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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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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Detached Chain Stitch

sample of detached chain the lazy daisy stitch 1Detached chain is also known as daisy stitch, lazy daisy stitch, tall chain stitch, loop stitch, tied loop stitch, picot stitch and knotted knot stitch,  but don’t let those names lead you into thinking that the only way to use this stitch is in a flower shape. This stitch is often one of the the first that people  learn as it can be used to create flowers and petals but it is not the only way you can use this stitch. It is called detached chain because that is what it is, a single chain stitch.  You can use it to create all sorts of patterns and textures for instance the sample above is stitched on hand dyed Aida cloth. Detached chain stitches are arranged in a grid and sequins are secured with a seed bead in the spaces between the stitches. It is a pattern that you can use to work on a small item such as bag or purse for instance.

sample of detached chain the lazy daisy stitch 2This sample makes a really nice border pattern. The detached chain stitches are arranged in sets of three in a fan shape. The center detached chain stitch is secured with a small chain rather than a straight stitch and I have added seed bead to the head of the stitches. The next sample is worked  be over sequin waste to create a medallion pattern.

How to work Lazy Daisy or  Detached Chain stitch

Bring 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 away.

step by step instructions on how to work detached chain the lazy daisy stitch With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric.

step by step instructions on how to work detached chain the lazy daisy stitch 2To fasten the loop make a small straight stitch.

step by step instructions on how to work detached chain the lazy daisy stitch 3As you can see it is a stitch easily worked in a circle to create flower shapes.

step by step instructions on how to work detached chain the lazy daisy stitch 4The next 2 samples are Detached chain used in crazy quilting.

sample of detached chain the lazy daisy stitch 3In this sample  detached chain is combined with straight stitches and seed and novelty beads to work along the edge of lace. The thread I used was cotton perle #5.

sample of detached chain the lazy daisy stitch 5