Drizzle Stitch Tutorial

Drizzle stitch sample 1Drizzle stitch is fun as it stands free from the fabric. In other words it is a 3D stitch. It always makes me smile when ever I see it. It is mainly used in Brazilian embroidery worked in rayon thread but you can use any thread with a good twist such as cotton pearl. In Brazilian embroidery you often spot it at the centre of a flower adding texture and dimension. It also combines well with floral motifs work in Silk Ribbon Embroidery. Drizzle stitch is a great to use in underwater scenes as clusters of the stitch it looks like coral or sea anemones.

Since tension is important, stretch the fabric in an embroidery hoop or frame. Also this stitch is easier to work if you use a use a milliner’s or straw needle as the shaft of the needle is the same diameter as the eye and this means you can slide the stitches along the needle easily in the second phase of the stitch.

For all my, ‘you should do this’ and ‘should do that’ it is not that hard to work and more than makes up for its fiddliness with effect.

How to embroider Drizzle stitch

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 1First bring the needle to the front of the fabric. Next you take the thread out of the needle but leave the needle in the fabric. I know this is counter intuitive to anyone who sews but it is what you do

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 2Next to where the thread emerges poke the needle a little way in the fabric. Take the thread in your hand  and wrap the thread over your  index finger.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 3Rotate your finger keeping the thread still over your finger but under slight tension. This movement will create a loop around your finger.

Transfer the loop from your first finger to the needle.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 4Slide the loop down the needle. Then pull your finger away so that a loop sits on the needle. Pull the thread until snug but not tight. This is the first cast on stitch.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 5This looping action and transferring the loop to the needle, is similar to casting on a stitch on a knitting needle.

Work a number of cast on stitches, gently sliding them down the needle as you go. Work at least 6 loops if not more. You can work 20 or 30 loops to create long spirals. Keep the stitches even on the needle.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 6When you have the required number of even spaced stitches rethread the needle.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 8Hold the cast on stitches between your thumb  and first finger. Hold the stitches firmly but not so tight the thread can not be pulled through.  Gently pull the thread, through the center of the cast on stitches and continue to pull the thread through the fabric to the back. Pull firmly but not too tight.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 9The finished stitch will be free at one end so that it will pop up from the fabric and will coil in a spiral to the base.

The size of the stitch depends upon the number of cast on stitches you use. The higher the number of cast on stitches the bigger the loop. The thickness of the thread will determine the weight of the stitch.

For a contemporary look mix this stitch with other textured stitches such as bullion or french knots. It also looks good used in combination with such stitches as cast-on stitch, oyster stitch, whipped wheel stitch, whipped spokes and add a few beads to the mix. I hope you have fun with Drizzle 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 about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block.  I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim was to be practical and inspiring.

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 use in your stitching projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

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

Colonial Knot Step by Step Tutorial

Colonial Knot is sometimes called Figure Eight Knot and it is often used in candlewicking embroidery so is also called a Candlewicking Knot. This surface embroidery stitch at first glance  looks very much like a French knot but it is worked slightly differently as you create the knot by looping the needle around the thread rather than wrapping the thread around the needle.

How to hand embroider a Colonial Knot Stitch

To work Colonial Knot, bring your thread up through the fabric.

Colonial Knot step 1

Hold the thread in your left hand slightly loose. Start with  your needle pointing away from you and to the left of the thread. Slide the needle under the thread, towards the right  then flip the needle over your thread. This loop can be formed in a hooking motion by turning the needle in anti-clockwise direction 180 degrees over the working thread so that the thread forms a figure 8 around the needle.

Colonial Knot step 2Take the needle to the back of the fabric next where it first emerged but not in the same hole. Before you pull it through make sure the loop is snug around the shaft of the needle. Pull through and you have a colonial knot!

Colonial Knot step 3Colonial knots take a bit if practice to create the knot, but once your hands understand the mechanics of the stitch, it is easy to work.

Many stitchers prefer this to French knots and find them quicker and easier to work. Colonial knots take up less thread that french knots too so they are economical on resources as well as time. They are great if you work them in silk ribbon and since silk ribbon is costly some people substitute Colonial knots for French knots  when ever they work in silk. You can also work slightly thicker thread easily using this stitch it is after all used in candlewicking embroidery.

Anyway enjoy leaning this stitch and make some comparisons yourself. 

Crazy Quilt Seam Detail 521

crazy quilt block 79

This seam on block 79 started of a Cretan stitch worked in a chainette thread. The fabric is quite bulky as it is a vintage piece of silk with a heavy slub woven through it as part of the pattern. So I chose a heavy thread so that is would not disappear the texture of the fabric.

I then added some black bugle beads  and some vintage faceted beads.

This sort of embellishment along a seam is quick to work and since Cretan is a basic stitch it is suitable for new hands to crazy quilting too!

crazy quilt detailFree Crazy quilt block patterns

This article is part of a series of articles that highlight the hand embroidered seams and Crazy Quilt details  on the quilt blocks that make up my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. For a free pattern of the block visit the web page about block 79.

Each block on this quilt has a free pattern which  are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

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