How to hand embroider Chained Bar stitch

Chained bar stitch forms a solid line that is ideal for borders or you can use it to couch down ribbons, tape or some flat braids.

How to work Chained bar stitch

Create the foundation of this stitch by first laying down some long straight stitches. Between two to six straight stitches in DMC pearl 3 thread works well, but if you want to go for a different primitive look you can use string like yarns or even fine knitting wool. Highly textured threads can be used as the bar. If they are very hairy the chain will create interesting indentations on the line.

Chained bar 1You are going to work a zig zag chain stitch across the bar. You might like to refresh your memory on how to work zig zag chain.

This is a stitch where contrasting threads work well. For instance a metallic thread over a bar of silk is stunning.

Chained bar 2Work from left to right. Bring the needle from the back of the fabric and hold the thread with the left thumb. Insert the needle back into where it first came out. Take the needle through the fabric bringing the point of the needle out on a diagonal angle, below the straight stitches. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric.

Chained bar step 3In the second stitch turn the angle of the chain stitch to take the chain over the bar. Continue along the bar until the straight stitches are couched down by the zig zag chain stitches.

Tip! If your stitches do not lie flat as you enter the fabric with each loop pierce the end of the previous loop.

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 hand embroider Beaded Vandyke stitch

Beaded Vandyke stitch as the name suggests is a beaded version of the very popular Vandyke stitch. If you need  to jog your memory directions on how to work it are here. Regular Vandyke stitch is often used as a border which means the beaded version would make a nice edging on projects. The bead is added during the stitching process. Use a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the eye of a tapestry needle is long you can thread perle #8 and Perle #5 through the long eye. However the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread as you stitch.

How to work Beaded Vandyke Stitch

Work Beaded Vandyke Stitch from top to bottom, between two invisible lines. Mark your fabric with a disappearing pen or pencil if you need a guide. While stitching a bead is added every second stitch, keep your tension slightly loose, so that the centre line will form nicely.

Beaded Vandyke stitch 1The first stitch is regular Vandyke stitch as illustrated. If you need a reminder follow the link to a tutorial.

Bring your needle out on the left hand side or the line a little below the first stitch and thread a bead on your thread. Continue making a Vandyke stitch.

Beaded Vandyke stitch 2Make another regular Vandyke stitch and then created a beaded Vandyke stitch and continue in this manner down the line.

Beaded Vandyke stitch 3I have  experimented with this a little and you can add beads at various stages of working the stitch as you can see by this sample. The thread is cotton perle #5 and each bar has 2 seed beads on it. I liked how the beads tensioned the central line.

Beaded Vandyke stitch 4
I hope you enjoy experimenting with this stitch as I am sure it holds lots of possibilities in contemporary hand embroidery.




Long Tail Chain Stitch Plain, beaded and whipped

sample of Long Tail Chain stitch 2Long tail chain is also known as long arm chain and Long leg chain!  With all these tails arms and legs you would think we are talking about a beast of stitch but it is not the case.

Long tail Chain Stitch is a stitch of hidden talents as it is very versatile particularly when you introduce a second process like whipping or if you add beads.  Long tail chain is simply a chain stitch with a long tie stitch. It is not difficult to work and is easily added to or arranged in interesting patterns.

It is a good idea to be familiar with detached chain stitch as Long Tail Chain is a variety of  Chain stitch

How to hand embroider Long Tail Chain stitch

Bring the needle up through the fabric and insert it back into where it emerged and take a small bite of the fabric to have the point of the needle positioned as illustrated.

Long Tail Chain stitch 1Wrap under the needle point as you would for chain stitch and pull the needle through to create a chain stitch.

Long Tail Chain stitch 2On the same line tie the chain down with a long straight stitch.

Long Tail Chain stitchWhen this stitch is worked in a single unit it is called a long tailed chain.

sample of Long Tail Chain stitch 3You can arrange long tailed chain stitch is all sorts of ways and I have worked some samples to show you.

sample of Long Tail Chain stitch 4sample of Long Tail Chain stitchYou can even create interesting fills or patterns with this stitch.

Circles are a common pattern as they then look like flower petals.

Tip! How to work neat stitches in a circle.

This tip works not only for this stitch but also for detached chain flowers (lazy daisy) bullion flowers and many of the hand embroidery stitches where you have to work a circle of spokes that radiate from the centre.

When you work long tailed chain in a circle, imagine a clock face.

