Alternating buttonhole stitch is a quick and easy stitch that is worked so that the arms of the buttonhole stitch fall left and right of a central line. You need to be familiar with buttonhole stitch. If you need a refresher, you can find it here. You can create patterns by changing the size of the unit, the height of the arms, changing the spacing and the number of stitches in each unit.
You can also work Alternating Buttonhole in an irregular manner in freeform embroidery, producing an organic twig-like line.
How to work Alternating Buttonhole stitch.
This stitch is worked from left to right. First, bring the thread out on the central line and work three or four normal buttonhole stitches. Make 3 or 4 stitches. Then flip to the other side of the central line. Insert the needle on the lower line making an upward motion with the needle tip emerging on the central line, loop the working thread under the needle’s point. Pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop.
Work this way along the line working first one side then the other, flipping as you go.
I hope you enjoy this variety of Buttonhole stitch.
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My book for creative stitchers
If you enjoy my site you will get real value from my book Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery: Visual Guide to 120 Essential Stitches for Stunning Designs
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned embroiderer, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery gives you techniques to encourage and develop a fresh and creative embroidery style. Discover play points in your embroidery. Explore variations in height and width, stacking stitches, or using repetitions of the same stitch to create areas of texture and shape. All these techniques and more will give you creative variations. I have included numerous demonstrations of small tweaks that create big effects. I have given you plenty of eye candy to send you down your own creative path.