Fancy Hem Stitch is a simple quick stitch which I think people will enjoy. Crazy quilters I am sure will see immediately how useful it can be. Embroiderers will enjoy it not only in use on edgings but also work row upon row as a filling stitch.
I first discovered this stitch in a Batsford book called Embroidery Stitches by Anne Butler.
The foundation rows are the same hand movement as large stem stitches which are loosely worked and then laced. Fancy hem stitch really comes into its own when you experiment and change threads. It looks great in a thread with a firm twist or a fine braid or even a ribbon. Beads also can be added for extra zest.
How to work Fancy Hem Stitch
Work the foundation stitches in a loose manner because when they are laced they pull tight. If keeping your tension even is a problem use an embroidery hoop.
The first row is worked from left to right. Bring your needle from the back of the fabric. Make a long stitch, point the needle into the fabric, and bring it out a little along the line to make a small back stitch as illustrated. Take the needle through to create the first stitch.
Pull the thread through the fabric. Make the second long stitch forward, along the line.
Keep the thread to the same side of the needle with each stitch while you repeat this back and forth movement along the line.
At the end of the line take your needle through the fabric. Turn your work.
Work the second line of stitches. You should have two lines of loose stitches.
Work from left to right. Bring the thread through the fabric in the middle of the two lines of stitching as illustrated
From this stage on you are not taking the thread through the fabric when you are wrapping the stitches. Wrap the two stitches together with 3 wraps of the loops as illustrated.
Take your thread to the back and bring the needle up through the fabric at the next loop, in between the two lines of stitching as illustrated.
Repeat this wrapping process until you have reached the end of the line.
How to join in
It is not complicated. All you need to do is stitch a sample of this stitch or ANY of the stitches listed on the TAST FAQ page.
Once you have worked a sample, photograph it and put it online at your blog, flickr etc then swing back to the Last TAST post (you will find it under the category each week) and leave a comment that includes your web address. When you leave a comment include the http:// part of the address as then your address becomes a link and readers will be able easily visit and see your sample. Remember you can leave a comment about any stitch you have worked as long as it is listed on the TAST FAQ page.
Any special rules?
There are no rules but I do have a request, please link back here.
If you need further information on the challenge a list of stitches covered so far or directions on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page.
You can read back through TAST articles by browsing Challenges - Take a Stitch Tuesday category
Other groups and networks
You can also share your explorations with other members on the social network site of your choice. There is a Facebook TAST 2012 page, stitchin fingers group and the flickr TAST site. All these sub groups are set up at request of members