Prick and stitch for beginners – a guide to making stitching cards

Nike posted a message on my Form-A-Lines forum saying “I’m in love with stitching cards, but here, in Italy, there is nothing about it. Can you tell me what I need?” So for Nike and any other beginners here is my guide to making prick and stitch cards.

Assemble your materials and equipment. You will need:

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Why string art is the granddaddy of prick and stitch card making

Way back in the swinging 1960s I was given a string art kit for Christmas. The kit had silver string, black felt for the background, a backing board and lots of nails. The picture was a sailing boat. I had great fun making the picture and it hung proudly in the hall for many years.

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Improvising a pricking mat for stitching cards

If you are making a lot of cards with the prick and stitch method it is well worth getting one of the purpose made pricking mats that will be sold by your favourite craft store. Pricking mats are usually made from compressed fibre, felt or polyurethane foam. The size will be around 9 x 6 inches (22 x 16 centimetres) and ½ inch (1 centimetre) thick.

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What is the difference between backstitch and stem stitch?

Two different names for a method of stitching that at first glance seems to do the same job. So what is the difference?

On backstitch more thread ends up hidden on the back of the work than on the front. Stem stitch is the opposite, more thread is visible on the front of the work than on the back. I often wonder why the opposite to backstitch was not called front stitch.

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The crossing fill stitch

This post looks at a method of stitching that is often used to fill areas and shapes with colour. I call it the crossing fill stitch as that is what it does. I try to work this method of stitching into my pattern designs as it gives an attractive finish and is popular with stitching card makers.

The instructions for this stitch often read as follows:

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Prick and stitch flower pattern. Download it free.

My prick and stitch flower card.I have just designed a prick and stitch flower pattern for visitors to the Prick And Stitch Is My Craft web site. You can use this simple design to try out the stitching card technique.

Prick and stitch flower card.I have used Kreinik metallic thread in green, red and gold on a hammered white card. The stem and flower outlines are worked in stem stitch. The flower centre and leaves are worked in crossing fill…