How much do you really know about needlework?

Dyann Joyce

What type of needlework uses yarn or thread to decorate fabric?

Hand embroidery has been around for centuries. In addition to thread or yarn, other materials, including gold, pearls or beads, may be sewn onto the fabric, using many different stitches.

What do you pull thread through before quilting?

When quilting, thread is often pulled through wax or beeswax to help it glide through all the rough layers of fabric. It's always important to use the right weight of thread. Also, remember that thread can age, so don't sew important projects with old thread that could break.

Which technique uses the business points of a porcupine as an aesthetic element?

Porcupine quillwork is uniquely North American. Porcupine quills were often found as decoration on rawhide and tanned hides, until beading became more popular.

What type of needlework involves creating fuzzy objects with wool yarn?

Needle felting uses a needle to pull and tangle wool yarn, to form various three-dimensional objects and embellishments. This technique is used by fiber artists worldwide. Needle felting is also called dry felting.

What do you call patterns worked on a very fine canvas - 22 count per inch or higher?

The use of a frame is a hallmark of sewing the fine canvases in petit point needlework. This technique, similar to needlepoint, is used to create cushions, carpets and more.

What is the most common stitch in needlepoint?

There are dozens of needlepoint stitches, but the tent stitch is the most common. Straight stitches are used for design elements and decorative finishes.

What type of needlework uses a hollow needle to create loops of yarn or thread while punching through fabric?

For needle punching, you need a frame with fabric stretched tightly over it, to enable the needle to punch through. The needle's size determines the width of the stitch.

What technique combines three layers of fabric into a padded work of art?

You may have heard of quilting and not realized it was needlework. Quilting usually involves two pieces of fabric sewn around a middle piece, which can be batting or foam. The stitching that joins these layers together is usually in a decorative pattern.

What is a tool of tatting?

Tatting originated with fishermen, crafting their nets. Tatting is a method of creating delicate, lacy designs.

What form of needlework gathers loops of yarn, then transfers the loops onto another needle with new loops, and so on?

Knitting is a form of needlework. Depending on the loops produced on the needles and in what manner they are transferred, different stitches are created.

What type of needlework uses embroidery thread or floss to sew on linen?

In Eastern Europe, as folk art flourished, cross stitching was used to decorate and embellish household items. Cross stitching was also used in samplers.

What is the most famous piece of embroidery from the 11th century?

The Bayeux Tapestry depicted the invasion of England by the Normans in 1066. Despite its name, it is not actually a tapestry, but rather it is embroidered, using stem stitching and laid-and-couched stitching.

What gives the color in blackwork?

Under the influence of the Islamic civilization of the Moors, Spain developed blackwork, with the black color of thread coming from silk. However, blackwork was sometimes done in green or other darker hues. Blackwork was always done on white fabric.

What is a sampler?

Although not intended for display, the sampler would be a record of a person's ability in favorite stitches and patterns, at a time when there were no pattern books. Samplers were sometimes kept rolled in a drawer or a trunk as family assets, or they were proudly dispayed. Samplers often included the alphabet and ornamental items.

What item boosted the popularity of embroidery?

Printed pattern books distributed designs to more customers and boosted the popularity of cross stitch and other needlework, starting in the sixteenth century. Printed lace patterns were popular as well.

Who stitched the earliest surviving sampler, in 1598?

Jane Bostocke was an English girl who sewed animals, plants, herbs and an alphabet motif in the oldest surviving sampler. Some evidence points to her having had an early pattern book.

What type of needlework is traditionally done entirely in worsted wool thread or yarn on linen or similar fabric?

Crewel embroidery is worked in wool, although today some people use the term more loosely. Crewel embroidery incorporates an endless variety of stitches and is usually done with thicker wool thread or yarn.

Can you name the zany new type of quilt that became popular following the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876?

People fell in love with crazy quilts at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. Silks, satins and velvets give an opulent Victorian feel to these quilts, with herringbone, blanket stitch and lazy daisy stitching. Fabric pieces were irregular, not meticulously measured.

What is the term for a quilt made with only one piece of fabric on the decorative side?

Traditionally, quilts are pieced, meaning they are made of many different pieces of fabric, sometimes all different sizes. Whole-cloth quilts, on the other hand, are made with one piece of fabric and the texture is created with beautiful and intricate stitches.

