How to embroider Fern stitch

fern stitch sampleFern stitch is a easy quickly worked, stitch that is ideal to use in floral sprays and at Christmas time it is ideal in simple wreaths. You can also work this stitch in groups of 3 to make a bird foot print. It is ideal to create a trail of prints across a sandy beach scene.

In this sample I have worked it on the diagonal to keep the demonstration simple but this stitch is ideal to work on flowing curves. The other way you can work it is row upon row as a diagonal filling stitch as it is also useful to use in geometric patterns. For those who like highly decorative embellished surfaces there is also a beaded version of Fern Stitch

How to work Fern Stitch

The demonstration of this stitch is worked in cotton perle # 5 thread. Fern stitch consists of a simple arrangement of 3 straight stitches.

fern stitch step 1Bring the thread from the back of the fabric and work a straight stitch at an angle.

fern stitch step 2Next work a vertical straight on the left side followed by a vertical straight stitch on the right side.

fern stitch step 3This unit of 3 straight stitches is repeated along the line.

fern stitch step 4You can vary the length of the side spines to create an organic line and by adding french knots or beads to the spiky ‘arms’ of the stitch it can sit even better in a floral spray. If you want to emphasise the central line the spine can be further decorated by whipping the central line with another thread of a different colour or texture.

It is a very simple stitch that lends itself to all sorts of applications and can be taught to children.

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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 



Kikos Flower Stitch

I was shown how to work Kiko Flower by a lady from Japan. Her English was not good but she called it flower stitch because worked in a ring it can form a flower. True to skills handed on in the oral tradition I call it Kiko’s flower stitch because I have not seen it documented elsewhere. If you know Kikos Flower by another name, leave a comment as  I would love to know.

Added Later: Mystery solved! I received an email from Queenie of Queenies Needlework  pointing me to the books of Japanese author Sadako Totsuka who looks to be the inventor of this stitch. In Totsuka Embroidery book 8, the stitch is numbered 56, rather than named.

You need to know buttonhole wheel stitch and how to make a bullion knot to work this stitch. You can work 4, 5 and 6 petals of the flower easily. Instead of French knots for the middle you can also add beads.

How to work Kiko’s Flower Stitch

The step by step samples are in perle #5 cotton
Step by step tutorial on how to work Kikos flower stitch 1

Start with a detached chain stitch.

Step by step tutorial on how to work Kikos flower stitch 2Keeping on a curve (as illustrated) insert the needle at the base of the chain stitch and bringing the point out on the outer edge wrap the thread under the needle to make a quarter of a buttonhole wheel stitches in a small fan shape.
Step by step tutorial on how to work Kikos flower stitch 3On the outer edge insert the needle into stitches as illustrated.
Step by step tutorial on how to work Kikos flower stitch 4Make a bullion knot to catch the stitches down.
Step by step tutorial on how to work Kikos flower stitch 5This unit is what Kiko called a stitch and she worked them in units of 4, 5 or 6.

Step by step tutorial on how to work Kikos flower stitch 6As you can see it makes a nice shape for a textured flower just ad some French knots or beads to the middle.

Step by step tutorial on how to work Kikos flower stitch 7You can also create cascades with this stitch to create petals on a wisteria vine