Algerian Eye stitch creates a decorative star-like pattern and can often be found on canvas work, pulled work, embroidery and forms of counted-thread work which means traditionally it is worked on even-weave fabric. It is also known as Star stitch. The sample above is a mix of Algerian eye stitch and Algerian overlapping border stitch. It is worked on 18 count Aida cloth, using wool, cotton Perle #8 and stranded cotton floss.
If you want to use Algerian Eye Stitch on regular dress fabric, or on a crazy quilt block, you can use waste canvas and appliqué or otherwise incorporate it into the project.
Using different arrangements of Algerian Eye Stitch, it is very easy to build up interesting designs, motifs and patterns. Algerian Eye is related to Eyelet stitch – which has numerous varieties. Often these varieties combine well with Algerian Eye and can lead to endless experimentation resulting in interesting patterns.
How to work Algerian Eye stitch
Algerian eye stitch is made up of straight stitches arranged in a square. Refer to the illustration and work each straight stitch into the centre hole by bringing your needle out on the edge of the stitch, and taking it back down into the central hole.
Work Algerian Eye Stitch with the fabric held under tension in an embroiderer’s hoop or on a needlework frame.
Often this stitch is used as filling
You can also work this stitch over beads. I particularly like using flat round beads with a large hole in the middle such as small donuts and heishi beads.
How to work the pulled version of Algerian Eye Stitch
You can also use Algerian Eye Stitch as a pulled embroidery stitch. With each stitch, tug the thread slightly so that the fabric distorts. The little tug pulls the fabric and creates the holes in the centre of each stitch. The more you pull, the larger the central hole becomes.
If you want to emphasise the hole, you can, by gently poking the end of the knitting needle into the hole to widen it a little.
Have you seen my book?
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 viewers 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.
My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.
These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.
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