How to hand Embroider Braid Stitch

Braid Stitch is a linear stitch that is part of the chain stitch family. It is also known as Cable Plait stitch and Gordian knot stitch. Braid Stitch creates a textured braided solid line which is slightly raised and holds curves well. Braid stitch can be used anywhere that you need a solid line or a fine border.

This stitch can be worked on plain or even-weave fabrics in a thread with a firm twist such as cotton perle #8 or #5. Stranded floss is too flat to work this stitch well. When working on an even-weave fabric, one or two of the fabric threads can be drawn out behind the stitches to produce a lacy look.

It is important to note that this stitch depends on firm braiding to be successful.  Braid Stitch needs to be worked in a narrow band and with each stitch close together otherwise it will not stay in place. If it pops up or looks loose you need to either work each stitch closer together or work the line narrower. If you don’t want to work it narrower increase the thickness of your thread.  Braid Stitch is tricky even for intermediate to advanced stitchers as the tension is important, so it must be worked using a hoop.

How to work Braid Stitch

The stitches should be kept close together, small less than 5mm (1/4 in) high, otherwise the loops slip and become loose, and pull out of shape as the braided effect is lost.

Braid Stitch tutorial step 1Bring the needle up through the fabric at the base of the line. Make a loop with your needle as illustrated. Note that the thread is passing underneath and is to the left of where the thread came up from the fabric.The top thread is wrapped to the right. I make a little loop with my fingers, lay it on the fabric then poke my needle into it. Once I am in the rhythm I wrap the thread around the needle but to start I make a loop. Clumsy I know but it works! I  then insert the needle on the top line.
Braid Stitch tutorial step  2Bring the needle out on the bottom line directly below where it is inserted. Do not have the needle on the diagonal.
Wrap the thread under the needle.
Braid Stitch tutorial step 3Pull the needle through the fabric in a downwards motion to create the first stitch
Braid Stitch tutorial step 4Continue repeating these steps making sure you keep your stitches close together. In the photograph above I have opened out the stitch a little so that you can see what is happening but normally you would work the stitch closer to the last.

Braid Stitch tutorial step 5Keep each close together otherwise the loops slip and become loose

I hope you enjoy Braid stitch!

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. I cover such topics as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to direct your viewers eye around the block. I cover 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 

Take a Stitch Tuesday Stitch 98

Stitch 98 in the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge is a stitch called triple chain stitch. it is a fun easy and quickly worked variety of chain stitch that is wonderful for organic type motifs.

As usual there is  a tutorial for  triple chain stitch in my Stitch Dictionary.


Join in on the challenge and share what you do with Stitch 98

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitches. If you are an experienced embroiderer push these stitches in creative manner and share with beginners what can be done with a little imagination. You will find all the information you need to join, on the TAST FAQ page.

Where to share: Stitch a sample, photograph it, and share it. Join the  TAST facebook group and leave your photo there. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.
If you have a site put it online on your blog, flickr site, or where ever you hang out online, and leave a comment on the triple chain stitch page with your full web address. Don’t forget the http bit of the web address so that your address becomes a live link so that people can visit your site and see what you have done.

a tangle of pinsFollow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox

You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set!
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature.

Great review of my book

screenshot of reviewI am really chuffed this morning – in fact bouncing around the house with glee as Mary Corbett over on Needle ‘n thread has reviewed my book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results. I know that sounds a mouthful but Mary has written a detailed review discussing the key sections of the book and what she found useful. Anyone who is thinking about purchasing the book can see the quality of the book, Mary describes the approach I take to the subject and what aspects of crazy quilting it covers.

Anyone who reads Mary Corbett’s book reviews regularly you will know that at the end of each review she lists both pros and cons which is hallmark of her reviews. Both pros and cons are always fair and to the point. Needless to say I was interested to see what she had to say. I nearly fell off my chair when I read:

“A terrific book! And on so many levels!
All pros, no cons.”

Thank you Mary for such a good review !

If you want to read it make a cuppa and follow the link to Guide to Crazy Quilting book review

You will find my book  The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results here