How to hand embroider Chained Bar stitch

Chained bar stitch forms a solid line that is ideal for borders or you can use it to couch down ribbons, tape or some flat braids.

How to work Chained bar stitch

Create the foundation of this stitch by first laying down some long straight stitches. Between two to six straight stitches in DMC pearl 3 thread works well, but if you want to go for a different primitive look you can use string like yarns or even fine knitting wool. Highly textured threads can be used as the bar. If they are very hairy the chain will create interesting indentations on the line.

Chained bar 1You are going to work a zig zag chain stitch across the bar. You might like to refresh your memory on how to work zig zag chain.

This is a stitch where contrasting threads work well. For instance a metallic thread over a bar of silk is stunning.

Chained bar 2Work from left to right. Bring the needle from the back of the fabric and hold the thread with the left thumb. Insert the needle back into where it first came out. Take the needle through the fabric bringing the point of the needle out on a diagonal angle, below the straight stitches. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric.

Chained bar step 3In the second stitch turn the angle of the chain stitch to take the chain over the bar. Continue along the bar until the straight stitches are couched down by the zig zag chain stitches.

Tip! If your stitches do not lie flat as you enter the fabric with each loop pierce the end of the previous loop.

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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16 Responses to How to hand embroider Chained Bar stitch

  1. Hi Sharon,
    coming back from holidays, I started with 122nd week stitch chained bar-
    Thank you,

  2. queeniepatch says:

    I like the look of your neat stitches, Sharon, but struggled with making mine even. I even tried faking!

    • sharonb says:

      Yes I know what you mean there is tip – I catch each stitch as I go – it’s in the instructions when I say “If your stitches do not lie flat as you enter the fabric with each loop pierce the end of the previous loop.”

  3. Carol Harper says:

    I really like these as well. And because of the laid stitches, I can keep them even and straight! YAY!

  4. Claire Turner says:

    I love both of these stitches Sharon. Could you see them as seam treatments in a crazy quilt? Or would they be ‘too busy’? Or perhaps your answer will be …. there are no rules in CQ.

  5. I have finished No 121 and it nearly drove me mad getting it to look right. I will leave 122 for next week after all these dramas.
    Have a good week.

  6. Terry Whyte says:

    I really like the looks of the woven chain bars, can’t wait to try them.
    Still lots of catching up to do. You can see my Stitches 80 to 83 at

  7. Maureen says:

    I have re-done my Woven Chained Bar and posted it and the Chained Bar sample at
    Neater, but still needs improving. I’ll try a different thread.

  8. I’ve been doing herringbone stitches including a variation of Tast 121.

  9. Maureen says:

    I’ve posted stitches Nos 120 and 121 at

  10. Rhonda says:

    I have been an admirer of your work and industry for well over a year now. But this and the woven trellis are WOW!!!
    Really WOW!!!
    Such wonderful inspirations…

    So many ideas.

    As always thank you. A feast for the eyes, and a smile on my face. This made my day.

  11. Angela says:

    Oh! I really like this stitch! I used three shades of Gold Rush thread and a Kreinik metallic. Lots of glitz!

  12. Renee says:

    These stitches look like they will be fun to play with! They are gorgeous with the colors and threads you have used.

    I had SO much fun playing with stitches 118, 120, & 121! I have no doubt I will be playing with them again in the future. Thank you for sharing them!

  13. michele says:

    i like very much the woven stitches thak you vrey much
    best regards

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