An Egyptian ‘mixtape’ of embroidered material
I’ve recently completed another cross-stitch piece, which is now hanging on my wall. It’s a collection of brightly coloured squares, each with its own geometric pattern:
<source srcset="/images/2022/P8150078_1x.avif 750w, /images/2022/P8150078_2x.avif 1500w, /images/2022/P8150078_3x.avif 2250w" sizes="(max-width: 750px) 100vw, 750px" type="image/avif" > <source srcset="/images/2022/P8150078_1x.webp 750w, /images/2022/P8150078_2x.webp 1500w, /images/2022/P8150078_3x.webp 2250w" sizes="(max-width: 750px) 100vw, 750px" type="image/webp" > <source srcset="/images/2022/P8150078_1x.jpg 750w, /images/2022/P8150078_2x.jpg 1500w, /images/2022/P8150078_3x.jpg 2250w" sizes="(max-width: 750px) 100vw, 750px" type="image/jpeg" > <img src="/images/2022/P8150078_1x.jpg" class="fullwidth_img" alt="A cross-stitch piece embroided on a brown fabric, with twenty brightly-coloured squares laid out in a grid. Each square uses a couple of colours (red, blue, green, yellow, white, or black) and has a simple repeating pattern. For example, one square is yellow with repeating black and red vertical lines; another has a red background with concentric white diamonds." width="750" style="aspect-ratio: 2918 / 3211; " >
I got the pattern from issue 6 of Xstitch Magazine, and it was made by Arlene Cohen, who goes by the handle WorksByABC. The pattern includes a full list of materials and threads, and I got it mounted by Landseer Picture Framing.
The magazine entry explains that these squares weren’t chosen at random – they were taken from an 1856 design book The Grammar of Ornament, and based on patterns found in Egyptian art. I found a digitised copy of the book, which has several plates featuring similar designs.
I can spot some of the squares from the cross-stitch pattern in the digitised plates, but not all of them – I wonder if they’re from elsewhere, or if they were created by WorksByABC?
One of the reasons I enjoy cross-stitch is that I can just follow the instructions in the pattern, and soon I have something that looks nice. This piece exemplifies that more than most – once I’d worked out the repetition, I could keep stitching without having to refer back to the cross-stitch pattern. Indeed, I even spotted a few places where the cross-stitch pattern deviated from the repetition, and I was able to fix hem.
This isn’t my biggest or most interesting piece, but it was fun and easy to make, and it adds a splash of colour to a previously blank wall.