Alternating Barred Chain stitch is one of the more interesting textured stitches to add to your hand embroidery repertoire of stitches. It is a member of the chain stitch family that produces a textured line. I think that Alternating Barred Chain stitch is in some ways more interesting than its sister, Barred chain. This is because I like the pattern and swing that is set up by the alternating arms of this stitch. This swing can create a sense of movement in a piece.
You can work Alternating Barred Chain stitch easily and quickly, and it looks great in chunky textured novelty threads. This stitch follows a curve well and is great for creating designs with an organic feel. You can use it to represent a thorny vine or in underwater scenes representing seaweed and marine plants.
How to work Alternating Barred Chain Stitch
Work from top to bottom. Start with a basic chain stitch.
Insert the needle to the left of the chain with the tip emerging a short space down the line.
The gap can vary, depending upon how wide you want the ‘spike’ of the chain. The wider the gap the larger the spike.
Wrap the thread under the needle’s point, towards the right as illustrated and pull the needle through the fabric. The thread will cross as you do this, producing a crossed stitch as illustrated.
The second stitch is a basic chain stitch.
Insert the needle to the right of the chain with the tip emerging a short space down the line. Wrap the thread under the needle’s point, towards the left as illustrated and pull the needle through the fabric.
Repeat this pattern of single-chain and barred chain angled left, followed by a single chain, then a barred chain angled right.
Alternating Barred chain produces interesting hard wearing bands if you work it row upon row.
Or you can set up a pattern by working two rows back to back and arranging the spines in a regular manner.
You can change the number of stitches you work on each side too. Of course this creates another variety. Alternating Barred chain is also an ideal stitch to use in crazy quilting!
Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?
As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery, I designed these templates with fellow stitchers in mind. You can use them to 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. And we laser cut them in our own studio to ensure the highest quality.
To see what they look like, find out about the free ebook of patterns that come with them visit the information pages. You can find out more about set 1 on this page . To find out more about set 2 visit this page
Or go directly to the Pintangle shop to purchase them.
Here is my 2021 TAST sampler, after adding Alternating Barred Chain Stitches.
I hope you don’t mind one more follower? This looks like such a fun place to be. Thank You…
While I still had the Barred chain stitch in my head, I thought I better get on with the Alternating Barred.
Not as hard as I thought.
Sandy in the UK
Hi sandy yes they are not so hard once you get in the swing!
My alternating barred chain example is here – http://hokkaidokudasai.blogspot.jp/2015/10/take-stitch-tuesday-12-barred-chain.html
Thank you Sharon. I have never seen this stitch before and certainly want to try it.
Thanks Sharon,I love this stitch!????
Thanks as you can probably guess I am slowly building the pages that will become the stitch dictionary when I move it
I love the stitch samples .
Cool beans. I hope to give this a try soon. You have lovely work.
Great stitch, Sharon. Thank you. I make quite a lot of maritime cards and hangings and this will be really useful.