How to hand embroider Chained Bar stitch

Chained bar stitch forms a solid line that is ideal for borders or you can use it to couch down ribbons, tape or some flat braids.

How to work Chained bar stitch

Create the foundation of this stitch by first laying down some long straight stitches. Between two to six straight stitches in DMC pearl 3 thread works well, but if you want to go for a different primitive look you can use string like yarns or even fine knitting wool. Highly textured threads can be used as the bar. If they are very hairy the chain will create interesting indentations on the line.

Chained bar 1You are going to work a zig zag chain stitch across the bar. You might like to refresh your memory on how to work zig zag chain.

This is a stitch where contrasting threads work well. For instance a metallic thread over a bar of silk is stunning.

Chained bar 2Work from left to right. Bring the needle from the back of the fabric and hold the thread with the left thumb. Insert the needle back into where it first came out. Take the needle through the fabric bringing the point of the needle out on a diagonal angle, below the straight stitches. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric.

Chained bar step 3In the second stitch turn the angle of the chain stitch to take the chain over the bar. Continue along the bar until the straight stitches are couched down by the zig zag chain stitches.

Tip! If your stitches do not lie flat as you enter the fabric with each loop pierce the end of the previous loop.

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 
a tangle of pinsFollow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox

You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set!
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature.


    1. Yes I know what you mean there is tip – I catch each stitch as I go – it’s in the instructions when I say “If your stitches do not lie flat as you enter the fabric with each loop pierce the end of the previous loop.”

  1. I love both of these stitches Sharon. Could you see them as seam treatments in a crazy quilt? Or would they be ‘too busy’? Or perhaps your answer will be …. there are no rules in CQ.

    Claire Turner
  2. I have been an admirer of your work and industry for well over a year now. But this and the woven trellis are WOW!!!
    Really WOW!!!
    Such wonderful inspirations…

    So many ideas.

    As always thank you. A feast for the eyes, and a smile on my face. This made my day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *