Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stitch of the Week: Medieval Mosaic

This week's Stitch of the Week is Medieval Mosaic, an excellent stitch to know. Medieval Mosaic works up quickly, makes a lovely background or filling stitch for a large area and is very versatile. Use Medieval Mosaic with overdyed thread for depicting sky, water and beaches. Medieval Mosaic can also be used when stitching up wallpaper, carpets, clothing and rivers.

Medieval Mosaic is stitched in vertical rows. If you want, you may turn your canvas 90 degrees and stitch in horizontal rows (the end result will be the same).

The stitch is a series of Gobelin stitches -- one group is over four canvas threads, the other group is over two canvas threads. Each group consists of four individual stitches. The longer stitches step to the left one canvas thread with each stitch while maintaining the same stitch length. The shorter stitch units step to the right one canvas thread with each stitch unit. The result is a series of forward advancing long Gobelin stitch followed by a series of receding shorter Gobelin stitches. As you may have already guessed in subsequent rows the position of the long and short Gobelin stitches are reversed so that if you started with long stitches in the first row you will start with short stitches in the second row (and vice versa). See diagram for a visual representation of these directions.

Medieval Mosaic is a stitch that shows off flat, ribbon-type threads such as Neon Rays, Ribbon Floss, Flair and Sparkle Rays. It also looks good with stranded threads such as embroidery floss, Splendor or Mandarin Floss. Be sure to use a laying tool for best effect.


  1. Now that months and months have gone by with so much enjoyment and instruction gained from your efforts here, I want to send a quick 'thank you" your way. Your blog has taught me to look at my stitching in new ways using stitches I've known for too long!



  2. Thank you so much. Your beautiful stitches are always so helpful to me in my work, and I never take the time to say so. I'm sure there are many people like me out here. I really appreciate your 'blogs'.