How to work Fancy Bobbin Edging

Fancy Bobbin Edging stitch sample 4Fancy Bobbin Edging is an interesting variation of buttonhole, which I discovered in an old book called The Batsford encyclopaedia of embroidery stitches by Anne Butler. This book was published in the late 1970’s and looks very dated with black and white hand drawn illustrations that are not always clear but being the stitch spotter I am I enjoy discovering stitches I have not seen before. Fancy Bobbin Edging is one of them.

It was bit tricky to figure it out from the illustration and I had to flip the direction of the stitch to get it to work but eventually I came up with this. It is almost like someone was trying to work out German buttonhole and made a mistake but if that was the birth of this stitch it is nice mistake!

Fancy Bobbin Edging stitch sample 2Also when exploring a stitch like this we do need to remember it is an edging stitch and something sitting on edge of say a needle book, or the hem of table runner will look totally different to something worked in a band as I have done.

Since Fancy Bobbin Edging is based on buttonhole it will follow a curve well, makes a wonderful edging stitch and like buttonhole you can create many interesting patterns with this stitch by varying the arm spacing and length.

How to work Fancy Bobbin Edging

step by step tutorial on Fancy Bobbin Edging 1
Fancy Bobbin Edging 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.

step by step tutorial on Fancy Bobbin Edging 2Loop the working thread under the needle point. Pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop as you would for the standard buttonhole or blanket stitch.

step by step tutorial on Fancy Bobbin Edging 3Slide the needle under the vertical leg you just created. Point the needle from right to left. You are not going through the fabric at this point just wrapping the leg of the buttonhole with the working thread.

step by step tutorial on Fancy Bobbin Edging 4Pull the thread through.

step by step tutorial on Fancy Bobbin Edging 5Make another buttonhole stitch.

step by step tutorial on Fancy Bobbin Edging 6Repeat the wrapping process. Do this for the length of the line.

step by step tutorial on Fancy Bobbin Edging 7

This stitch behaves differently with the type of thread used.

Fancy Bobbin Edging stitch sample 1This sample is worked in a chainette yarn that has a metallic blending thread woven through it.

Fancy Bobbin Edging stitch sample 5 The sample above is cotton perle #5.

Fancy Bobbin Edging stitch sample 6This sample is 6 strands of cotton floss.

Fancy Bobbin Edging stitch sample 3Like regular buttonhole you can vary the arm spacing and length.
I hope you like this variety of buttonhole! If anyone knows more about this variety leave a comment as I would like to know more about it.

How to Embroider Beaded Back Stitch

Beaded Back stitch is a line of back stitch that is simple and quick to work as you add a bead to every second stitch. It makes sense that you need to know how to work regular back stitch before embarking on the beaded variety. You can find instructions on how to work Back stitch here.

The trick with hand embroidered beaded stitches is to use a #26 tapestry needle. This size needle is fine enough to thread a bead, yet the eye is wide enough to take a perle # 8 thread. This means you can embroider and add beads easily as you work.

How to embroider beaded back stitch

In Beaded Back Stitch every second stitch beaded.

Step by step beaded back stitch tutorial 1 Bring the thread up from the back of the fabric on the line that you want to embroider. Make a small backward stitch through the fabric as you would regular back stitch. Bring the needle through the fabric a little in front of the first stitch but still on the line.

Step by step beaded back stitch tutorial 2Thread a bead and make the second stitch by inserting the needle down into the hole made by the first stitch.

Step by step beaded back stitch tutorial 3Take a bite of the fabric, bringing the needle out a little in front of the second stitch as illustrated. Pull your thread through.

Step by step beaded back stitch tutorial 4Make the next stitch a regular back stitch. When you bring your needle through the fabric thread another bead on. Repeat this pattern of beaded stitch , un-beaded stitch, beaded stitch, un-beaded stitch along the line.

Step by step beaded back stitch tutorial 5The finished line is very decorative. Beaded Back stitch  makes a good edging stitch for items such as needle cases or pin cushions. Of course it is ideal for contemporary crazy quilting too!

Step by step beaded back stitch tutorial 6As I have said this example of Beaded Back Stitch is where every second stitch beaded but the pattern of one back stitch and one beaded back stitch can be changed to create interesting patterns and designs. For example you could have two back stitches and one bead or 3 back stitches and 1 bead or 2 beads and back stitch I am sure you get the idea. Patterns can be worked line upon line – such as in pattern darning, to create many interesting beaded embroidery variations.

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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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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