April 30, 2007
Chicken Scratch is embroidery worked on gingham fabric. It is also known as Snowflake Embroidery, Amish Embroidery, Depression Lace, or Gingham Lace. The three primary stitches used in Chicken Scratch are: the double cross stitch, a straight running stitch, and the woven circle stitch. When many of us think of cross stitch we visualize counted stitches on an even weave fabric that was so popular in the 80's. However, cross stitch is also done on linen and looks great on gingham fabric. Just look at the embroidered gingham aprons in this photo! The picture is taken from Kristin Nicholas' book Colorful Stitchery. Kristin mentions that decorating gingham aprons with cross stitch was very popular in the 40's and 50's and that sewing aprons was one of the basic projects a young girl was taught in a home economics class. Well, there are many apron lovers out there today and making a Chicken Scratch apron is a fresh approach to the age-old cross stitch.
This picture of an apron embroidered with Chicken Scratch is borrowed from Linda B.'s photo stream on Flickr. It is a great example of the stitches that adorn vintage aprons.
To the right is an illustration of the double cross stitch. It is a simple stitch that is wonderful for the beginners as well as the more seasoned embroiderers.
Chicken Scratch, however, is not exclusive to aprons. Pillow, curtains, and tablecloths made of gingham and decorated with these primary stitches are all wonderful ways to showoff your skills.
Now go out there and Chicken Scratch!