Beaded Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

Beaded Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch is a variation on Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch which follows a curve well so you work in circular pattens or if worked in lines makes a great border pattern too!

With this stitch the beading is done during the stitching process not added afterward. The trick is use a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the eye of a tapestry needle is long you can thread perle #8 and Perle #5 through the long eye. However the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread as you stitch.

How to stitch Beaded Alternating Up and Down Stitch

Alternating Up and down buttonhole 2Starting this stitch  with a regular  buttonhole stitch
Alternating Up and down buttonhole 3For the next part of the stitch, insert the needle as illustrated and take a bite of the fabric with the tip of the needle pointing upwards. If you are used to working buttonhole stitches this feels wrong as the needle points in the other direction but it is right.

Alternating Up and down buttonhole 4Wrap the working thread under the needle and pull the needle through the foundation fabric. As you pull the needle through pull the needle towards you instead of away from you. As you do this hold down the loop that forms with the left thumb to prevent it slipping. This loop forms the bar at the base of both stitches.

Thread a bead on to your working thread.

Alternating Up and down buttonhole beaded 1

Work the next pair of stitches pointing on other side of the line.

Alternating Up and down buttonhole beaded 2

Continue along the line adding beads between each pair of stitches as illustrated.

Alternating Up and down buttonhole beaded 3

Zig Zag Coral stitch step by step tutorial

Zig Zag Coral Stitch is a variety of  Coral stitch. All versions of Coral stitch are based on twisted chain stitch. I recommend that you refresh your memory of twisted chain stitch before you try the coral stitch versions.

How to work Zig Zag Coral Stitch

Work this stitch between two parallel lines from top to bottom. If you need to mark the lines use a dissolvable quilters pen. Make sure the lines are removable as they will not be covered with stitching.  With stitches like this I use the threads in the weave of the cloth as my guide. The step by step samples are worked in perle #5 thread.

zig zag coral stitch step 1Bring your needle out on the left-hand side of the line and make a small twisted chain stitch by inserting the needle and having the point of the needle emerge a short space below the line as illustrated. Wrap the thread over the needle and under the point.  Pull the needle through the fabric.

zig zag coral stitch step 2Move diagonally across your work to the right, and make a twisted chain stitch as illustrated.

zig zag coral stitch step 3Take your thread diagonally to the left-hand side of the line and make a twisted chain stitch.

zig zag coral stitch step 4Continue in this manner zig zagging down the line which is of course how the stitch got its name!

Zig Zag Coral stitch is fun and once you get in the rhythm it is quick to do. It is also interesting to use thicker threads to create a border on your work. Or you can work Zig Zag Coral stitch row upon row to build up patterned fills. You can use this Zig Zag Coral stitch to couch down braids, ribbon or novelty thread which gives the embroidery a contemporary twist. It is also a surface embroidery stitch that you can easily add beads to.

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 is to be practical and inspiring.

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 use in your stitching projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and 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 Interlaced Cable Chain Stitch

Interlaced Cable Chain step 10Interlaced Cable Chain is an interesting variety of Chain stitch that quickly creates a pretty textured border. Better still it is not hard to work. You need to know how to work cable chain stitch but other than that Interlaced Cable chain is a simple lacing pattern.

I have worked this stitch in two different colours so you can see clearly the foundation rows of cable chain and the lacing. For the demonstration I have used cotton perle #5. Use a tapestry needle for the lacing so that you avoid splitting the thread on the foundation rows.

How to work Interlaced Cable Chain Stitch

Start with working two parallel lines of cable chain stitch.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 1Work your lacing from right to left. At this stage you are lacing the cable stitches not going through the fabric so use a tapestry needle to avoid splitting the foundation row of stitches.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 2Bring your needle up through the fabric at the mid point of the two foundation rows on the right hand side.

Slide your needle under the chain stitch on the top row. Have the needle pick up just half of the chain so that the needle emerges in the middle of the chain stitch as illustrated. Take your needle through the loop of the stitch.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 3Slide you needle under your lacing thread, on the right hand side of the foundation chain and as illustrated, angle your needle towards the bottom foundation row of stitches. Pull your needle through.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 4On the bottom line skip a chain stitch and slide your needle under the inside loop. Point your needle downward picking up the loop of the chain. Pull your thread through.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 5As illustrated, slide you needle under your lacing thread, on the right hand side of the foundation chain. Angle your needle towards the top foundation row of stitches, skip a chain stitch before passing your needle under the inside loop of next chain stitch, on the top line. Pull your needle through.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 6Lace every second chain stitch in this manner until the line is complete.Take the lacing thread to the back of the fabric.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 7Bring your lacing thread out of the fabric just below where it entered your fabric and make a return journey lacing every second chain stitch so that you lace the stitches that you did not lace on the first journey.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 8Take your thread to the back and tie off and you have created an interesting line or border for your projects.

Interlaced Cable Chain step 9This stitch is great fun to work in variegated threads, but you can also play with the spacing or work the lacing between two wavy lines. Or you can work the foundation cable chain stitches along the edge of thin ribbon and then lace the stitches. You can also add beads.It is a very quick easy and yet dramatic stitch. Hope you have fun with it!