How to work Algerian Eye Stitch

Algerian Eye stitch sample of varieties 2Algerian Eye stitch creates a decorative pattern and is often found on canvas work, pulled work embroidery and forms of counted thread work which means traditionally it is worked on evenweave fabric. The sample above is a mix of Algerian eye stitch and Algerian overlapping border stitch. It is worked on 18 cnt Aida cloth using wool, cotton perle #8  and stranded cotton floss

If you want to use Algerian Eye Stitch on regular dress fabric or on a crazy quilt block you can use waste canvas.

Algerian Eye stitch sample of patterns 1With Algerian Eye Stitch it is very easy to build up interesting design motifs and patterns using different arrangements of the stitch. Algerian Eye is a cousin to eyelet stitch which has numerous varieties. Often these varieties combine well with Algerian eye and can lead to endless experimentation leading to interesting patterns.

Algerian Eye stitch sample of patterns 2How to work Algerian Eye stitch

Algerian eye stitch is made up of straight stitches arranged in a square. Refer to the illustration and work each straight stitch into the centre hole by bringing your needle out on the edge of the stitch, and taking it back down into the central hole.

Algerian Eye stitch step by step Work Algerian Eye Stitch with the fabric held under tension in an embroiderers hoop or on a needlework frame.

Often this stitch is used as filling

Algerian Eye stitch sample over beadsYou can also work this stitch over beads. I particularly like using flat round beads with a large hole in the middle such as small donuts and heishi beads.

How to work the pulled version of Algerian Eye Stitch

You can also use Algerian Eye Stitch as pulled embroidery stitch. With each stitch tug the thread slightly so that the fabric distorts. The little tug pulls the fabric and creates the holes in the centre of each stitch. The more you pull the greater the central hole.

If you want emphasise the hole you can by gently poking the end of the knitting needle into the hole to widen it a little.

Algerian Eye stitch sample of varieties 1

Enjoy experimenting!

 

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. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewers eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain 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 

Buttonhole Wheel stitch

Buttonhole wheel pulled stitch sample Buttonhole wheel is buttonhole stitch worked in a circle so obviously it is part of the buttonhole family of stitches. Buttonhole wheels are also known as Also known as wheel stitch, buttonhole rings, buttonhole flowers, buttonhole disks and disk stitch.

Buttonhole wheels are a fun and are an undervalued little stitch. Many people are introduced to buttonhole wheels as a beginners stitch but do not realise how versatile they can be. You can do so much more with them! They are often used to form small floral sprays making it a useful stitch for contemporary crazy quilting and surface embroidery.

It stands to reason that  in order to work this stitch with ease you need to know how to work regular buttonhole stitch or as some people call it blanket stitch.

A tip! 

If you have problems with the rim flicking up and not sitting flat, it means that you are not working enough spokes in the wheel. Add a few more spokes and they will sit flat to the foundation fabric.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 2How to hand embroider a Buttonhole Wheel

step by step tutorial buttonhole wheel 1Using a disappearing marker or pencil, mark a circle and mark a dot in the middle on your fabric.
Bring your thread from the back of your fabric on the outer line. Insert the needle in the middle of the circle and and have the point of  your needle emerge on the outer line. Loop the thread under the needle point.
Pull the needle through the fabric to form the first spoke of the wheel.

step by step tutorial buttonhole wheel 2Repeat this process around the disk.

step by step tutorial buttonhole wheel 3This stitch can be used in both contemporary and traditional stitching.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 7Above is an example of half buttonhole wheels worked in combination with an area of couched novelty yarns on a foundation fabric of hand painted Aida cloth.

Below is a traditional use of buttonhole wheels and quarter wheels in a floral motif.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 4Half and quarter buttonhole wheels

You can work this stitch in units that are half wheels or in units that quarter wheels.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sampleIt is fun to create patterns by arranging  units in rows such as this example on a piece of crazy quilting.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample3Here is another example of half wheels used on crazy quilting. Although both are half buttonhole wheels they can look very different according to spacing, placement and size.

 Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 9Another way of using half buttonhole wheels is to flip or mirror them along a seam.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 10Or once you break the wheels up into units such as quarter wheels you can flip them along a seam and create different arrangements and combinations. This sample is used in crazy quilting but a line of quarter wheels can make an attractive decoration as is.

pulled Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 8Buttonhole wheels in Pulled embroidery

In pulled embroidery buttonhole wheel is worked on a fabric such as even weave linen, something that has give and will ‘pull’ or pucker. You also need to use an embroiderers hoop to control your tension.

As the Buttonhole wheel is worked you tug on each stitch slightly so that the threads of the foundation fabric are pulled in by the stitching. It is not a tug of war all you need is to just give each stitch a tug and then move on. Make sure your needle always goes back into the same hole in the middle and a neat hole will form. The size of this hole can be increased with the aid of a stiletto or knitting needle. Basically you push the end into the hole to make the hole bigger or in my case more even.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 5