Let’s make twiggy bits!
Up and Down Feathered Buttonhole stitch is ideal to use for thorny stems in floral sprays. This is a stitch I often use and I think most embroiderers and crazy quilters will particularly enjoy, as it makes marvellous twiggy bits — particularly if you treat them in an improvisational manner. A feathery line of twin stitches looks at first glance like knotted feather stitch. But it is not, as the knot is flat to the fabric and quite neat. To understand the workings of Up and Down Feathered Buttonhole you need to know Up and Down buttonhole and feather stitch as this is a combination of the two stitches.
Each stitch of the pair is a separate step. The bar at the base of each pair of stitches adds extra texture to the line but is flat to the fabric. It looks complex but is an amazingly versatile stitch.
Since it is a variation of buttonhole stitch, it is easily worked on many types of fabrics and is just as effective when worked along a straight line or following a curve.
How to work Up and Down Feathered Buttonhole Stitch
Before you work this stitch, be familiar with feather stitch, and up and down buttonhole stitch. (Follow the links for a tutorial if you need a refresher). When working this stitch, it is useful to imagine 3 parallel lines.
Work from top to bottom. Bring the needle out at the top of the line to be worked. Insert the needle to the right, and have it emerge from the fabric in the middle and below these two points, so that when the thread is wrapped under the needle, it makes a V shape. With the thread under the needle and take the needle through the fabric.
Making the V shapes
This first V shape creates the first part of the tied pairs of stitches. For the second stitch of the pair, take the needle through the fabric, point the needle in an outward direction. See the illustration and note where the point of the needle is. In other words, point the needle outwards and upwards. Wrap the working thread under the needle at the top. Pull the needle through the fabric. As you do this hold down the loop that forms with the left thumb to prevent it from slipping. This loop forms the bar at the base of both stitches. This forms the first pair of tied stitches.
Insert the needle a little to the right and almost on the same level as the knot. Make a small stitch in a downward motion that is angled so that the point of the needle appears on the centre line. Keeping the thread under the needle point (as you would with regular feather stitch), pull the thread through the fabric to make a V shape which is the first part of the next pair of stitches.
Once again, turn the needle in the opposite direction and wrap the thread under the needle. Pull the needle through the fabric and hold down the loop that forms with the left thumb to prevent it from slipping. Work these movements alternatively down the line. As you can see by the samples, there are lots of ways of creating variety with this stitch. Once you have the rhythm of the stitch it is easy and quick to do. I hope you enjoy up and down feathered buttonhole.
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Floral themed Stitchers templates for hand embroiderers
I designed this set of stitchers templates around a floral theme. You can combine petal and leaf shapes with the curved edges of the templates to create all sorts of floral and organic motifs and create hundreds of different patterns to embroider. It is the ultimate mix-and-match fun for stitchers.
The set comes with an e-book with instructions and is filled with patterns and designs that you can create and use as jumping-off spots for your own designs.
They are available now in our shop here
Enjoy your stitching!