Friday, 17 August 2012

Punto Madama Caterina De' Medici

Caterina De' Medici is typically associated with a strong and to-be-feared persona. And yet, for much of her life, she was adrift and powerless. In that process she must have learnt quickly! Aged just 14 she was married to the second son of the King of France. As luck would have it, her husband succeeded to the throne as Henri II, but again as luck would have it, he and his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, marginalized her completely. Henri II died before his weak son Francis II had attained majority, and Caterina, by some deft costume changes - always dressed in black - created a more assertive character for herself and assumed the role of Regent. Her first two sons died young - but she did have three, and her third son Henri III survived her, taking her advice throughout his reign.

It is from here that a stitch very much resembling, and sometimes mistaken for, double-running stitch is named. Like double-running stitch, this stitch presents a clean design on the front and the reverse of the fabric - usually burato - which allows it be used for decorative edges to cuffs and collars, as well as for decorative household items such as napkins and other cloths. Below, in the video you can see how it is worked. Click here to see the instruction books for Punto Madama.

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