The hand embroidery Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) challenge re-run is back by popular demand. Week 2 of the challenge is Buttonhole stitch or blanket stitch as many people call it. No matter what you call it this stitch is actually the foundation for a whole family of stitches. Depending on how you classify stitches many people see feather stitch and fly stitch as part of that family.
I don’t want to argue over how hand embroidery stitches are classified, as that can be a bit boring but some people classify stitches according to the hand movement you need to make in order to create the stitch. So since a fly stitch for instance has the same hand movement as buttonhole in the sense that the thread is passed under the needle some people classify them as being in the same family. I have found that if people think in terms of what hand action they are making they can make sense of it and helps build skills. If you group together stitches in families it helps as you have rough idea of the sort of movement your hand needs to make.
Grouping hand embroidery stitches in families can be a very helpful way to think about them. For some they try and memorise the various names and put them into families rather than thinking about the hand action and they can get in muddle about it. To be honest, if the idea of families of stitches just confuses you don’t worry about it as it is meant to be an aid – a way of thinking about a stitch – not another point about embroidery to remember or be confused about. I would love to know what readers think and if you group stitches in your mind so for instance you think in terms of crossed stitches, knotted stitches, etc. Leave a comment as I really would love to know.
I have revamped the Buttonhole stitch page with new step by step instructions and hope it is useful.
How to join in
If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch. If you are an experienced push buttonhole a little further- show the new hands what can be done with a little imagination. Use buttonhole in a creative manner take it where ever you want and give it a 21st century twist.
Where to share
Stitch a sample, photograph it, put in online on your blog, flickr site, share it on facebook or where ever you hang out online, and leave a comment on the Buttonhole stitch page with your full web address so people can visit and see your sample. In other words, include the http bit of the web address so that it becomes a live link to your work.
Have fun! Hopefully there will not be too many tangles!
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