Stitch Along Sampler Week- Day 2

The Hand Embroidery Dictionary/ Barb and Blanket Stitches

Everything embroidery bundled into one helpful how-to guide! The book breaks down 500+ stitches from the basics for beginners to more complex designs for advanced stitchers.

  • Learn how to choose tools, threads, and embellishments
  • Basic stitch guides explain accurate placement to help you achieve the perfect stitch
  • Each stitch includes a stitched sample, instructions and in most cases illustrations
  • Learn how to change the position of the stitch and use the distance between points to change the look of the stitch
  • Tips and instructions for left-handed embroiderers

There are 16 groups of stitches which include straight, outline, knotted, woven, and whipped, lazy daisy, chain, barb, blanket and buttonhole, fly, feather, fleet, cretan, cross, herringbone, capped, chevron, and embellishment stitches.

Today we are going to cover barb and blanket stitches.

Barb Stitches

These individual stitches can be used as a single stitch, combined to create a border row, or added to another stitch to create a larger component.

The basic stitch is formed by coming up at point A and then, in one motion, going down at point B and coming up at point C, which catches the loop formed by points A and B. The stitch would end with a point D.

Blanket Stitches

These continuous stitches can be used for a border row or to create a shape. After the stitch is formed, individual stitches can be added to the tips or around the base to create a larger design.

The basic stitch is formed by coming up at point A and then, in one motion, going down at point B and coming up at point C, which catches the loop formed by points A and B. Point C becomes point A for the following stitch. The stitch is work continuously and would end at point D.

Artists and Samplers

I asked several friends to be involved in the Stitch Along Week posts. I selected 10 stitches and broke them into 5 groups. Each participant chose one group to work with, stitching a sampler or block in any colors or fibers that they wanted to work with.

Amy Barret-Daffin, Artist, Publisher at C&T Publishing

I am a serial crafter, I make quilts, embroider, I did jewelry and card making for several years, who knows what’s next?  About 7 years ago, I started embroidering when I was traveling for work, about 50 days per year, and I needed something to do while in transit (I can’t stand working on a plane). I loved the portability of embroidery and combining it with felt. I love the act of embroidering and love the feel of the textiles in my hands.  My stitches were Barb and Blanket, I don’t normally use these stitches so I enjoyed the challenge of doing something new and seeing how it turned out. 

Stitches used were barb stitch, barb stitch angled, crossed wire stitch elongated, blanket stitch, and blanket stitch looped. The French knot and straight stitches were used for decoration. Note: Amy is left-handed and has worked the stitches accordingly.

Chardel Blaine, Artist, Editor of Create Whimsy

Chardel Blaine works with renowned artists and makers who inspire creatives to get their hands busy every day. She teaches hand-stitch classes for Quilt Seminars at Sea and shares more of her fiber art and beaded jewelry at juried art shows in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, as well as on her website Flying Goat Studio. Chardel managed and taught at a local quilt shop and bead store for 15 years, happily succumbing to many of the temptations within.

Barb & Blanket Stitch Sampler

Stitched on linen with size 12 Presencia perle cotton in a 10-inch hoop. Sampler pattern is based on the Star of Texas quilt block, first published in the Ladies Home Journal in 1912. Barb stitches appear inside the “pattern pieces”. Blanket stitches outline the block.

Barb Stitches Used (clockwise, from upper right):

  • Barb Stitch (page 74)
  • Dandelion Stitch, single color (page 78)
  • Tiny Butterfly Stitch (page 78)
  • Barb Stitch Flowers (page 79)
  • Fireworks Stitch (page 78)
  • Barbed Wire Stitch (page 76)
  • Barb Stitch Looped (page 75)
  • Little Fly Stitch (page 78)
  • Center: Santa Fe Star Stitch (page 78)

Blanket Stitches Used (clockwise, from upper right):

  • Blanket Stitch Closed Variation (page 85)
  • Blanket and Stem Stitches (page 88)
  • Blanket Stitch (page 80)
  • Blanket Stitch Closed (page 84)
  • Blanket Mock Sheaf Stitch (page 86)
  • Blanket Stitch Crossed Variation (page 85)
  • Blanket Stitch Angled Variation (page 84)
  • Blanket and Chain Stitch (page 88)

Gailen Runge, Artist, Creative Director of C&T Publishing

As the Creative Director of C&T Publishing, I get to be surrounded by beautiful crafts every day (including Christen’s!). In “real” life, I’m a serial crafter, with my first love of quilting sharing time with garment and bag sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, and pysanky egg dying. I love embroidery for the portable nature of the craft — I always take my stitching with me on road trips and to watch my kids’ high school sports. 

When I think of blanket or buttonhole stitches, I think of wool applique, so I made a 5″ butterfly. I had a fun time stitching up this little guy!

Featuring 10 different blanket and barb stitches: blanket stitch whipped, blanket stitch flower, blanket stitch netted, looped petal row, blanket stitch looped zipper, blanket stitch closed, blanket leaf stitch, barb stitch looped, barbed wire stitch, and the little fly stitch.

Thank you to each of the participants of the Stitch Along Week! Everyone created a unique piece, that reflects their own style. I am so grateful to each and every one of these artists!

Happy Stitching to you all! ~Christen

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