Chevron Stitch

Chevron stitch sample 1Chevron stitch is a decorative stitch used in surface embroidery and smocking. It is considered as  basic stitch that can be used in numerous ways in hand embroidered projects. The sample above is on a piece of crazy quilting and consists a row of Chevron stitch worked either side of a ribbon.

Chevron stitch sample 5

In this sample I have worked a single row of Chevron in cotton perle # 5 and stitched dome shaped sequins in between the feet of the stitch.

How to work Chevron stitch

Work from left to right on two imaginary lines.

Chevron stitch step by step 1Bring the thread from the back of the fabric on the left of the top line. On the same line,move right and insert the needle with the tip pointing left to have it emerge in the middle as illustrated. Pull the needle through to make a small stitch.

Chevron stitch step by step 2Take the needle diagonally down to the bottom line and insert it. Point the needle left to take it back along the line as illustrated. Pull your needle through and take your needle to the right.

Chevron stitch step by step 3Keep your needle pointing left to make the foot of the stitch, by inserting your needle as illustrated and having it emerge at the base of the diagonal stitch.

Chevron stitch step by step 4Take your needle to the top line and repeat the process again.

Chevron stitch step by step 5Work this way along the row alternating up and down.

Some ideas on how to use Chevron stitch

With Chevron stitch you can change the spacing of the feet and , the height/width of the stitch to create some interesting effects.  Chevron stitch sample 7Chevron stitch becomes very interesting when you add other stitches to the hills and valleys such as this band of hand embroidery where I tucked three detached chain stitches into the peaks of the stitch.

Chevron stitch sample 8Working two rows  of Chevron stitch creates a grid like pattern where you can add all sorts of embroidered and beaded elements.

Chevron stitch sample 4Two rows give you enough room down the center line to add  quite large items such as novelty beads.

Chevron stitch sample  3You can also build up row upon row of chevron stitch working each row back to back to create an interesting pattern.

hand embroidery band sampler detail 723A variation on this is created by working rows back to back and then tieing the foot bars of each row with a single straight stitch. In this sample I also worked single straight stitches in the space of  the chevron pattern which I then tied with a cross stitch

Chevron stitch sample 2Chevron stitch can also be stacked to create an interesting filling too!

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Cretan stitch

Sample of Cretan stitch 2Cretan stitch  can be used in many decorative ways. With it you can fill a shape, create a border, create a line, or if you arrange row of Cretan stitch in lines it makes a wonderful filling stitch to work within a shape. You can use it to couch down threads or to weave a thread through!

Sample of Cretan stitch 1You can also use it in freeform and adventurous manner to great effect. It really is a very versatile stitch that many people underestimate. Cretan stitch is also known as  Open Cretan, Persian stitch and long-armed feather stitch.

How to work Cretan Stitch

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch1Work from left to right between 2 imaginary lines. Bring the needle through the fabric at the start of the line. Move along slightly and insert your needle on the outside edge to make a small stitch by pointing the needle to the centre. Keeping the thread under the needle pull it through your fabric.

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch 2Move to the lower outside edge of the line and repeat the action.

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch 3Make sure that with each small stitch the thread is under the needle.

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch 4Continue working until the shape or line is filled.

Sample of Cretan stitch 6There are many ways to use Cretan stitch. Here I have added some seed beads to the arms of the stitch. I used cotton perle #8 thread to work the main band and then added detached chain stitches in silk thread at the tops of the arms before adding some seed beads.

Sample of Cretan stitch 5 Cretan stitch works very well if you stack it row upon row. In this sample I worked two narrow lines of the stitch. each stitch itself is wide but the arms are thin as each bite of the fabric I took was small. I worked both rows in cotton perle #5.

Sample of Cretan stitch 3Here is another sample also worked in cotton perle #5 but in this case the arms of the stitch are wider because with each stitch I took a larger bite of the fabric.

Sample of Cretan stitch 4You can also work two rows on top of each other . This can very effective particularly if you add beads etc to the arms.

Sample of Cretan stitch on crazy quilting 11In this sample on crazy quilting I added bugle beads to the space between the arms.

Sample of Cretan stitch on crazy quilting 10Here another example on crazy quilting worked in rayon ribbon floss. Bugle beads are are added alongside the V like shape of the stitch and the arms are topped with 5 detached chain stitches that have a bugle bead in the middle too.

Sample of Cretan stitch 7Another way to use Cretan stitch is to work on side of the arms narrower than the other or change the width of the arms to create patterns. This sample is two rows of Cretan stitch worked in cotton perle #5 thread with novelty beads stitched in the middle of the two rows.

Sample of Cretan stitch 8This sample is a similar idea as it is worked in two lines.  I varied the arm of the Cretan stitches so that one side they formed hills and valleys. I then added back stitch on each side to contain the Cretan stitches. Next I worked slipped detached chain stitches in line. The thread is a hand dyed wool.

Sample of Cretan stitch 9This last sample is an experiment with novelty yarns and organic type lines. From left to right the first thread is a feathery knitting yarn which would work for underwater seascapes and the like. The second is a crochet cotton that is hand dyed and is about the same thickness as cotton perle #5 and the last is boucle yarn.

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block.  I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim was to be practical and inspiring.

My Crazy quilters templates

My templates for crazy quilters aim to help you take your stitching to the next level.With my templates you are able to create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams  with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

using my Crazy Quilt Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Crazy Quilt Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

Feather Stitch

Feather stitch sampleFeather stitch is a wonderfully versatile, decorative, surface embroidery stitch that is also known as single coral stitch and briar stitch. Feather stitch is found extensively on traditional English smocks, Dorset embroidery and on crazy quilts.

Feather stitch sample on crazy quilting 1The traditional uses of feather stitch are easily given a contemporary twist particularly if you use modern variegated threads or add a bead or two.

Feather stitch sample on crazy quilting 2Keep the center of the stitch on the curved line you want to follow and you will find that Feather stitch will sit on a  curve easily. This ability to hold a curve means the stitch ideal to use in any motif that is organic in feel, such as, floral sprays, vines and twisting twiggy like stems. It also looks great in underwater scenes as the flowing lines are very suitable to represent corals and seaweed.

Feather stitch sample underwater marine sceneFeather stitch can vary greatly depending on the width of space between the two tops of Y, angle of your needle, spacing changes in the the length of stitches and regularity of stitches.

Feather stitch sample 1It really is one of those stitches you can experiment with for years and still discover new ways of using it. As you can see in the sample above I have worked 3 arms to one side and 3 to the other creating a totally different look to the stitch.

Feather stitch sample 3

You can also work it row against row to create wonderful patterns and designs.

Feather stitch sample 2

Instructions on how to work feather stitch 

When working this stitch imagine or mark with a dissolvable pen 4 parallel lines.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 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 a level of where the thread emerged. Make a stitch on a downward angle so that the needle emerges between the two points as illustrated. With the thread wrapped under the needle, pull it through the fabric to make the stitch.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 2Insert the needle to the left and a level of where the thread emerged. Make a stitch on a downward angle so that the needle emerges between the two points as illustrated. With the thread wrapped under the needle, pull it through the fabric to make the next stitch.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 3Work these movements alternatively down the line.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 4Hopefully there will not be too many tangles!

Feather stitch sample on crazy quilting 3

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