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. In this sample I added cast-on stitch to the arms of feather stitch

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

In the top part of this sample ( above) I added a detached chain stitch to the ends of the arms and then worked a second row of the pattern to create a fill or complex border. 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

 

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 on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewers eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can 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 stitchers 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 Stitchers Templates

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

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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