July 18, 2013

Rooster of Barcelos - back to cross stitch

Olá! For the first time (Oh!!! Maybe second time...) I bring you cross stitch... One of these days I will talk a bit more about the importance of cross stitch in Portuguese traditional embroidery. This time I will only share  my happiness on returning to this technique.

Cross stitch (Ponto cruz in Portuguese) was my first "embroidery" passion. And for a long time the only one... But since I began my project, agulha não pica, I've changed my heart and mind to free embroidery... And I was happy!!! Until I found the most challenging book... I'm not revealing the name of the book today... Some suspense will be good!!!

I can say it is not a book with cross stitch patterns... But the moment I saw it my mind could not resist turning these beautiful images into cross stitch charts...

Roosters' patterns
Inspiring roosters

And the first one I chose was a Rooster of Barcelos... I've already talked about how special this rooster is for Portuguese people. For many this is a unofficial symbol of Portugal. And it is very interesting, again, to see how pottery can inspire embroidery.

Barcelos Rooster
Unfinished work
I took this last photo so I could ask for your help... I learned to cross stitch on my own... Reading some magazines... I believe I was 12 years old. I've always finished my work on the front side... I like to turn it and see the back side only with vertical stitches. How much I love it that way!!! But recently all the books I've read teach you to finish the work on the backside using horizontal stitches under the vertical stitches... But I don't like it... This time I began that way and then returned to "my old" way...

What is your favorite technique to finish your work? I would love to hear it from you...

Barcelos Roosters
My new Portguese scissors
I could also not resist to tell you about one of my latest finds... I'm always searching for Portuguese embroidery supplies... And I was so happy to know that there still are scissors made in Portugal! And they come from the North of Portugal... like the Rooster of Barcelos!!

My finished work
This was my first work from this book, but I have some more and I'll show them soon! I'm thinking of using it to make an album to file all my posts on Feeling Stitchy... What do you think? Do you have a better idea???


  1. I just learned the difference between cross stitch and embroidery over the weekend. Cool to see you doing it here now :)

  2. I always learned to go across the entire row to the right and then come back to the left to finish the X. I recently completed a cross stitch where the floss was variegated and I was supposed to make each X one at a time. I couldn't stand it! It was so unnatural. :)

    Love to see the Portuguese culture here!

  3. Unusual and nice.:)

  4. I've never seen your way of finishing before, but I think if you like it you should use it. Who cares what a book says you 'should' do - it's art, there is no such thing as 'should'!

  5. Whitney McCormacJuly 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I think this is a beautiful piece!

    When I cross stitch I do a row at a time, making one half of the x left to right, then going back and make the other half. Is that normal? I have no clue but your way sounds lovely and I see no reason to change!

  6. The rooster cross stitch is beautiful! I think you should always do your stitching the way it makes you happiest. If you're pleased with it, that's all that matters!

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments... I believe you are right!!! It's good to work as it makes us happy... But It's even better to learn more and more...