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Friday, March 11, 2011

Curve stitching templates

Curve stitching was created by Mary Boole as a method to teach children visually how angles and spaces worked in geometry. She considered herself a mathematical psychologist and was very interested in how children learned math. She made cards with holes punched in them that students could stitch.
Skip forward all the way to the 70s and curve stitching using thread around nails in boards was super popular. String art was trendy, with the lines of stitching making up lovely intricate geometric designs and abstract representations of birds, boats and other popular decorating themes.
There are so many shapes that can be made using this nifty technique and these templates are fairly limited. But they can be used for simple designs. They are 100 dpi with evenly spaced dots. Click on the images for the full sized versions.
Using these is fairly easy. When you're working a round design, the spacing of your first line will determine how wide the mesh of the curve stitched circle will be. These two designs have a line marked in red so you can see how long each of the lines is and how it shapes the design. The first one, the spacing is a lot closer, which makes for a nice frame effect.

Using the square grids, you can do corners, diamonds and other shapes on a right angle. Making the spacing of one axis farther apart than the others creates extended curves for lovely tall thin diamond shapes.
As you can see, with this one the inner star is spaced so it's every 4th dot marked and the lines are made so they intersect fairly close to the middle to make a star shape. The crescent moon is done by only doing part of the circle. The spacing is wide and open.

I hope you enjoy the templates and come up with lots of your own designs!


  1. this is fabulous!@ thank you very much Shala. I've previously been making almost all of my templates by hand each time which is a big pain... and I tend to get impatient so they were not 100% even :-)
    I can't fathom why your blog posts aren't overflowing with comments! I feel so lucky to have found your treasure of a blog and hope that more people will find you soon!

  2. I love doing curve stitching for my cards. What I've found as templates were some plastic canvas shapes used for needle arts. They are so inexpensive. Like 50 cents to a dollar. I find I only need square, circle and star one to do just about anything.

    However, I haven't found may crafts blogs doing curve stitching art, which is disappiointing. Glad to see this post!


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