Work a stitch at 12 o’clock and then another stitch at 6 o’clock then take your thread across the can work a stitch at 3 o’clock and another at 9 o’clock.

Long Tail Chain stitch step 1Next you add a stitch between 12 and 3 o’clock and another between 3 and 6 o’clock and so on.

Long Tail Chain stitch step 2If you do this you will get nicely balanced hand embroidered flowers without having to mark the fabric.

You can create some nice flower patterns with this stitch.

Beaded Feathered chain stitch step 7

Tip! How to work Beaded embroidery stitches

With this stitch the beading is done during the stitching process not added afterward so you need to use a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the eye of a tapestry needle is long you can thread perle #8 and Perle #5 through the long eye. However the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread as you stitch. It is a case of the best of both worlds!

Beaded Long Tail Chain stitch1To work this beaded version you create a chain and before you tie it off the with the long straight stitch thread 3 seed beads on to the tail.

Beaded Long Tail Chain stitch

Long Tail Chain stitch step 2

How to hand embroider Whipped Long Tail Chain stitch

The last variety I would like to share with you is Whipped Long Tail Chain. This stitch is also known as whipped long armed chain, and whipped long tack daisy.

Work 8 long tail chain stitches so that they radiate in circle.

The tails of the stitch are the foundation threads for the whipped stitches.

Bring the thread out at the centre and slide the needle under a ‘tail’ and pull it through. In this stitch you are not going through the fabric just under the long tail stitches which are acting as spokes.

Whipped Long Tail Chain stitch1

Take the thread up and over the top of the spoke and move back a spoke to slide the needle under two spokes as illustrated. Your thread should wrap around the spoke. This whipping action of forward 2 spokes and back 1 spoke is a bit like making a series of back stitches over the spokes but not through the fabric.

Whipped Long Tail Chain stitch 3Repeat this action, whipping each spoke as you progress around the wheel until the circle is filled.
Whipped Long Tail Chain stitch 4It is a fun stitch and I hope readers will enjoy experimenting with it a bit.

 

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 viewer’s 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.

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Buttonholed Cable Chain and Alternating Buttonholed Cable Chain

Buttonholed Cable Chain is of course a variety of Cable chain stitch and you need to be able to work a foundation of Cable Chain. If you need a refresher my tutorial for Cable Chain stitch is here 

Buttonholed cable chain sample

Cable chain differs slightly from regular chain stitch as Cable chain has an extra bar worked between each chain stitch.  When you buttonhole this stitch it becomes something quite different.

When you first learn this stitch use a thread with a firm twist. When mastered experiment with other threads. The example is worked in Perle #5 thread. I worked each journey in different colours so readers could see what was happening.

Buttonholed cable chain 1Work a row of Cable Chain stitch which act as a foundation.

For the second part of the stitch work from left to right and bring the needle up through the fabric on the bottom the left hand side.

Slip your needle under the thread of the first chain stitch as illustrated. Loop the thread under the needle point and pull the needle through to make the first buttonhole stitch

Buttonholed cable chain 2Work a buttonhole stitch on the side of the chain stitch being careful not pass the needle through the foundation fabric. Add more buttonhole stitches along the bar until they sit snug.

As you work slide the stitches long the bar so that the finished stitches are spaced closely together.

Buttonholed cable chain 3When you reach the end of the foundation stitch move to the next chain skipping the bar between. The bar acts to divide each loop neatly but does not need to be buttonholed.

Buttonholed cable chain 4When you reach the end of the row turn your work and buttonhole the other side of the cable chain foundation.

Buttonholed cable chain 5How to work Alternating Buttonholed Cable Chain Stitch

Alternating Buttonholed Cable chain stitch is a variety of Buttonholed Cable Chain you start with a foundation row of Cable Chain stitch.

Alternating Buttonholed cable chain 1

On the second journey work buttonhole stitches on the side of the chain stitch being careful not pass the needle through the foundation fabric. As you add more buttonhole stitches slide the stitches long the bar so that the finished stitches are spaced closely together.

When you reach the end of the foundation chain stitch slide your needle under the bar between the chain stitches and work buttonhole stitches on the other side of the next chain stitch. Work like this along line, buttonholing first one side of the chain stitch then on the next foundation stitch work the other side.

Alternating Buttonholed cable chain 2It is a fun stitch to work and I can see lots of applications for it.

Alternating Buttonholed cable chain 3