Learn to make a Palestrina knot to add to your embroidery projects.
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Designer: Sue Spargo


  • Perle cotton No. 3 and 5 in assorted colors
  • Chenille needle No. 18

Palestrina Knot

Using perle cotton No. 3, work Palestrina knots around edge of the circle appliqué. Keep the knots evenly spaced and fairly close together for a pleasing finish. With contrasting colors of perle cotton (Sue used size No. 3 fuchsia and size No. 5 blue), stitch three curved lines of Palestrina knots through the center of the appliqué.

To make a Palestrina knot, complete the following steps.

1.    Thread a No. 18 chenille needle with an 18" length of perle cotton. Pull the needle up at A; insert the needle back into the fabric at B, 1⁄4" to the left of A (Diagram 1). Bring the needle up again at C, pulling it through to form a straight stitch (Diagram 2).


2.    Pass the needle under the straight stitch (Diagram 2), making sure not to catch the fabric or thread with the needle point. Gently pull the needle through until the thread is snug against the straight stitch (Diagram 3).


3.    Pass the needle under the small stitch to the left of the Step 2 wrap (Diagram 4), making sure the working thread is under the needle as you pull it through snugly. Do not pull it so tightly that you distort the circular look of the stitch.


4.    To form the next stitch, insert the needle back into the fabric at D, 1⁄4" to the left of the knot just formed, and bring it up again at E (Diagram 5).


5.    Continue in same manner (Diagram 6) to stitch around the entire appliqué edge. To finish, take a short stitch in the appliqué background just to the left of the last knot, bringing the thread to the back of your work.