When I first came across this technique I thought it looked a bit medieval and assumed it must be very old. The ‘Wessex’ name also adds to the aura of history because during the Anglo Saxon period it was a centre for embroidery and illuminating.
But no it’s actually a more recent style that was created by Mrs Margaret Foster (1843-1936) who lived in Bath, England. Very little is known about her life but her technique, Wessex Stitching, has endured because after her death her sister donated all her notes and the 300 pieces she developed for an exhibition to Gawthorpe Hall.
Gawthorpe Hall has an awesome collection of lace, embroidery and other textiles. It is absolutely on my bucket list. You can read more here.
Wessex Stitching combines a limited number of stitches in a wide variety of patterns and colours to create a decorative effect. It’s also usually stitched on evenweave fabric.