want to duplicate the look of stained glass, try using a color that would resemble the leading between the panes of glass. It is normally a matte color but, if glitz is the look you want, select at least a #8 weight metallic.

I alternated the direction of the cross stitches. The smaller ones crossed from upper left to lower right and the long ones crossed in the opposite direction. Doing this took any directional focus out of the stitch. It really would not be too visible with black thread, but if you used a lighter color, you may see a slight tilting.

Diagram 2
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Diagram 3 illustrates the addition of the strap stitches in gold. I used #4 Kreinik 002 for the strap stitches. The strap stitch is illustrated in the numbered diagram. The final leg of the stitch tucks under the first leg.

Diagram 3
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Diagram 3b

In Diagram 4 the herringbone overlay stitch shown in blue is added over step one. I used Accentuate in gold for this step. There is a numbered diagram illustrating the stitch and a separate diagram to show its placement over the base stitch.

Diagram 4
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Diagram 4b

Diagram 5 shows the final steps and an alternative top edge as shown in the photograph. The double herringbone is shown in black. The optional plaited border edge is shown in blue in diagram 5b.

I used 3 ply of stranded silk for the double herringbone stitch shown in black.

In the optional top edge diagram, I used a plaited variation stitch with #8 Kreinik #002 metallic to add an interesting edge to the top. If you are using this stitch in the interior as a pattern stitch, I would not add the optional top. However, for a border edge, I think it adds interest.

Diagram 5
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Diagram 5b
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