Bullion Buttonhole Stitch

milliners needles

Bullion Buttonhole an interesting variety of buttonhole. This stitch consists of  buttonhole stitch where the upright bars are worked as a bullion stitches. Since it is based on buttonhole you can use it to edge items or as a interesting border. Bullion buttonhole can look very interesting if you thread a thin ribbon or novelty thread under it.

Tip: For all bullion stitches use milliners needles as they are the secret weapon in creating wonderful bullion stitches. People either love or hate bullions, but most of the problems associated with working them is that people use the wrong needle.

I recommend milliners or straw needles because most embroidery needles have an eye that is wider than the shaft of the needle. Milliners or straw needles have an eye and shaft that are the same width which makes sliding the wrapped bullion knot along the needle easy.

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 but that is not why I recommend them!)

How to work Bullion Buttonhole

This is a version of buttonhole that has a bullion as the vertical stitch. It makes sense to be familiar with both basic buttonhole stitch and bullion knot stitch before you embark on this. So if you need a refresher work a few of both stitches on some scrap fabric and attempt this when your hands have a bit of muscle memory.

Samples worked in DMC perle #5 cotton using a #3 Milliners needle on 26 cnt linen.

bullion buttonhole step 1The same as basic buttonhole bullion buttonhole stitch is worked from left to right over two imaginary lines.

Bring the thread out on the lower line. Insert the needle on the upper line making a straight downward motion and then loop the thread under the needle point as you would with regular buttonhole.

Wrap your needle 5 or 6 times. Make sure the wraps side side by side. Don’t wrap too tight as that will make it hard to pull your needle through. On the other hand loose wrap will make for a sloppy knot.

Pull your needle through while loosely holding the wraps between your thumb and forefinger. As you pull your needle through the bullion stitch will point towards the top imaginary line.

Some of the wraps may be a little wobbly. Tickle the bullion’s tummy with the point of your needle. Run it  smoothly up an down the underside of the bullion. Do this a couple of times as this will even out wobbly  wraps.

bullion buttonhole step 2Your thread should emerge from the bottom of the bullion. Move along the row, repeating the same stitches.

bullion buttonhole step 3By altering the lengths of the upright bullion stitches this variety of buttonhole can be very decorative

Like regular buttonhole stitches, rows of the stitch can be built up to create patterns.

bullion buttonhole step 4Bullion buttonhole is a fun stitch to work once you establish a rhythm and if you want to add even more texture it looks good when you add beads.



How to Hand Embroider Knotted Cable Chain

Knotted Cable chain is used as a linear stitch on both plain and even-weave fabrics. The texture of the knot between chain stitches creates an interesting textured line. As with basic chain stitch this version follows curves well and can even be worked solidly as a filling stitch.

How to work Knotted Cable Chain 

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 1
how to stitch knotted cable chain step 2Bring the needle up through the fabric and work a twisted chain stitch on the line you want to work.

Slip the needle under the top thread above the twist.

Do not pick up any fabric when you do this. Pull the needle through the loop until the loop lies flat but not tight.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 3
how to stitch knotted cable chain step 4Insert the needle back into where it first came out at the top of the chain.

Take the needle through the fabric bringing the point of the needle out a short space along the line to be stitched. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric.

Pull the thread through the fabric and you have created your first knotted cable chain stitch.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 5Make a small twisted chain stitch just bellow the larger chain.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 6Take the needle under the twist and repeat the steps along the row.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 7This is another quick and versatile stitch. You can also lace and thread this stitch in various ways taking advantage of structure of the stitch by threading either the knot or the chain.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step
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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TAST Highlights Berry stitch

I am really pleased people enjoyed Berry stitch and once again I am surprised so many people managed a sample at such a busy time of the year.

I know it is busy time of year but take some time out for yourself and visit the comments section on the featured stitch last week visit some of the links people have left because there is a plenty of more good stuff to see.

Further information about the TAST challenge

If you need further information on the challenge a list of stitches covered so far or directions on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page.

You can read back through TAST articles by browsing Challenges –  Take a Stitch Tuesday category