Posts Tagged 'hand embroidery'

crested chain stitch

Posted by on 05 Oct 2018 | Category:

This decorative stitch combines two parallel lines of chain stitches- the big ones on the bottom line and the tiny ones on the top. This combination results in  ‘crests’ which contributes to the name. It a great stitch to be worked on borders and combined with other stitches in different colors.

I will work this stitch between two parallel stitch lines. You need to know the Chain Stitch to understand this tutorial. 

surface_couching_1 surface_couching_2
Fig 1: Start from the right end of the bottom stitch line. Take the needle in an out as shown and loop the thread around to make a chain stitch.  Fig 2: Next, move to the top stitch line and pluck a little fabric, as shown. Keep it towards the left of the earlier chain made. 
surface_couching_3 surface_couching_4
Fig 3: Loop the thread around the needle, as shown.  Fig 4: Pull out the needle and you will get a formation like this.
surface_couching_5 surface_couching_6
Fig 5: Pass the needle under thread. Be careful not to pluck the fabric under while you do it. Pull the thread all the way gently.  Fig 6: Now, get ready to make the second loop for the chain. Take the needle in through the previous chain and out, as shown. Loop the thread again.
surface_couching_1 surface_couching_2
Fig 5: Pull out the thread and continue by making the smaller chain on the top stitch line. Keep up with this process.  Fig 6: A finished crested chain stitch would look like this. Note the ‘crests’ that got formes. 

pendant couching

Posted by on 06 Feb 2018 | Category:

This is an interesting variation of surface couching. The laid thread is left open at one end and pinned down at regular intervals. The laid thread is then pulled out slightly between two stitches to make pendant shapes. This great and creative variation of couching can be used for decorating edges and sides. It might require a certain amount of patience to create the ‘pendants’ if the stitch line is long. So, it is suggested to break a long line into shorter ones to manage it better.

pendant_couching_1 pendant_couching_2
Fig 1: Start by drawing two parallel stitch lines. Now, bring out a thread (red) for laying, from one end of the top stitch line. Keep it open.


Fig 2: Now, bring another thread (brown) out, a little outside the stitch line, as shown. Keeping  the laid thread over the stitch line, use the other thread to anchor it down using small stitches, as shown.
pendant_couching_3 pendant_couching_4
Fig 3: Once the entire line of laid thread is anchored down with little stitches, we can start making creating the ‘pendants’. Use the back of the needle and pull out the laid thread between two anchors, starting from the open end, as shown. Here, I start from the right end. Pull the thread only until the parallel stitch line.  Fig 4: Now, Keep moving towards left as you progress in pulling the laid thread between each anchor. When you reach the left end, between the first two anchors, stop. Then, repeat the same process till you have pulled out a ‘pendant’ between each anchor. 
Fig 5: Once you have pulled out thread between every anchors, you can take the open end of the laid thread into the fabric and knot it.
A finished line of pendant couching will look like this. You will see a series of ‘U’ shape which can be twisted to give a circle shape as you will notice in the picture. Either way, the irregularity is the beauty of this stitch.  

underside couching

Posted by on 10 Nov 2016 | Category:

Unlike the surface couching, where the couching thread sits on the surface of the fabric, the underside couching technique allows it to pass through the fabric and hide under the fabric.
Visually, it might end up looking like the backstitch. Now, underside couching was used during medieval times in Ecclesiastical embroidery or church embroidery, where metallic threads were used often. Since it was tricky to pull the metallic threads in and out of the fabric, it was probably much easier to couch it down and hide the couching thread on the reverse of the fabric. The technique is pretty much similar to what a machine does when stitching.

This stitch can be used to fill up portions of the pattern, as it was used to in various medieval embroideries. I will use simple cotton floss to illustrate this stitch, and work over a curved line to show how easily this stitch can meander.

underside_couching_1 underside_couching_2
Fig 1: Start by bringing out a thread (brown in the illustration) for laying from one end of the stitch line. Keep it open.
Now, bring another thread (red in the illustration) out, on the stitch line, as shown. 
Fig 2: Now, keep the laid thread over the stitch line and roll it over to the side slightly. Anchor the laid thread down with the couching thread, but pass the needle through the point that you brought it out from, as shown.  
underside_couching_3 underside_couching_4
Fig 3: Now, pull the couching thread from the reverse side till the laid thread is fastened as shown.  Fig 4: Now, with a slight tension, keep pulling the couching thread till it disappears into the fabric, pulling the laid thread with it. 
underside_couching_5 underside_couching_6
Fig 5: Continue with this method for the entire stitch line. A finished underside couching row would look like this. Fig 6: The reverse side of the fabric would look like this- more like a surface couching!

knotted diamond stitch

Posted by on 20 Apr 2014 | Category:

This stitch is very decorative with diamond formations. The edges of the diamonds are knotted, which explains the name. The knotted diamond stitch can require some amount of patience from beginners before you get the hang of it. This stitch is worked between two parallel stitch lines. It is better worked from top to bottom.

 Fig 1: Start by making a straight stitch A-B, between the two stitch lines.             Fig 2: Come out from a point C, a little below B. Now, take the needle under the stitch A-B, without plucking the fabric underneath. Twist the thread around the needle from the left, as shown.
 Fig 3: Pull the needle out towards the right hand side. This creates a small knot on the right side, as you can see. Now, to create a same kind of knot on the left edge, take the needle under the stitch A-B, and twist the thread around the needle from the left as before.    Fig 4: Pull out the needle gently towards the left and create the knot on the left edge. This also makes a new straight stitch below the first one. Now, to create a knot in the middle, bring out the needle from the point D, as shown. Then, take the needle under the new straight stitch and twist the thread around the needle, this time, from the right side.
 Fig 5: Pull out the needle gently towards you. This creates a knot in the center. Take in the needle through E, a point parallel to D. Now, bring out the needle through F. As illustrated, take the needle under the right portion of the previous stitch and twist the thread around the needle, pull it out to create a knot. Continue with the procedure by taking the needle under the left portion of the previous stitch, and so forth.    Fig 6:  A finished portion will look like this. 

P.S : Thank you for all the contributions for the e-book. We are STILL open to contributions.


contribute your hand embroidery

Posted by on 30 Nov 2013 | Category:

We have been working on our hand embroidery ebook and we would like it to feature some of your works as samples. Please contribute your embroidery work as attachments in the reply/comment box below.

Try to upload the images in the highest possible quality, and remember to mention the stitches used, along with your name and location. Selected images will be  featured in the book with due credits, and the featured contributors will be gifted a copy of the ebook.

Check out some of the user samples at the pictured comments page.

hand embroidery - user sample
Sample from Maria Tenorio

Sarah’s Hand Embroidery E-Book

187 of 210 Stitches [89%]



We could not thank enough for the overwhelming contributions from everyone. They are all great pieces of work. We appreciate the effort and time you took to make them, take pictures, and send them to us. We are still working on the e-book. So, we are still open to contributions. Looking forward to many more.  🙂

Dated: April 20th, 2014
Sarah and Rocksea


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