Pekinese Stitch Tutorial

Pekinese Stitch sample 1Pekinese stitch is also known as Chinese stitch since it is found on Chinese embroideries worked in silk, row upon row sometimes 30-40 stitches to the inch.

Pekinese stitch creates a heavy line which can follow a curve well making it ideal to use as a linear stitch. Pekinese stitch is also great to use as finishing line around the edge of items like fabric postcards, ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) bags, purses, needle books or pin cushions. It works well for anything small that requires a tidy edge.

This stitch can crate a fine line is you use a fine thread. In the sample to the left I hand embroidered a fine line of Pekinese stitch down the middle of rick rack braid using cotton perle #12 threads. The beads are seed beads so it gives you a sense of scale.

How to work Pekinese Stitch.

Start by working a foundation line of back stitch in a loose manner because the threading will tighten the stitches. If you need a refresher on how to work back stitch check out my tutorial on back stitch here

Pekinese Stitch step 1 A second decorative thread is then laced through the line of back stitches. Use a blunt ended tapestry needle to avoid splitting the foundation stitches. As you thread do not pass the needle through the fabric

Work from left to right. Bring your needle out on the bottom left on the line of back stitches. Move along two stitches to slide the needle under the foundation back stitch. With the needle tip pointed towards the top pull your thread through.
Pekinese Stitch step 2

Move back one foundation stitch and slide your needle downwards under the stitch. With the needle tip pointed towards the bottom pull your thread through.
Pekinese Stitch step 3Repeat this lacing process along the line. To create a neat textured line, tighten slightly after each threaded loop is created.

Pekinese Stitch sample 3For extra interest use your imagination with thread choice. Experiment with contrasts of texture and weight. You can lace with fine cord, chainette, rayon ribbon floss, a yarn, or a fine ribbon. In the sample above I have laced using a fine metallic  braid.

Pekinese Stitch sample 2You can also work lines back to back to create an interesting thicker line. In the sample above I worked a foundation row of back stitches in green cotton perle #5 thread then I laced them with a hand dyed cotton perle #5.  I added a third line of back stitch down the middle.

I hope you enjoy this stitch!

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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Cast On Stitch Step by Step Tutorial

Cast on Stitch sample 8Cast on stitch forms little loops that sit proud against the background fabric and one of those stitches that once you master it and establish the rhythm it is fun and relaxing to work. It also impresses people easily, as it looks outrageously difficult to do. To be honest it’s not that hard. Cast on stitch is a bit tricky, I admit but not so difficult that an intermediate stitcher can’t master.

Most people are introduced to this stitch via Brazilian embroidery but you can use it in other highly textured forms of contemporary embroidery too.

Cast on Stitch is a little time consuming but worth the effort. It really produces a 3D element to a piece embroidery and people invariably want to reach out and touch it.

A tip for working Cast On stitch!

For the best results with this stitch use a milliner’s needle on a foundation fabric stretched in an embroidery hoop or frame.

Most of the problems associated with working cast-on stitch is that people use the wrong needle and dont use a hoop. I suggest you try milliners or in some places people call them straw needles. Why these particular needles? Most embroidery needles have an eye that is wider than the shaft of the needle which means any stitch that wraps the thread around the needle often runs the risk of getting too tight as you pull the thread through.

Milliners or straw needles have an eye and shaft that are the same width which makes sliding the stitch along the needle easy. Try it as it does make a difference!

Where do you get Milliners needles? Specialist needlework shops will or should stock them. If you are not near a needlework store you can buy Milliners Needles online (this is an affiliate link which means if you shop here I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, but that is not why I recommend them!)

Cast on Stitch sample 1

How to work Cast on Stitch

Bring your thread to the front of the fabric and take a tiny bite of the fabric by making a small back stitch, as illustrated and have the needle emerge from the fabric close to where the thread emerged initially.

Cast on Stitch step by step 1Leave the needle in the fabric. In other words do not complete the back stitch. You need both hands for this next step hence the need to have your work mounted in an embroidery hoop.

