Picot chain stitch tutorial

Picot Chain Stitch is an interesting variety of chain stitch that can be used as a linear stitch. Picot simply means knot or loop. This version has a picot on each chain stitch creating a slight ridge down the side of the line. In order to work this stitch it is best to know how to work basic chain stitch as this is a development of that basic stitch. Since Picot chain is part of the chain stitch family, like most chain stitches, Picot Chain stitch follows a curve well. It also makes an interesting edge to small projects or can be used to created a slightly textured line.

Picot chain stitch is best worked in a thread with firm twist such as cotton perle #8 or #5.  The trick is to use a hoop to achieve an even tension and nice line of picots.

The demonstration sample is worked in cotton perle #5.

How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 1Work the stitch down the line. Start by creating a basic chain stitch.

 

How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 2To created the picot, pass the needle under the right side of the stitch.

Note you are not taking the needle through the fabric just threading it under the loop.

 

Pull the thread through. When you re-insert the needle for the next chain stitch put the needle inside the chain and at the same time make sure that you are inserting the needle into the middle of the partly formed picot loop.

How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial
Make another chain stitch.
How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 3Repeat the picot continuing down the line. As you can see and extra ridge is formed down one side.

 

How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 4I discovered this stitch in Edith Johns book Creative Stitches. I hope you enjoy Picot chain stitch!

 

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From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery: A hand embroidered file cover part 1

This is the first in a series of articles illustrating the development of my hand embroidered file cover from its start in my studio journal to its design, and then sharing how I stitched the design and the design decisions made along the way.

 

Hand embroidered File cover design in journal 1The source of the design

The idea for this project started because at the end of our street, we have a green belt that is being re-planted after the bush fires that hit Canberra in 2003. I had thought I might explore working a few little pieces associated with that area of land as it had seen some dramatic changes. The topic of the fires, the environment, global warming, the devastation, then the regrowth and the changes associated with the Canberra fires is large enough to be a series of works. I was not sure I wanted to work a huge series of works but was exploring ideas in my studio journal. I decided I wanted to take it a step further and use my needle to apply the ideas in fabric and thread. Rather than launch into a series of full wall pieces I decided I would first work a sample that could become a file cover. It was a way of testing some of the the ideas I had without commiting to a huge long process of a big work.

Hand embroidered File cover design in journal
I started exploring imagery and patterns drawing summer grasses but after a long period of faffing about with these (not shown) I decided summer grasses did not really catch the mood of what I was thinking about. The fires were not mere little grass fires. They were  forests ablaze  that whipped up such heat they became a firestorm ripping through the suburbs taking nearly 500 homes with it. I decided to focus on a few remaining trees that survived the fires. These are gum trees. At first I had an aversion to using such a cliche of an Australian gum leaf but the more I played with it the more I felt they spoke of Australian summers, heat and in this case survival.
I started with just a few individual leaves then after working about 20 designs the leaf shapes moved together producing the page above. When I saw it I decided that would be the pattern.  I liked the composition so decided to use it.

Hand embroidered File cover design in journal thread and bead choice
I traced the page to produce a line drawing that I could use as a pattern. Next I sorted out the colour scheme and threads. I chose chunky threads as I did not want delicate stitching.  I did choose some cotton perle #5 and #8 but I also chose linen and cotton abroder threads which are dull. They do not have a sheen. I wanted earthy summer colours that felt natural, not threads that had a high sheen to them as they felt too decorative.

I then chose beads that were made of wood and shell. They were unpolished and in some cases a bit rough as once again I wanted a natural feel to the piece. I then scaled up the drawing so it would be the right size for a file cover. I used a window as light box to transfer the design to fabric ( a tutorial on how to do this is here)  and started to stitch.

Hand embroidered File cover design startedThe fabric I chose is a 26 count linen that is a jute fawn type of colour which will sit well the natural theme of the design which is of gum leaves. The colour is nicer in life than in the photograph.

As you can see I have started to stitch. The top left and bottom right hand areas are stitched using Satin stitch, Padded Satin Stitch. The fine lines you can see are made with Back Stitch, and Running Stitch. I have started to outline the top leaf in Stem Stitch and bottom leaf is outlined in a heavier linear stitch, whipped chain stitch. The textured surface stitches I am using are Bullion knots, French knots, Buttonhole wheels, Buttonhole Wheel Cups and Cast-on stitch. All of these stitches you can find in my Stitch Dictionary.

hand embroidered file cover part 4
Click on the image to see a large version of the finished project.
From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery posts in the series are.

 

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Crazy quilt template set 2

Have you seen my Stitchers templates?

As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my Stitchers Templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on 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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Lace Border Stitch

I found Lace Border Stitch while browsing through a copy  The Batsford Encyclopaedia of Embroidery Stitches by Anne Butler. It looked interesting so I thought I would try it out

Lace Border Stitch looks trickier than it is. It forms a interesting lacy line which can be used on borders. To work it you need to be familiar with twisted chain stitch and scroll stitch. It may help some people to mark the width of the border they want to work.

Work from to to bottom starting your thread on the left hand side of your border.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 1
Start the stitch with a scroll stitch, worked horizontally across the width of your border.The scroll should sit on the right hand side of your border line.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 2
Next pass your needle under the bar formed. You do not take your needle through the fabric at this point in the process.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 3Pull the thread through and take it over the top of the bar.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 4
Take the needle to the left of your border and a little lower along the line work a small twisted chain stitch.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 5
The twisted chain is small and when you pull your thread through it should pull into a small knot like stitch that look like the photograph.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 6
Take your needle to the other side of your border and pass the needle through the loop formed with the first scroll stitch. At this stage you are passing the needle through the thread not the fabric.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 7
Pull the thread through.
Lace border stitch tutorial step 8
Move your needle down the border and pick up another small piece of fabric to make a twisted chain/scroll stitch and repeat the process working alternatively from side to side until you have worked the line.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 9 When moving to the right hand side don’t forget to pass the needle under the bar formed as it is necessary to form the knot.

Lace border stitch tutorial step 10Lace Border Stitch is effective worked in thicker threads and works up quite quickly. You can work the stitches closer together to produce a braid like effect.  It can also follow a curve well and you can widen the border in parts creating some interesting effects. Another contemporary twist is to use Lace Border stitch to couch a ribbon or novelty thread to a cloth. You can also work the bars of Lace Border stitch on a slight angle which produces a totally different look again. There are lots of ways to experiment with this stitch and I hope people enjoy working it.

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