Rice stitch – something old, something new

Sometime as I sit and stitch I think about the long centuries of stitching history and wonder about the who, when and why of the first rice stitch. Of course, I have no answers. It is such a simple and useful stitch that it seems to me that it must have been a very early stitch. My history with it is very short. But here are a couple of things from my first rice stitch sampler.


As you see even then I was experimenting. The rather sketchy dark green leaves show two different stitch sizes on the initial layer. On the second layer at the outermost edges of the cross stitch, I saw no reason to make the stitches meet in the middle or to complete the fourth stitch to round out the layer.


Above is another experiment. The initial layer is the traditional cross stitch. But on the second I worked two sets of stitches one very close to the center of the cross and a second at the extreme edge. While these stitches in the second set don’t meet in the middle, I completed all four stitches.

If I was stitching this today I probably couldn’t resist using beads in the center of the white fabric squares made by the stitches. But back then I hated beads in needlework since I thought them both distracting and detracting. My thought now is that beads may be useful. Although I’ve certainly found myself using them to bad or poor advantage many times since allowing for their use.


Now, to turn a corner for some of the things I stitched a day or two ago. Here are a few of experiments in texture.


In these next two some play with color also.




One Response to Rice stitch – something old, something new

  1. jowynn says:

    The current stitches, with their colors and textures, make a delightful contrast with the very formal samples done earlier. Freer, livelier–the latest experiments. I love the chunky, fuzzy one.

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