All About Victorian
Embroidered Patchwork

Embroidered patchwork is as its name implies, patchwork that has been embroidered upon. If the blocks are small, usually embroidery is done on every other one or if done in lights and darks, upon the light blocks. If the blocks were larger blocks, each block would be embroidered upon and divided by sashes of color. 

The following information on this type of patchwork is from The Dictionary of Needlework: An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain and Fancy Needlework, 1887, by S.F.A. Caulfeild and Blanche C. Saward. It has been edited for use on this site.

Embroidered Patchwork

mosaic patchwork with embroidery

Mosaic patchwork with embroidery

This kind of work is considered only suitable for small articles, such as cushions, handkerchief cases, and glove cases. It is formed by sewing together squares of different colors, after they have been ornamented with fancy stitches.

To work: Cut a number of 3-inch squares in dark velvet and silk or satin. Upon each satin or silk square, work a spray of flowers, or a small wreath, in Satin Stitch, and in flosses or silks matching the colors of the flowers. Make each spray or wreath of different kinds of flowers; and upon a different colored satin, but care must be taken that the colors of the satins used will blend together.

Take the dark velvet squares (these should be all of one shade), and work a pattern upon each of their sides in lines of Coral, Herringbone, or Chain Stitch, and then join the velvet and satin squares together – a satin and a velvet patch alternately.

A Simpler Embroidery Patchwork Pattern

A simpler pattern in Embroidery is made as follows:

Cut out, either in silk or satin, small 2-inch squares of various colors, sew these together, and, when all are secured, work a Railway Stitch in colored silks from each corner of the square to the center, and a Satin Stitch on each side of it; this when repeated in every square, will make a pretty design.

Another manner of embroidering squares is to make them of Holland and Plush alternately, and to work a line of Herringbone or Coral on two sides of the Holland square, but to leave the velvet plain.


What a lovely way to use small pieces of fabric and practice your embroidery stitches - those that you just want to try but not make a large project out of - and the end result be a beautiful patchwork item!

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