Stem Stitch

stem stitch sample 1Stem Stitch is considered a basic stitch used most often for stems or organic shapes and floral patterns. You can use it to outline just about anything. It is quick and easy to do, which is always a plus, but most of all it is incredibly useful because it can hold a curve really well. If ever you have any text that is full or curves or something with a tangle of tendrils and flourishes stem stitch is your best choice of the linear stitches. It also looks good in variety of threads. The sample above I used cotton perle #5 and #8, wool, linen and silk.

stem stitch and cast on stitch hand embroidery sample

How to work stem stitch

stem stitch step by step 1Even though our line will be hidden by your stitching if you need to mark a line use a air dissolvable pen or a quilters pencil.   Work from left to right. Bring the thread up from the back of the fabric on the line.

With your working thread under your needle, point the needle to the left, pick up a small piece of material to make a small stitch as illustrated. Pull the thread through the fabric.

Make the second stitch forward along the line, bringing the needle out a little behind the first stitch. Pull the thread through the fabric.

stem stitch step by step 2Repeat this along the line. Keep stitches the same length and the tension even. Closely spaced stitches make a tight line, and a looser line is created by lengthening the spacing.

If the thread is worked above the needle, the stitch produced is slightly different, and is known as outline stitch.

stem stitch sample 2

These Stem stitch samples worked on a crazy quilt block are both worked in #5 perle cotton thread.

 

stem stitch hand embroidery sample

Stem stitch is also known as crewel stitch, stalk stitch and South Kensington stitch.


How to embroider Barred Chain Stitch

barred chain stitch sample 4As experienced stitchers know the chain stitch family has numerous varieties Barred chain stitch is an interesting adaption.

Just like chain stitch Barred chain stitch is a linear stitch that will follow curves well and can be easily worked on all types of fabrics. It is easy and quick to work and suitable for large variety of threads.

This stitch is suitable for freeform stitching and combines with beads easily.

barred chain stitch sample 5The size and appearance of the stitch will be influenced by the size and spacing of the prongs. Since the appeal of Barred Chain stitch  is based on the textured nature of the line produced you can be very experimental with the thread you use and it is easily  combined with other textured stitches to produce interesting results. You can overlap lines of the stitch or use it to couch down another thread.

barred chain stitch sample 4Barred Chain stitch can be used as thorny outbursts in floral motifs if you are a traditional stitcher. (Yes a ‘thorny outburst’ sounds like a teenage mood swing but I am sure readers will undestand what I mean)

This factor in combination with explorations varying the length of the spines, or the size of the chain, spacing of the spines, width of the line, weight and texture of the thread, should keep most contemporary embroiderers intrigued. Explore the scale you work in and I am sure you will have interesting results.

How to work Barred Chain stitch

To work Barred chain stitch you need to be familiar with chain stitch.

step by step barred chain stitch 1Working down the line start with a basic chain stitch.

step by step barred chain stitch 2Insert the needle to the left of the first chain stitch with the point of the needle out a short space along the line to be stitched. This can vary depending upon how wide you want the ‘spike’ of the chain. The wider the gap the larger the spike.

step by step barred chain stitch 3Wrap the thread under the needle point towards the right and pull the needle through the fabric.The thread should cross as you do this producing a crossed stitch as illustrated.

step by step barred chain stitch 4Next make a basic chain stitch.This pattern of one basic chain and and one barred chain stitch is repeated as you work down the line.

step by step barred chain stitch 5

Barred chain stitch can look effective if you add a seed bead to the end of each spine.

barred chain stitch sample 3

You can also create an interesting  textured surface if you use bulky threads and work it row up on row together.

barred chain stitch sample 2

 


Chain Stitch

Instructions on how to work chain stitch

Chain stitch can be used to create a line. It is also known as tambour stitch and point de chainette.

step by step instructions for chain stitch 1Bring the needle up through the fabric and hold the thread with the left thumb. Insert the needle as illustrated, so that the point emerges a short space along the line to be stitched.

step by step instructions for chain stitch 2With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric to make the first stitch.

Insert the needle into the middle of the chain stitch with the point emerging further along the line. Once again wrap the thread under the needle and pull through.

step by step instructions for chain stitch 3Continue in this manner along the line

chain stitch sample 2Chain stitch worked in fine knitting yarn.

chain stitch sample 3Chain stitch worked in silk thread on a crazy quilt block

chain stitch sample 1Chain stitch is known as a linear stitch because it is good for lines.

chain stitch sample 4
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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