Tuesday – Take a stitch challenge

buttonhole stitch sample 9The hand embroidery Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) challenge re-run is back by popular demand. Week 2 of the challenge is Buttonhole stitch or blanket stitch as many people call it. No matter what you call it this stitch is actually the foundation for a whole family of stitches. Depending on how you classify stitches many people see feather stitch and fly stitch as part of that family.

I don’t want to argue over how hand embroidery stitches are classified,  as that can be a bit boring but some people classify stitches according to the hand movement you need to make in order to create the stitch. So since a fly stitch for instance has the same hand movement as buttonhole in the sense that the thread is passed under the needle some people classify them as being in the same family. I have found that if people think in terms of what hand action they are making they can make sense of it and helps build skills. If you group together stitches in families it helps as you have rough idea of the sort of movement your hand needs to make.

Grouping hand embroidery stitches in families can be a very helpful way to think about them.  For some they try and memorise the various names and put them into families rather than thinking about the hand action and they can get in muddle about it. To be honest,  if the idea of families of stitches  just confuses you  don’t worry about it as it is meant to be an aid – a way of thinking about a stitch – not another point about embroidery to remember or be confused about. I would love to know what readers think and if you group stitches in your mind so for instance you think in terms of crossed stitches, knotted stitches, etc. Leave a comment as I really would love to know.

I have revamped the Buttonhole stitch page with new step by step instructions and hope it is useful.

How to join in

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch. If you are an experienced push buttonhole a little further- show the new hands what can be done with a little imagination.  Use buttonhole in a creative manner take it where ever you want and give it a 21st century twist.

Where to share

Stitch a sample, photograph it, put in online on your blog, flickr site, share it on facebook or where ever you hang out online, and leave a comment on the Buttonhole stitch page with your full web address so people can visit and see your sample. In other words, include the http bit of the web address so that it becomes a live link to your work.

Feel free to join the  TAST facebook group or on the TAST Flickr group.  If this is the first you have read about the challenge read the details and guidelines on the TAST FAQ page. All are welcome

Have fun! Hopefully there will not be too many tangles!

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Triple Chain Stitch Tutorial

I found this stitch in Edith Johns Creative Stitches (p44) and it’s heaps of fun. Triple chain is quite easy to work, quick and simple as it is a chain stitch with two side stitches.

Sample of Triple Chain Stitch It can be very effective particularly if you vary the height or angle of the chain stitches down the side. You can easily add beads or lace novelty threads through the loops. You can use a variety of threads from fine cotton perle to silk ribbon.

How to work Triple Chain stitch

How to work Triple Chain Stitch 1Start with a chain stitch.

Bring the thread to the front of the fabric and insert the needle closely to where the thread emerges.

Take the needle through the fabric, bringing the point of the needle out a short space along the line to be stitched. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop.

Take your needle to the back of the fabric forming a small straight stitch over the loop, to hold the chain down.

How to work Triple Chain Stitch 2

This creates the first chain.

Rotate your work clockwise, to work a second chain stitch placed at right angles to the first stitch.

Make sure the chain stitch tie is pointed to the middle of the line.

How to work Triple Chain Stitch 3Rotate your work again to work another chain stitch on the other side of the central line.

The tie stitch should point to the middle.

Insert your needle into the middle of the first chain stitch, just above the first tie and make chain.

Make another chain stitch.

How to work Triple Chain Stitch 4Once again turn your work to make each of the two wings. Repeat the process along the line.

How to work Triple Chain Stitch 6

I hope you enjoy this stitch!
Triple Chain 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 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.
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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Beaded Lock stitch Tutorial

Beaded Lock stitch step sampleBeaded Lock stitch is a  variation on double lock stitch. It is a very quick and easy to work beaded embroidery stitch, that looks good as a border or worked row upon row for a filling stitch.

You need to be familiar with lock stitch to work this variety.

The samples are worked in straight line but this stitch will hold a curve if you adjust the angle the foundation stitches in a ray or fan like manner.

Note: With this stitch the beading is done during the lacing process using a size 26 tapestry needle as you can thread cotton perle #8 and #5 through the eye of this needle yet it is thin enough to thread a bead and add it  to your stitching.

How to work Beaded Lock Stitch

Beaded Lock stitch step 1Work a row of straight stitches of equal length.

The lacing is worked from right to left. Bring your thread out on the right side of the first straight stitch.
Pass the thread the needle under the first stitch from the left with the tip pointing right (as illustrated).Pull the needle under the straight stitch.

Add a bead to your working thread.

Beaded Lock stitch step 2

Move to the next straight stitch and pass the needle under from the left with the tip pointing towards the right. Pull the thread through. This will lace together the first two foundation stitches with a bead in the middle. Note that you are lacing the stitches and not going through the fabric.

Continue in this manner along the line of foundation stitches. At the end of the line take your thread to the back of your work.

Beaded Lock stitch step 3Turn your work.

Beaded Lock stitch step 4Work a second line of laced stitches adding beads in between every second foundation stitch as illustrated.

On this top line you can offset the beads to create a stepped pattern or you can align the beads to form a vertical ridge.

Beaded Lock stitch step 5Both worked row upon row create a highly decorative and quick filling stitch.