Chain Stitch

Instructions on how to work chain stitch

Chain stitch can be used to create a line. It is also known as tambour stitch and point de chainette.

step by step instructions for chain stitch 1Bring the needle up through the fabric and hold the thread with the left thumb. Insert the needle as illustrated, so that the point emerges a short space along the line to be stitched.

step by step instructions for chain stitch 2With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric to make the first stitch.

Insert the needle into the middle of the chain stitch with the point emerging further along the line. Once again wrap the thread under the needle and pull through.

step by step instructions for chain stitch 3Continue in this manner along the line

chain stitch sample 2Chain stitch worked in fine knitting yarn.

chain stitch sample 3Chain stitch worked in silk thread on a crazy quilt block

chain stitch sample 1Chain stitch is known as a linear stitch because it is good for lines.

chain stitch sample 4
Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 
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112 Responses to Chain Stitch

  1. Pingback: TAST 2012 #8: Chain Stitch - Studio Paars: embroidery chain stitch

  2. Pingback: Isolated Stitches in Embroidery - Beyond TAST

  3. Pingback: TAST Catch Up 5 out of 5. I Did It!

  4. Pingback: Some simple TAST stitches | CrazyQstitcher

  5. My project challenge is stitching onto paper.
    Chain stitch and the next 4 are found here.
    Sandy in the UK

  6. regina drumond says:

    It is lovely and have a good result and I think that we can use in many ocasions

  7. Sherrie says:

    I’ve posted my Chain Stitch at my place. I’m really enjoying working these stitches. Have a great day!

  8. Linda says:

    Hi Sharon,
    My sample of the chain stitch is here:
    (it didn’t get moved over) Thanks!

  9. Karrin Hurd says:

    I didn't get my example done this week, and I have posted a picture of something I did approximately 39 years ago, with the majority of the piece in chain stitch.

  10. I am late, but finally done. Because I fell a bit behind, I have combined Detached Chain and Chain on one post. Hope you'll have a look here:

  11. kay warner says:

    My very small sample of chain stitch is on my blog.

  12. Ms Sharma says:

    Here are my experiments with the chain stitch:

  13. Ann says:

    Enjoyed doing the chain stitch this week. It's definitely a stitch I'll use again:

  14. Ulla-Britt says:

    This week I made another denim swatch and a felted ball with Chain stitch.

  15. I'm quite late posting this but I've had a manic week and couldn't find much time to sew. I only managed to push this stitch a little bit.

  16. shirley says:

    Hi Sharon, I forgot to add my comment. Basic chain stitch is a very useful stitch as is the detached chain which I have combined on a new fabric page over two weeks.

    I am blowed if I can work out how to put a link onto my blog here, but my work is on SF.

  17. maneki says:

    I've finally blogged about this and last week's stitches:

    This time I once again tried some beaded variations. Plus couching and of cause more novelty yarn embroidery. My Aurica sampler is growing and growing.

  18. chitra gangadharan says:

    Hi Sharon,
    This week's chain stitch helped me complete four varieties of chain stitches which I did not attempt on previous TAST challenges. cable chain st, knotted cable chain st, checkered chain st, and shell chain st. the samplers and details are on my blog-
    Thank you,

  19. Petra Weiler says:

    After a short break due to some personal issues which caused a real creativity-less-ness (no idea if this word works, I now tried to combine this week´s Chain stitch with last week´s Detached Chain stitch. Please see my result on

    Best regards,

  20. Marie-Claude says:

    This week my tribute is for chain stitch by machines ,so currently used in embroidery in Africa and Asia ..You see in my blogs
    Thanks Sharon and all of you for your works,so much creativity!

  21. Jorin says:

    Do you want to know why I needed a drill and a drill stand for this week?


  22. Tenar says:

    Here is my little chain stitch sample, although not a very inspired one this time.

  23. Chena Losa says:

    Aquí va el trabajo de mi TAST 2012, semana 8. Estoy teniendo problemas con mi conexión a internet así que voy un poco retrasada en colgar las fotos. Intentaré dejarlo solucionado esta semana.

  24. Donna Russ says:

    I have added my chain stitch challenge to my blog, its a large colorful circle, I love this stitch, its been several weeks since I have posted but I will catch up, I have the other work just haven't posted, hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed doing it….

  25. Savitha says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I have Posted My Chain Stitch Motif in my Blog.

  26. Kirsty Macdonald says:

    Ah oops, just listed on the wrong post! I'm a week behind – should have listed my Week 8 sample on here!! Oh well! Here's week 8 🙂

  27. Diane says:

    Here's my chain stitch for week 8 of TAST.

    Diane in Ontario

  28. hopscotch says:

    Finished my sample and had a bit of fun,too! Main photo is not so good, though.

  29. Brigitte Otto says:

    My sample for this week is chain stitch combined with the seven previous stitches of TAST 2012.
    It can be found here:

  30. Shami Immanuel says:

    I have used chain stitch as a filling stitch for a flower and then added beads as the outline of the flower using chain stitch. My post is here.

    My updated post for the previous week's challenge is here.

    Shami Immanuel.

  31. libbyQ says:

    i've enjoyed using the chain stitch to add words to the christmas stocking project.
    feel free to have a look:

    :- )

  32. Lucy Landry says:

    I've added a dragonfly to my embroidered menagerie.

  33. Dianne says:

    The picture I have created with chain stitch this week is a pear. To have a look go here:

  34. Romilly says:

    The start of my chain stitch piece is here:

    It's well on it's way, and I'll probably only add one more variation, to either side of the Magic Chain.

