Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Video Tutorial: Mountmellick Stitch


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The Mountmellick embroidery stitch is a decorative line stitch made of up little triangle-like stitches that join together like chain stitches. It’s a simple stitch to work, once you get the rhythm of it down, and it’s very pretty. It works well on lines and curves.

Mountmellick Stitch

The Mountmellick stitch is named after Mountmellick embroidery, a form of whitework originating in Ireland. Mountmellick embroidery is traditionally worked on cotton sateen, a heavier cotton fabric with a nice sheen. The stitches are worked in a matte cotton thread, which contrasts with the sheen of the fabric. What characterizes Mountmellick embroidery, besides the fabric and threads, is the textured nature of the whitework. The motifs are generally taken from nature (leaves, vines, berries, flowers, etc.), and are worked in different types of textured stitches, with a good splash of satin stitching as well. For more information, you can read my previous article on Mountmellick embroidery.

Mountmellick Stitch

Mountmellick stitch is not relegated just to Mountmellick embroidery, though. It can be used in all kinds of surface embroidery. It looks really nice in crewel work, with wool threads. It can be used to decorate crazy quilt seams. It can be used as a border stitch, and it can even be used for monogramming and the like. It’s one of those versatile stitches that is really fun to play with! In the photo above, I’ve mirrored two lines of Mountmellick stitch to create a decorative band. You could build on that band by adding other stitches to the outside of it, or even along the inside corridor between the two rows.

Mountmellick stitch works well all types of thread.

Here’s the Mountmellick Stitch Video:

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(27) Comments

  1. I love it!…I love it a lot! What a great stitch to edge towels or pillowcases with. A new stitch to practice and a new book for the wishlist! Thanks, Mary! – Jeannine

  2. Dear Mary,
    What a wonderful stitch to learn. I keep backing up the Video and you make it all seem so easy. Thank you for the Videos I have them on my desk top just to keep them close. Thanks for your work Ive become one of your older students. Eva

  3. Hi!! I am new to embroidery, my mother in law has taught me some, but I was so happy to find your instructions!!! I’m sure I will use many many of your stitches in the future!!! Thank You So Much!!!!
    Kathy K

  4. I’ve been embroidering for more years than I like to admit, with my current addiction being to Brazilian dimensional embroidery. I love your demos!

  5. Thank you, I have been trying to work the Mountmellick stitch and although I was doing the correct process my stitches looked messy and uneven. Your video has helped me to locate what I have been doing incorrectly. It was very easy to understand, easy to view and now I will go and try again!

  6. I refer to your videos as a refresher and to learn new stitches. I thought I knew them all, but then this Mountmellick stitch, which I love, comes along! Thanks so much,

  7. Mary

    This mountmellick stitch is my absolute favorite stitch of all your embroidery stitches. I showed a veteran embroiderer this stitch and she was very excited about the stitch. Posting links back to this stitch and others on my blog. Thanks for posting!

  8. Hi, Mary, Thanks for the incredible instructions. I am 63 and never did embroidery and have learned several stitches with your expert help as I am wanting to do Candlewicking embroidery now and learned Colonial knots and backstitch, stem and outline and now this beautiful mountmellick stitch using heavy crochet thread that I waxed on muslin. I think the thread is 30 as 10 is too small and it works ok but tangles easily. Thanks Again, Dolly in Scottsboro, AL.

  9. HI

    I have question about Repousse Embroidery.
    Have you try this embroidery techniques ? or ever heard of that ?
    If so please let me know anyone or any book or any website I can take a look.
    Recently I have this kit, but even I read about instruction, pretty much difficult for me .
    I hope you know about this .
    Thank you !

  10. Hi – love your videos. I am a lefty, but I am learning thanks to your demonstrations. I have a question,
    When demonstrating the Mountmellick stitch, you mention the design line – hence, my question: what fabric are you using in this demonstration?
    Thank you


  11. I just want to say thank you for all of your insight and enlightenment. You have opened my eyes to a lot of beautiful art.

    Thanks so much

  12. I have recently joined your page,which I really enjoy. Its a shame that your videos are ot accessible in this part of world. Any suggestions how I can see them.

  13. Estos bordados me encantan y quiero que me envíen esta información, la disfrutare y aprecare mucho, bordad es una actividad fabulosa. Gracias por darme la oportunidad de aprender con ustedes.

  14. Dear Mary, What a generous person you are to take the time to present such awesome tutorials on all of these embroidery stitches!! I am 80 and have been doing all kinds of crafts all my life (taught by my mother and grandmother at about age 6,) but I have never applied myself to learning embroidery stitches except the usual outline stitch and maybe some satin stitching. I just want to say a big THANK YOU for sharing your talent to make a cold evening in Oklahoma so enjoyable. If I could afford to buy your books, I would get every one of them, but I try to live on a very low income. I pray you are well and can keep doing and sharing the talents God has given you!!!

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