Cast on Stitch step by step 2Place the thread over your left index finger, rotate your finger keeping the thread still over your finger but under tension.

Cast on Stitch step by step3This movement of twisting your finger creates a loop around your finger.

Cast on Stitch step by step 4Transfer the loop from your finger to the needle by sliding the needle through the loop and moving the loop to the needle.

Cast on Stitch step by step 5Slide the loop down the needle. This is the first cast on stitch.

Cast on Stitch step by step 6This looping action and transferring the loop, is similar to casting on a row of stitches on a knitting needle hence the name.

Cast on Stitch step by step 7Work a number of cast on stitches, gently sliding them down the needle as you go. They look like a line of buttonhole stitches sitting snug but not too tight on your needle.

Cast on Stitch step by step 8Keep them evenly spaced for best results.

Cast on Stitch step by step 9When you have the required number of stitches cast on to the needle hold the cast on stitches with the fingers on your left hand and pull the thread with your right hand, through the cast on stitches. Hold the stitches firmly but not so tight you can not pull the needle through.

Cast on Stitch step by step 10Take the needle to the back of the fabric and pull your working thread firmly but not tight to create the loop.

Cast on Stitch step by step 11The curve of the loop depends upon the number of cast on stitches you use and size of your first back stitch. In other words the distance between the point where the thread emerged from the back of the fabric and the point where the thread entered the fabric. The higher the number of cast on stitches the bigger the loop.

Cast on Stitch sample 7If you add a bead to the middle they make lovely little flower motifs. These Cast on stitches are worked in Cotton perle #5 .

Cast on Stitch sample 2These Cast on stitches are worked in hand dyed silk on stems of feather stitch

Cast on Stitch sample 4In this case they the cast on stitches are worked in hand dyed wool on stems of knotted feather stitch worked in cotton perle #5.

Cast on Stitch sample 3

These are also worked in a red hand dyed wool. The little organic shapes are worked on line of Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole stitches worked in a green cotton perle #5 thread.

Cast on Stitch sample 5

The last sample is a line pansies that are made from 5 Cast on Stitches.

Cast on Stitch sample 6

Anyway enjoy the stitch, experiment with it and I am sure you will discover more that can be done with it!

Basque stitch Tutorial

As the name suggests, Basque stitch is found on old embroideries from the Basque area of northern Spain you also find it used on embroidery from Portugal and southern France. Basque stitch is also known as twisted daisy border stitch. It is a sort of twisted chain stitch worked in line or circle a bit like a buttonhole stitch

Basque stitch creates a line of twisted loops which looks good on a curved line.
Once you get the hang of the rhythm of this stitch it is very relaxing and enjoyable to to work.

How to work Basque stitch

Work this stitch over two imaginary lines. Bring the thread out on the upper line,   take a large bite of the fabric so that the needle is inserted on the top line and emerges from the back on the lower line. Take the thread across the needle then loop the thread under the needle point.

Step by step Basque stitch 1Pull the needle through the fabric to form a twisted loop. Insert the needle on the lower line and bring it out  just beside the top of the loop.

Step by step Basque stitch 2Take the needle through the fabric and repeat this process along the line.

Step by step Basque stitch 3Worked in a circular manner this stitch forms floral shapes which means it can be used to pattern areas.

Basque stitch sample Another tip is to attach a bead or button placed in the center of the circle is also effective particularly in crazy quilting. Small seed beads can be attached at the end of the loop or inside the loop.

sample of basque stitch

This is a stitch that is absolutely marvellous on a curve. This sample was worked on a piece of cotton batik and I just picked out the curve of the printed pattern.

Hand embroidery sample of Basque stitch Here I have worked Basque stitch in a line. You can create patterns by extending the loops at regular intervals.

Hand embroidery sample of Basque stitch This last example is where I used it in crazy quilting. It is really good at emphasising a line in a motif such as a paisley.