Corded quilting sample

Corded quilting is a traditional technique that involves stitching parallel lines through two layers of fabric, and then running a cord (usually a length of wool) through the channel. There are lots of illustrations showing the traditional Italian or French corded quilting available on the internet. This is one of those techniques that I didn’t think I’d like until I tried it, but once I had a go I became quite enthusiastic about its potential. With all the traditional stitching and construction techniques it’s interesting to push at their boundaries, varying materials, colours, textures and so on to produce something that’s a bit different. You’ll see from the photos below that this sample doesn’t bear much resemblance to the traditional images of corded quilting that you can find by scrolling through Google Images. However, it is fundamentally the same technique.

1-IMG_0242This sample uses two layers of fabric. The lower layer is green cotton (although it could be any colour as you don’t see it in the finished sample) and the top layer is black cotton netting. I stitched these together using parallel lines of back stitch in various colours – greens, pale pink and white – of stranded cotton (using 6 strands). ┬áThen I took various shades of pink tapestry wool and pulled a double line of wool through each set of parallel lines. Normally, the wool used in corded quilting would be a neutral shade because it isn’t seen; its function is solely to provide texture. However, because the top layer of fabric in this sample is netting, the wool shows through.

The second photograph shows the end of the sample where the wool is left untrimmed; this shows the various pinks I’ve used ranging from pale sugary pink through to pale russet brown.

1-IMG_0244When I’m selecting colours for samples I quite often use complementary colours, either by design or accident. The red/green complementary pair is probably my favourite. When making this sample I didn’t definitely decide that I was going to use ┬áred/green; its just an example of my subconscious preference, I suppose. One of the aspects of the Paul Klee exhibition at Tate Modern that I liked a lot (see earlier post) was spotting his use of complementaries. I’ll have the opportunity for another look this week as I’m going back to Tate Modern for a second look at the exhibition on Thursday.


  1. I also love various shades of red and green together!
    This is very intersting and inspirational. Thanks for sharin it.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.