How to hand Embroider Braid Stitch

Braid Stitch is a linear stitch that is part of the chain stitch family. It is also known as Cable Plait stitch and Gordian knot stitch. Braid Stitch creates a textured braided solid line which is slightly raised and holds curves well. Braid stitch can be used anywhere that you need a solid line or a fine border.

This stitch can be worked on plain or even-weave fabrics in a thread with a firm twist such as cotton perle #8 or #5. Stranded floss is too flat to work this stitch well. When working on an even-weave fabric, one or two of the fabric threads can be drawn out behind the stitches to produce a lacy look.

It is important to note that this stitch depends on firm braiding to be successful.  Braid Stitch needs to be worked in a narrow band and with each stitch close together otherwise it will not stay in place. If it pops up or looks loose you need to either work each stitch closer together or work the line narrower. If you don’t want to work it narrower increase the thickness of your thread.  Braid Stitch is tricky even for intermediate to advanced stitchers as the tension is important, so it must be worked using a hoop.

How to work Braid Stitch

The stitches should be kept close together, small less than 5mm (1/4 in) high, otherwise the loops slip and become loose, and pull out of shape as the braided effect is lost.

Braid Stitch tutorial step 1Bring the needle up through the fabric at the base of the line. Make a loop with your needle as illustrated. Note that the thread is passing underneath and is to the left of where the thread came up from the fabric.The top thread is wrapped to the right. I make a little loop with my fingers, lay it on the fabric then poke my needle into it. Once I am in the rhythm I wrap the thread around the needle but to start I make a loop. Clumsy I know but it works! I  then insert the needle on the top line.
Braid Stitch tutorial step  2Bring the needle out on the bottom line directly below where it is inserted. Do not have the needle on the diagonal.
Wrap the thread under the needle.
Braid Stitch tutorial step 3Pull the needle through the fabric in a downwards motion to create the first stitch
Braid Stitch tutorial step 4Continue repeating these steps making sure you keep your stitches close together. In the photograph above I have opened out the stitch a little so that you can see what is happening but normally you would work the stitch closer to the last.

Braid Stitch tutorial step 5Keep each close together otherwise the loops slip and become loose

I hope you enjoy Braid 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 on how to design and make a crazy quilt. I cover such topics as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to direct your viewers eye around the block. I cover how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams  with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

using my stitchers Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

How to work Whipped Double Chain Stitch

Whipped Double Chain stitch is a variety of Chain stitch. You need to know how to hand embroider basic chain stitch as this variety is worked on a foundation of two rows of chain stitch. If you need a refresher you will find a tutorial for chain stitch here.

Whipped Double Chain stitch is useful if you want a very dramatic strong line that is still capable of following a curve easily.

How to work Whipped Double Chain Stitch

Double Whipped chain stitch 1Work two rows of chain stitch a little looser than normal as the row will tighten slightly  as you whip it. If the foundation rows are too tight the work will pucker. Make sure the chain stitches are sitting side by side and are the same size

Double Whipped chain stitch 2Bring your whipping thread out at the start, in the middle of both rows. Pass your needle under the two loops of the chain stitch that sit side by side, in the middle of the row as illustrated. Pull your needle through. Take care not to pick up any of the fabric and use a blunt-ended tapestry needle to avoid splitting the foundation stitches.

Double Whipped chain stitch 3Continue whipping the centre stitches along the line. As you can see it produces an attractive result!

If you have enjoyed Whipped Double Chain stitch you may also like to see the tutorial on Whipped chain stitch . There are two varieties in this tutorial and both create a raised line that can be used to emphasise a shape but is not as strong as whipped double chain stitch. So if you are looking for texture that is slightly softer check out that tutorial too.

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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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 
a tangle of pinsFollow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox

You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set!
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature.