A Tutorial on Rice Stitch, some varieties and Square Boss

Rice stitch detailThis tutorial offers a step by step illustration of Rice Stitch and explores some of its variations including a stitch called Boss Stitch.

Sampler detail 158 Rice stitch is also known as Crossed Corners and William and Mary stitch. This is thought of as a canvas stitch, but as you can see it can be worked on aida or linen too.

Sampler detail 164
At first glance it looks a little boring but it is tremendously versatile. It is known as a canvas stitch background because it can be easily worked and covers the ground quickly. To be honest I am a little addicted to it as I love mixing my threads in the different layers or parts of the stitch.
Don’t let the fact that it is and canvas stitch put you off however because many of the canvas stitches can be worked on Aida (like the samples illustrated) or any even weave fabric with great effect. If you want to work it on other fabric or over an area of crazy patchwork use waste canvas.

How to work Rice Stitch

This is an illustrated step by step on how you work Rice stitch. As you can see it is very simple consisting of a cross stitch foundation with a second layer of diagonal stitches added to each arm of the cross.

Rice stitch illustrated stepsHow to work Variety 1 and 2 of Rice Stitch

I want to share 2 varieties (there are a lot more) As you can see they all have the same structure

Rice stitch V1 illustrated stepsThe first variety is a cross worked over more threads so that the diagonal stitches sit apart slightly.

Rice stitch V2 illustrated stepsThe next variety has 3 diagonal stitches worked across each bar.

Rice stitch sample 2You can really have fun with this stitch particularly if you change threads. You can use one thread or colour for the large cross and another thread of colour for the corner tie downs. Swap between thick and thin, metallic and dull or explore colour combinations. Change the size of your stitches and you can always add beads or French knots to really give the stitch a contrast of texture. It is one of those simple stitches that can produce interesting results.

Rice stitch sample 1How to work Square Boss Stitch

Square Boss stitch is also known as Raised Knot Stitch. Don’t ask me why as I don’t know. However it is so similar to Rice stitch I have decided to group these two stitches together as many of the experiments you can do with Rice stitch you can also do with Square Boss.

Square Boss Rice stitch illustrated stepsSquare boss starts with a larger cross stitch and the tie stitches are tucked further to the crossed threads in the middle. This means that the pattern established varies from Rice stitch but it is really a variety.

I hope you enjoy experimenting with both these stitches.




For the Love of Stitching Sample 597

hand embroidery detail on needlework stitching sampler 597Stitching Sample 597 is found on part 42 of The for Love of Stitching Band Sampler. It is a section of freeform embroidery in which I also added beads to a mix of hand embroidery stitches. hand embroidery detail on needlework stitching sampler Stitches Used: Straight stitch, Satin stitch, French knots, Cross stitch, Rice stitch, Square Boss, Bullion knots and I added bugle and seed beads.

Thread: Hand dyed perle #5 cotton and hand dyed wool, silk, crochet cotton, and also I used 1 stand of Caron watercolours  thread

Fabric: Linda 27 count evenweave

Date: This section of the sampler was worked mid 2009.

Size: The For Love of Stitching Band Sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide and consists of different strips of fabric which are stitched together to form one long strip. It currently measures 96 feet 5 inches (2,938.78 centimetres), or  32.138 yards which is 29.3878 meters. It is still growing… For the full back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page.