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Point a la Minute icon
Point a la Minute

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Point à la minute makes a raised cross formed of whipped straight stitches. It looks similar to a group of bullion knots - in fact, Caulfeild’s version of this stitch uses bullion knots which radiate out from a central point.  The stiches (whether they are whipped straight stitches, or bullion knots) can be in pairs to make a thicker line, or singly; they can form a cross, a tripod or a star.

Point a la Minute is generously sponsored by Worshipful Company of Needlemakers



Starting from the centre of the cross for each stitch, work two horizontal straight stitches next to each other.

Work two more vertical straight stitches to form the next arm of the cross.


Continue in this way until the cross is completed with two stitches on each arm.


To start the whipping, bring the needle up at the end of one of the foundation straight stitches.


Slide the needle under one of the foundation stitches, pull the thread through and take it back under the foundation stitch in the same direction. Continue in this way, making sure you don’t catch the fabric.


When you finish whipping the first pair of straight stitches, move on to the next pair without piercing the fabric.


Keep on whipping.


Move onto the next pair of foundation straight stitches without piercing the fabric.


Continue whipping.


Move onto the last pair of straight stitches.


When you finish whipping around the cross, connect the working thread to the first foundation straight stitch. Take the needle down at the same hole where you started whipping. Secure the thread on the reverse.

Point a la Minute

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques


  • S. F. A. Caulfeild, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.188
  • Mary Thomas, Jan Eaton, Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (Revised Edition) (1989) , p.78