Terrazzo by Christine P. Bishop
8th September 2023
A fine piece of art is transformative. It has the ability to arrest your attention and invoke a visceral emotional connection.
For those who own a copy of Inspirations magazine #119 and have ventured your way through to page 66, was your attention arrested? Were you beguiled by the embroidery and found yourself transported to Italy?
Terrazzo by Christine P. Bishop is a stunning counted thread table mat that borrows its design DNA from 15th century Italian floor tiles.
Elegant, simple and beautifully executed, this is a superbly textured embroidery stitched onto 25-count ecru linen using two weights of perlé cotton thread.
The pattern consists of 2 square blocks each repeated 6 times as they alternate their way around the rectangular mat measuring 23.5cm x 38.5cm (9¼” x 15 ¼”).
As with all great pieces of art, there are secret nuances at play here. Let’s take a closer look at what mastery Christine has hidden in the details.
To elevate the finish of Terrazzo, Christine has used a very clever technique of creating detached elements, that are not technically detached.
Each square block features 4 flower petals. These petals are actually attached, detached elements!
They are created by starting with two straight stitches laid diagonally 6 threads apart. Detached blanket stitch is then worked along these straight stitches without taking your needle through the fabric. This is repeated along each thread to give the petals width and, once completed, forms one petal.
Pairs of detached blanket stitch bars form four-petal flowers
Create four of these petals to form an X and finish them off with a wrapped bar, also known as Italian bullion stitch, to form the centre cross in each flower. One down, 125 to go!
Another beautiful touch on this piece is the pulled thread edging that perfectly frames the mat. Here you use double back stitch to create a picot edge then add two more rows of double back stitch, but in between these rows you pull the fabric firmly to open the weave and achieve that lovely spacious pulled thread result. Simple, yet so effective.
All the needlework in this piece is worked using a no. 24 tapestry needle, which is one of the benefits of using a 25 count linen as the stitches are laid in-between the fabric threads, rather than using the needle to pierce through them.
If you enjoy counted thread embroidery, this is a design that combines traditional elements you’ll be familiar with, along with some wonderful variations that you’re sure to find very satisfying.
And if you just happen to be anywhere near one of the spectacular piazzas in Italy with terrazzo tiles while you’re stitching it… well, does life get much better that that?
Make Your Own Terrazzo
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Terrazzo by Christine P. Bishop is a highly textured, counted thread mat evoking an arrangement of Italian patterned floor tiles from the 15th century.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Terrazzo includes everything* you need to re-create this superbly textured design: Fabrics (unprinted), embroidery threads and needle.
*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.