How to work Whipped Wheel Stitch

whipped wheel stitch sample 3Whipped wheel is also known as whipped spider’s wheel, raised spider’s web wheel, ribbed wheel, back stitched wheel, and back stitched spider’s web. All of these names do little to indicate how much fun this stitch can be. It would be one of my favourite textured stitches. If you look closely at much of my stitching you will find them tucked into all sorts of places.
whipped wheel stitch sample 1

How to work Whipped Wheel stitch

Whipped wheel creates a ribbed disk that can be worked on an even or uneven number of spokes.

step by step how to work whipped wheel stitch 1Start with a single fly stitch. Each side of the fly stitch tail add two straight stitches of equal length. You should have a circle which has five ‘spokes’ to form the foundation.

step by step how to work whipped wheel stitch2Bring your thread up at the centre of the wheel.
From this point onwards your needle does not go through the fabric so use a blunt tapestry needle to avoid splitting the foundation stitches.
Slide the needle under two threads and pull your thread through.
step by step how to work whipped wheel stitch 3Move back one stitch and once again slide the needle under two threads.
Pull the thread through and you have whipped the first spoke.
step by step how to work whipped wheel stitch 4This process is best described as making a spiral of back stitches over the spokes.

step by step how to work whipped wheel stitch 5Repeat this action, whipping each spoke as you progress around the wheel until the circle is filled.

whipped wheel stitch sample 6As I said Whipped wheel is a stitch that is  lots of fun and once you have mastered them they are quite quick. You can used them alone as an accent stitch, a point of colour, an interesting texture, or they can be scattered over an area almost like a powdered filling.

whipped wheel stitch sample 5Whipped wheel stitch is great in contemporary embroidery. This sample have whipped wheels worked in cotton perle #8 (the blue sttiches) and rayon thread (the bronze gold stitches.

whipped wheel stitch sample 4

This sample is whipped wheels worked over machine embroidery. The foundation fabric is hand painted felt.

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Running Stitch

running stitch sampleRunning stitch is also known as quilting stitch and Darning stitch. The same hand motion is used to make all three, although there are differences in the spacing of the stitches. Quilting stitch is usually worked with spacing are of the same length and many quilters work very hard at creating evenly spaced stitches.

How to work running stitch To work this stitch simply pass the needle over and under the fabric in a regular even manner.

running stitch pattern darning sample 1Pattern darning creates very attractive designs by changing  the length of the stitches and the spacing between them. This simple but versatile technique has a long and interesting history tracing back to Mamluk Egyptian embroidery where pieces have been discovered that date back to the twelfth century.  Iceland too has long tradition of creating patterns with this simple stitch. Japan has Kogin work, which is also a form of pattern darning and based on running stitch. Kogin is closely related  to Sashiko, a form of quilting. My point is that running stitch is truly an international stitch, with a long and interesting history and I don’t think its life is over either as all of these techniques are still avidly practiced.

running stitch pattern darning sample 2You can use Running stitch  to create simple outlines many contemporary art quilters use it to create lines and is frequently seen in contemporary ‘primitive’ styles. Running stitch is also often the foundation now, for many more complex stitches.

running stitch pattern darning sample 3

No matter what style of embroidery they are all based on the same basic stitch and hand movement.

running stitch pattern darning sample 4Subscribe to Pintangle

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How to do Couching Stitch

couching sample 3Couching is wonderful technique that many embroiderers forget about but it is easy to do and a wonderful way to use interesting textured novelty threads in your embroidery. You can create wonderful surfaces by couching down threads and then embroidering over the top of them. Combined with beads and textured stitches in interesting threads you can make your embroidery pop. It is quick to work, easy to do, a heap of fun, and opens many doors. Couching is used in Laidwork and also known as convent stitch and kloster stitch.

How to work Couching Stitch

With couching, a surface thread is laid on the fabric, and anchored using a second thread. I have used a contrasting thread so the couching can be seen but normally you would match the colour. Use a large eyed needle to bring the heavy thread through the fabric.

Using a finer needle and thread at regular intervals make small, straight stitches over the thick thread to secure it to the fabric. Work in this way until you have completed the line or filled the area.

Instructions on how to do couching stitch step 1

Take the end of heavy thread to the back of the fabric using a large eyed needle. Secure both ends with small stitches using the fine thread. Do not clip the heavy thread too close, otherwise it will pop up to the surface.

Instructions on how to do couching stitch step 2There are many ways to use couching. You can create patterns of the thread itself. In this case I have used a metallic thread to couch chenille thread in a spiral pattern.

couching sample 1Couching is ideal  for attaching highly textured or thick threads the foundation fabric building up rich complex decorative surfaces in a freeform manner. In the sample below I couched a blue chenille yarn and novelty knitting yarn to  a hand painted fabric and then covered it with textured embroidery and beads.

couching sample 5This example of couching is used  to create a pattern along a crazy quilt seam. The metallic yarn was too thick to stitch with so I couched it down in  zig zag pattern before adding beads.

couching sample 2Here is another example of couching used on a crazy quilt block. The seaweed is made up of novelty threads couched tot he surface and the tendrils of the jelly fish is also made of couched threads. This is a block on my I dropped the Button Box Quilt. You can read more about block 81 here.

Couching on crazy quilt blockThis last example of couching is a small scene of summer grasses. It is mainly made up of couching, straight stitch worked in free form manner, French knots  and wooden beads.

couching sample 4I hope I have given you a few ideas on how to use couching in a contemporary way.

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