Design in Stitches: 45 Artistic Embroidered & Cross-Stitched Creations

Cross-Stitched Antique Soldier’s Helmets by Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene




The peaceful domesticity implied by traditional embroidery contrasts sharply with real soldier’s helmets as Lithuanian artist Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene stitches roses, violets and other blooms around dings and bullet holes. The series is called “Kill for Peace.”

Lush Botanical Moss Embroidery by Emma Mattson




The texture of the thread itself is used in a whole new way as Emma Mattson stitches tight little french knots into mounds of lush green moss. The work is especially effective when she layers it with real moss for photos, showing off how well it blends in.

Embroidered X-Rays by Matthew Cox





“By joining the cold, blue, medically-technical plastic of the X-ray with the colorful, decorative and tactile embroidery thread, each is removed from its original intention and creates a new entity,” says artist Matthew Cox of this series. “Handling these media also gives me an opportunity to comment on the ever-increasing presence of photography in contemporary art by introducing labor over the quick, slickness of film.”

Cross-Stitched Car Doors & Other Objects by Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene






Expanding from the series on helmets, Severija stitches eggs into skillets, flowers into car doors and hoods, and many more designs onto household objects like irons, lamps, shovels, plates and rusted buckets.

Thread Paintings by Cayce Zavaglia



Another painterly series of portraits look like they’re made up of the tiniest brush strokes, but artist Cayce Zavaglia creates them with layer upon layer of embroidery. They’re especially cool when seen from behind. “Progressively, I created a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair and cloth.”