How to work Buttonhole Stitch

buttonhole stitch sample 9Buttonhole stitch or blanket stitch as many people call it, is actually the foundation stitch for many varieties of buttonhole. This stitch is often used along the edge of projects – often blankets hence the name. Never underestimate a stitch like buttonhole as it is a marvellously versatile stitch. Buttonhole can also be worked in freeform manner with rows stacked to create texture. The illustration above is worked in a fine woollen yarn which was hand dyed. Other textures and patterns can be created if you experiment with changing the spacing and height of the upright arms.

How to work Buttonhole Stitch (Blanket stitch)

Buttonhole stitch is worked from left to right along two imaginary lines. Bring the thread out on the lower line. Insert the needle on the upper line making a straight downward motion.

buttonhole stitch step by step 1Loop the working thread under the needle point. Pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop. Repeat this process along the line.

buttonhole stitch step by step 2

You can create many interesting patterns with this stitch by varying the arm length you can create shapes.

buttonhole stitch sample 1If you change the baseline you can create interesting variations too.

buttonhole stitch sample 3It can be fun to work out different patterns

buttonhole stitch sample 2Some become little motifs in their own right

buttonhole stitch sample 4Or buttonhole sttich can be worked back to back.

buttonhole stitch sample 6You can build up interesting patterned bands

buttonhole stitch sample 5Play with the spacing working the upright parts closely together, or work them further apart.

buttonhole stitch sample 10This sample is buttonhole worked in various threads. Try working it different threads, on different fabrics, or fabrics that have been hand dyed or add beads,  overlap lines of the stitch, or use it to couch down another thread or ribbon.

buttonhole stitch sample 11Here I was experimenting with leaf shapes

buttonhole stitch sample 8Of course this is popular stitch used in crazy quilting.

buttonhole stitch sample 7No matter what you do with it explore the stitch.
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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How to work Fly Stitch

Fly stitch sample 9Fly stitch is a simple stitch that can be used for many things. For instance in Fly stitch is used in the sample above. In this piece of contemporary embroidery I worked fly stitch in stranded cotton floss, perle #8 cotton, perle #12 cotton over layers of chiffon and net to produce a watery effect.

Fly stitch sample 2This is a more traditional example of fly stitch. In the foliage of this floral motif fly stitch is stacked to create leaves. You start small and work to a larger fly stitch. In this sample I used a dark green wool, 1 strands of light green cotton floss and a green metallic machine embroidery thread. I threaded a needle with all three threads and proceeded to work fly stitches close together in leaf like shapes.

Fly stitch sample 4Here fly stitch is used to represent the leaves of a rose bud. I worked the fly stitch in cotton perle #5  and the bud itself which is is made up of 2 bullion knots is worked in a hand dyed silk that is about the same thickness as cotton perle #8.

Fly stitch sample 5On this sample  I have used the same technique to secure a strip of lace on a crazy quilt project. This time however the bullion buds are worked in wool and the fly stitch is cotton perle #5.

Fly stitch sample Not only can you use it in foliage and floral motifs you can repeat the stitch to create geometric patterns. This is fly stitch worked using wool overlapping herringbone also worked in a wool thread.

Fly stitch sample6

This is a very versatile stitch. In this case the ties of the fly stitch are not straight stitches but detached chain stitches. Of course this means it is no longer fly stitch but a variation but it is an attractive adaption to explore and play with. This sample secures a braid to a piece os crazy quilting and  is worked in hand dyed rayon thread.

How to work Fly Stitch

Fly stitch step by step 1Bring the thread up through the fabric at the top left of where you want to create the stitch. Hold the thread down with the left thumb and insert the needle to the right and level of where the thread emerged. Make a stitch on a downward angle so that the needle emerges between the two points as illustrated.

Fly stitch step by step 2With the thread wrapped under the needle, pull it through the fabric. Secure the ‘V’ in position with a small vertical straight stitch.


Fly stitch sample 8This is is another contemporary interpretation of the stitch. On this sample I used knitting yarn, novelty yarn (thats the hairy stuff) , stranded cotton floss, perle #5 cotton, and wool.

Fly stitch sample 7In this sample I used fly stitch for the stems to little floral elements in this floral motif used on a patch in a crazy quilted block.

Fly stitch is also know as ‘Y’ stitch, and open loop stitch.

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Sorbello Stitch Step By Step Tutorial

Sorbello Stitch sample 1

Sorbello stitch is an evenweave hand embroidery stitch that originated in the village of Sorbello in Italy and most people encounter it in traditional embroidery. It looks like a cross stitch with a knot in the middle –  a textured cross stitch. This stitch is usually worked on a grid which means you can use this stitch as a substitute for cross stitches or you can use the grid like structure to give it a contemporary twist.

Sorbello Stitch sample 2How to work Sorbello Stitch

Sorbello Stitch step by step Tutorial 1Sorbello Stitch is a very simple yet effective stitch and once you get into the rhythm it works up quickly. The step by step samples are worked over 4 squares of Aida using cotton perle #5 thread but traditionally Sorbello stitch is worked on a smaller scale.  I made the samples larger so that it could be photographed in a way that people could see what was happening.

Work this stitch from left to right.

When working this stitch keep your tension slightly loose, particularly the top bar as it will tighten as you work more stitches.

Sorbello Stitch step by step Tutorial 2

First make a stitch that wis a horizontal bar. This will form the foundation of the loop.

Bring the thread through from the back of the fabric and make a horizontal straight stitch at the top of an imaginary square.

Taking the needle diagonally across the back of the fabric bring the needle up  through the fabric on the bottom left-hand corner.

Sorbello Stitch step by step Tutorial 3Slide the needle under the horizontal stitch. Make sure the working thread is kept to the right of the needle, so that when you pull it through it forms a loop over the horizontal bar stitch – as in the illustration.

Slide the needle under the horizontal stitch a second time but this time  keep the working thread under the needle to the left so that combined actions will form a knot.

Take the thread through the fabric at the bottom right-hand corner bringing it out at the top left corner of the next stitch and repeat the process.

As you can see the stitch looks like a row of cross stitches with a knot in the middle. Diamond shapes form between the stitches and you can add beads or form patterns with how you space the stitch.

Sorbello Stitch step by step Tutorial 4Sorbello stitch also looks great spaced to create patterns.

Sorbello Stitch sample 3I hope you enjoy this weeks stitch

Sorbello Stitch sample 4