OxHead Stitch (Tête de Boeuf)

OxHead Stitch (Tête de Boeuf)
Learn Oxhead stitch for an effective small motif or light filling!

Today’s stitch is a combination stitch. It’s a standalone stitch, or you can create a line of them. They make wonderful little motifs by themselves. The Tête de boeuf stitch (Oxhead stitch in English) is usually called by its French name. Or it can sometimes be called “WheatEar” stitch because the finished stitch looks like the head of the wheat stalk, especially when worked one on top of the next.

In the video below, I’ve demonstrated two differing methods of stitching that to create this stitch. The variant is one that I pulled from the Country Bumpkin A-Z of Stitches book. It is the only stitch dictionary I’ve found that makes the stitch in this manner. But it’s a cool variation that makes really nice flower buds (see the main image here).

Uses for Oxhead Stitch

Oxhead stitch makes great flower buds (as mentioned above). It also stands alone, looking like a little abstract ox head, or, upside down, a wheat berry with chaff. The traditional method of stitching puts the horns on the top of the head. The second variation puts them at the bottom, which look more like a flower bud. Or, if you turn the stitch upside down, like a floppy eared dog. I could see stitching little miniature dogs with this stitch and a couple others.

This stitch stands alone, or you can powder the background with them for a light filling stitch that looks a lot like the tiny flower prints of calico (US definition… what UK folks call calico is what we call muslin, which is never printed. Hey UK folks, what do you call the cotton fabric that’s covered in little flowers and often used for quilting?) fabric.

Directions for both Right and Left Handed Stitching

The left handed instructions begin at 5:44.

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