Raised Cretan stitch is a variety of Cretan Stitch which is also known as Herringbone Ladder Filling, Double Pekinese, Figure of 8 stitch and Laced Cretan. Before you start this stitch take a look at Cretan Stitch and pay attention to the hand movement required to create the stitch. The difference is that this variety is worked lacing a foundation of back stitch rather than taking a bite of the fabric. They foundation stitches can be arranged in two parallel lines or as shape.
Raised Cretan stitch worked either as a line or within a shape is a quick and easy way to create a fill that looks a little like a braid. Not only is it quick but at the lacing stage you can add beads or use interesting novelty threads such as a fine metallic braid.
How to hand Embroider Raised Cretan stitch
For the demonstration I have used cotton perle #5 thread. Work a foundation of back stitches arranged two parallel lines.
Bring your needle to the front of the fabric at the top of one of the lines of back stitch. (If you need a refresher on how to work back stitch just follow the link to a tutorial) Take the needle across to the other line. With the point of the needle angled toward the middle of the two lines, pass it under the first back stitch.
Move to the other line. Pass the needle under the second back stitch. With each pass make sure the needle points towards the center of the two lines.
Move back and forth lacing the back stitches until you reach the end.
Raised Cretan stitch worked within a shape.
You can also work Raised Cretan stitch within a shape. It is a very quick way to fill a small area and is ideal to work for leaf shapes. The process is the same as Raised Cretan stitch worked between two parallel foundation lines
Work a foundation of back stitches in the shape you want to work. I have used a very wide leaf shape. I widened the sample so you could easily see what was happening but if you make the shape narrow Raised Cretan stitch produces nice leaves and flower petals. Of course you can use other shapes too but I have found that a leaf shape is particularly effective.
Bring your needle to the front of the fabric at the top of the shape. Take the needle across the shape and pass it under the first back stitch on the other side. Move across the shape and pass the needle under the next back stitch. As with Raised Cretan stitch worked between two parallel foundation lines with each pass make sure the needle points towards the center of the shape.
Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?
As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.
Templates set 1 you will find here
Templates set 2 you will find here
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It looks like a fun one!
Hi Sharon! First let me say thank you so much for providing such wonderful easy-to-follow instructions! I used to do crewel embroidery probably 45+ years ago so while I recognize some of the stitches, I’m finding that I don’t remember how to begin the stitch and I feel like a beginner all over again! Your stitch instructions and photos are a huge help!
The stitches you are teaching are much more elaborate and precise than what I did and I see that the fabric you use for your lessons make it very easy to keep lines spaced correctly while learning the stitches. But I can find no mention of what that fabric is–it looks a lot like the Aida cloth I used for cross stitching, but I thought it would be best to ask you directly.
Thank you so much!
Hi Barb the fabric that I use for the demo is a 22cnt even weave linen /cotton mix. I just use it to demonstrate stitches as it is easy for people see what is going on. The weave would be too large for crewel work so I would not recommend it for a project. For learning some of the stitches Aida is useful as then you can see the weave.
Thanks so much Sharon! I knew you used this fabric for teaching and not on your quilts, but I thought it would be helpful for me to pick some up to practice on, just for help in spacing and lining up my stitches until I’ve got them donw. ‘m going to try to keep up with the current TAST challenges and then that same week I’ll go back to the beginning and practice the first TAST–hopefully I’ll be able to do that each week, one new TAST and one older one. I also printed up some of the free sample worksheets and I’m hoping to use them to build a library resource of stitches using your dictionary of stitches and those stitcher’s worksheets.
I’m so very appreciative of all the work you’ve put into teaching us! Again, thank you!