What is a mile-a-minute afghan?

A mile-a-minute afghan is made by joining together different crocheted strips, so called because it's quick and easy to make. Such afghans are a great way to use extra yarn from past projects.

What is a join-as-you-go afghan?

A Join-as-you-go afghan is made by crocheting individual squares, then sewing them together. Afghans make good seasonal gifts, because they add warmth for a person or to a room's decor.

What stitch stacks beads to look like pavers in a wall?

A Native American beading technique, stacking 4-5 beads, one atop another, is called the brick stitch or Cheyenne stitch. Similar techniques are used in Guatemalan, African, Middle Eastern and South American designs.

In 2014, who was revealed to have made a needlepoint for Ed Sheeran?

The MTV documentary "Nine Days and Nine Nights of Ed Sheeran" aired in 2014. It revealed that "TayTay" herself made a drake-themed needlepoint for Sheeran as a sign of their friendship. That's drake the animal, we hope, not the singer.

Which royal has a needlepoint award named in her honor?

Given for needlepoint completed entirely in tent stitch with no embellishments, the Princess Grace Award was established by the American Needlepoint Guild to honor a lover of the needlework form, Princess Grace.

What do you call the squares or blocks that are pieced together to make an afghan or clothing?

Although there is no limit to the number of pieces or size of a granny square, many crocheters will make multiple small motifs (squares) and piece them together to create a variety of items, such as purses, household textiles, or even clothing. Granny square clothing was a trend in the seventies!

What do you call an ornamental piece of fabric sewn on a bigger piece as decoration?

When a decorative, often elaborately shaped fabric piece is sewn onto a larger background piece, it's called an applique. It is a technique used often in textiles, but the same concept can be seen in other types of creative arts, like pottery. It originates from the Latin term "applicare," which means "to apply."

What American football player released a book on needlepoint?

"Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men" was released by player Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier. The book was chock full of samples and techniques that he personally sewed by hand. Grier is also famous for bravery during the Robert F. Kennedy assassination. Although unable to prevent the killing, Grier helped to subdue the shooter, Sirhan Sirhan.

Which character design does actress Loretta Swit have in her book on needlepoint?

"M*A*S*H" star Loretta Swit has a book with a needlepoint design of the yellow one herself, Ms. Pac-Man. The book is "A Needlepoint Scrapbook," first published in 1986 when Pac-Man was at the height of arcade magic.

What diagonal needlepoint stitch is actually made up of three stitches?

The mosaic stitch is made up of three stitches - two short tent stitches flanking one long one. This diagonal design is distinctive and elegant.

What is the frame called that cloth is woven on?

The frame a cloth is woven on is the loom. Warp threads are held under tension while the weft threads are interwoven.

On the cute little tomato made for sticking your pins into, what is the purpose of the attached strawberry?

That cute little strawberry has a very acute function - it is filled with sand or loose emery and will sharpen the pins when you use it. The abrasive materials also keep the pins smooth and able to slide easily into cloth so they don't snag or ruin your fabric.

What is knurling?

When you see those dimpled indents on a thimble, that is knurling. Before modern machining, such dimples were added by hand! They provide a grip to prevent the needle from sliding. Thimbles were once considered valuable possessions for young girls and part of their dowry.

Where does Shetland wool come from?

Shetland wool comes exclusively from Shetland sheep on the Shetland Islands. True Shetland wool now carries Protected Geographical Status - it's the only non-food product to be so regulated.

What is a "Fingerhutverein"?

The Fngerhutverein is a museum especially made for the 400 members of the Thimble Society that meets every May. Thimble shows, collections, competitions and just passion of the little humble "finger hut" are displayed with love in Germany.

What is "thimble-knocking"?

Victorian teachers started the practice of knocking students in the head with a thimble-covered finger when they were disobedient. Most of the thimbles were made of iron, so that could be quite a knock to the head! Supposedly this helped students pay attention, rather than risk more thimble-knocking. Such a practice wouldn't be tolerated today, of course.

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About This Quiz

Throughout history, needlework has been an important art form, as well as a practical skill. Do you know your knurling from your brick stitches? Take our quiz to test your needlework knowledge!

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