  35. Barb Suess says:

    TEMARI – chain stitch around the outside of a diamond and crossing through it. Chevron inside that. Detached chain fill. Wow! Got three stitches done in one motif. I found the chevron really difficult on the thread wrapped ball. But I always enjoy the cute little chain and detached chain stitching.

  36. Christine says:

    Point de chainette et point de chainette surjeté pour cette huitième semaine! Les photos sont sur mon blog.

  37. Diane says:

    Since the detached chain stitches were right next to this week's example of chain stitches, I decided to do a bound version and change the visual effect.


  38. Iris Lins says:

    I used this stitch on a crazy block I did. Very pretty.

  39. Hi Sharon, this is my sample for week 8…….you can find it here

    chris richards

  40. Ina says:

    I'd embroidered a few insects and a spider using beaded chain stitch method –

  41. Marie says:

    Here's my chain stitch exercise. I translated another sketch into embroidery:

  42. Bonjour sharon , j'adore le point de chainette , j'en ferais des kilomètres !
    Voici mon petit exercice de la semaine 8 : un escargot tout en chainette !
    A la semaine prochaine…

  43. Susan says:

    I started a new block for the next set of stitches, and think progress is being made: I'm not only learning stitches and crazy quilting, I'm learning about creativity and what it is and how to let myself have it. Here's my contribution for the Chain Stitch, which isn't terribly creative, but compared to where I've been coming from, it's at least headed in the right direction:

  44. Kathy R says:

    Camera still not great, but better. Here is my effort for week 8.

  45. This weeks stitch is so interesting.
    Very long long ago i learnt this as first stitch.
    Happy doing it again.
    I like to see variation in this stitches here.
    Thanks sharon b making me do this stitches.
    Can be viewed here.

  46. Jen F says:

    The chain stitch was so fun to work on, here is what I came up with:

  47. have finally caught up with the stitches for week 7 and 8. really relaxing to somehow squeeze in the time for embroidery in the midst of 'work' and crocheting for family and friends.

  48. Debbie says:

    Here's my TAST, chain stitch, for this week. And, some more lazy daisy.

  49. Only a very simple collection again, but I enjoyed them nonetheless and hope to try and find some use for them in the near future.

  50. Helga says:

    Hey Sharon,
    my work this week.


  51. Queeniepatch says:

    This has always been a much loved stitch and thanks to TAST2012 and Sharon's encouragement I have ventured into new grounds and learned a few new variations.

  52. Hobby Sewer says:


    I have updated my blog with all TAST 2012 stitches so far.

  53. Deepa says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I've used the chain stitch to fill but the technique is different. I've not seen this method anywhere before,so have named it Honeycomb chain stitch.
    If you're aware of its name do let me know


  54. Gail says:

    I seem to have taken a TAST vacation! Here is my sample cloth with Weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8 posted on my daughter's and my blog. My goal this week is to play around with all the Chain Stitch variations — so many!

    Have a look around our blog — we2create all kinds of stuff!

    Happy Stitching! Gail

  55. here is my chain stitches.
    thank you everybody for visit and for comments! it's a pleasure to read!

  56. Kathy says:

    This week in addition to my sampler page I stitched on my tea basket liner.

  57. crazypatch says:

    J'ai pris beaucoup de plaisir à travailler avec le "chain stitch" et j'ai brodé une petite chouette , un oiseau que j'aime beaucoup, en plus de mes points sur mon ouvrage réservé au TAST.
    A voir ici :

  58. nancilyn says:

    Well, yesterday was Mardis Gras and you can see what I did on Flickr

  59. Bernice says:

    Chain stitch is completed as is my Crazy Quilt Journal Project block for February. I am using the TAST stitches on my monthly block so have now completed two blocks. I am feeling good about them.

  60. chitra gangadharan says:

    HI Sharon,
    Thanks for this week's chain stitch, my plan is to work on some chain stitch varieties which were part of your earlier TAST challenges. started the journey on my blog-
    Thank you,

  61. Niina says:

    Week 5&6 done! I fell behind as I've been busy selling off my old fabrics etc. to make space but I managed to sneak in some stitchy time last night. Here are the links to my samplers:

    I'm so excited about the lazy daisy. I feel it's need a very special sampler!

  62. margb says:

    Well, my chain stitch exploration in on the blog

  63. Romona says:

    Hi Sharon, My week 8 stitch is on my blog now. I just did a very simple little bit of stitching and added some embellishments. This fills the second page for my stitch journal.
    Thanks, Romona

  64. Valerie L says:

    I finished my picture using chain stitch today. You can see it here:

  65. Christina says: Here is my work for week 8. I love this stitch, and I would have very mucht prefered to have used this stitch prior to last weeks challenge. I incorperated a few detached stitches in this little sampler, but mainly I enjoyed the continuety of the 'normal' chain stitch. I now know for sure that I very much prefer stitches that produce and need regularity.

  66. Angela says:

    I love this stitch. I used it as a fill in stitch on a small landscape that I have just started. I think it works well. You can see it here.
    Thanks for looking and I really appreciate you kind comments!

  67. Annet says:

    I shared a few older samples with chain stitches on my blog today:
    I noticed I never experimented with this stitch, so it will be fun to do that this week.

  68. Faith says:

    I actually spent last night doing chain stitches!

  69. Shami Immanuel says:

    Here is one of my old embroidered work using chain stitch. Since I thought of doing some neck designs using the given stitch every week, I am exhibiting this post here. Do have a look and looking for suggestions.

    Shami Immanuel.

  70. Royce says:

    Here are my few attempts at chain stitch posted on my blog.
    Though not worked for this particular event , I would be pleased if I can include these here.

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