As far as I can tell, there is no set tradition of stitch witches. There are plenty of forms of needlework, and there are many trends in each form that gain popularity or experience revivals. But there is no coven of Witches who work mainly through stitches. The closest stitch witch comes to is Kitchen Witchery as, like cooking, sewing is a home-based task.
Nearly all forms of needlework readily lend themselves to magick and spells. It's easy to add magick while stitching. The work itself can be a spell.
No matter which form of sewing you prefer, no matter what your skill level, there is a pattern that could easily be used in magick.
You can weave, knit, crochet, quilt, embroider, and more.
Even the place where you create can be magickal. Who can look at a spinning wheel and NOT think of fairy tales?
This embroidered patch would make a great protection spell.
What if every diamond in this lone star quilt was a spell? What if every stitch was a spell? I don't think a nightmare could be had while sleeping under this quilt. How helpful would that be for someone dealing with stress or trauma?
I know quite a few Witches who use needlework for magick. All of them use spells that they invented, not a stitch spell that was taught to them. This may be why there is no stitch witch tradition- we Witches use what we need at the time. Because stitchery spells last for a very long time, there is rarely a need to repeat the spell. Sadly, not many of these stitch spells get written down. I think this is because we make things up as we go and due to the huge amount of work involved we're too busy to jot down notes. I'm trying to record what I do when performing a stitch spell. However, this is a lot of writing. All the usual rules of timing, color, and numerology applies, plus considerations about what materials to use, how the materials were prepped, the purpose of the spell, and all the elements needed (and that's not just earth, air, fire, water, that's why certain stitches are used, the skill level of the maker, time limitations, and what happened during the working such as running out of thread or encountering a problem such as frayed cloth once the piece is washed. Would that be a sign that your magick will unravel or that whatever you are working against is lessening?)
And I haven't even gotten to macramé and knot magick. I consider knot spells to be the most obvious form of stitch witchery, yet very few Witches seem to tie knots as spells. But knots are clearly present in our practices- we have hand fastening ceremonies and Witches' Ladders. So why isn't tying knots a part of our training? Boy scouts are better at this than we are. I would like to point out that macramé seems to be the form most likely to be destructive or to curse. I look at this globe knot and immediately think 'weapon'. I can see where there would be little cursing in stitch witchery because who wants to spend all that time working on something to give their enemy? I don't make quilts for people I don't like. That being said, I do see the benefit of placing a destructive spell on a family member. Someone you don't like, but can't really avoid or get rid of. A cursed quilt to that annoying in-law would be awesome and anyway, if you're making quilts for other members of the family, the in-law will wonder why you left them out.
This skeleton key has tatting added, proving that stitch spells do not need to be the whole work unto themselves. It also proves the magick can be added at any stage and in any degree. Perhaps only the beads were used for a spell and not the tatting stitches.
I'd really like to see more stitch spells. I've found one knot spell for healing. I think knots may be like veves. Veves are attached to particular loas but each loa may have a dozen different veves associated with it. Stitch spells evolve the way bind runes evolve; as needs change more runes are added or taken away.
In general, these are the rules I follow with stitch witchery:
1. Start fresh. Using a half-finished project for a spell rarely works out.
2. Do a reading BEFORE you begin. I like to use Tarot cards because this gives me very good clues about what colors to use, along with numerology and placement.
3. Sewing takes a long time. For spells, I strongly recommend using sewing techniques you are already familiar with. Using the project you are learning on as a spell nets half-hearted results.
4. Keep spell work separate from other projects. It really helps to have a special box to store the project when you can't work on it.
5. Keep in mind that stitch spells attract attention. Every single time I've done a stitch spell at least three people will ask if they can have it before I can give it to the intended recipient.
6. Nothing ever goes as planned so if you think it's a three week project plan for 6 weeks.
7. It is nice to begin the same way each time you if you can. So sit in the same chair, say the same chant, burn the same color candle.
8. I use a crystal ball to add in magick to my sewing. After using the ball, things flow together nicely. If I forget to use the ball I end up making a mistake.
9. After completing a stitch spell clean up thoroughly. Put every thing away, organize supplies, and sharpen your scissors or cleanse your crochet hooks. Take a break before beginning your next project.
10. Number 9 brings up this question- should you enchant the supplies or just the finished work? If you enchant the supplies then every time you use the thread you add in past spells. For this reason I keep things vague if I enchant supplies or tools. Finished projects are where I add specific details.
11. When doing stitch spells sewing tools are just as sacred as magickal tools so treat and cleanse them the same way.
12. Become intuitive. While it is nice to have a set ritual, you will only grow by learning new skills and by looking at things differently.
13. Stitching is a lot of work but it should be something you enjoy. If it ever becomes a chore don't use it for magick or you'll add negative energy to your spell.