Herring-Bone Stitch

This is a most familiar stitch; it has been used so exclusively for seams that its decorative qualities have been overlooked. It may be worked in fine lines or in tapering forms. The rising sun, which was made in one corner of the old homespun blankets, was done, in circular rows of bright-colored wool, in this stitch.

Herring Bone Stitch 28

Buttonhole Stitch

This stitch is more useful in decoration than one might expect. A simple buttonhole stitch, taken far apart, will make the blanket stitch much used on flannels. Two rows of this stitch, used back to back, will give a fairly good leaf form. A very simple form of this stitch is made by keeping the thread to the left, putting the needle higher up, slightly to the right, and bringing it out below. This gives a one-sided buttonhole stitch, and when used with coarse silk instead of braid on a braiding pattern is most decorative and satisfactory. The ladder stitch, which is often found in Oriental work, is a form of buttonhole stitch and quite easy.

Ladder Stitch

Draw (for a sample) on some white material two parallel lines a quarter of an inch apart. Use colored silk to show the pattern well. Start at the top of the left-hand line, hold the thread down with the left thumb, put the needle in the next line at the top, slanting it to come out below the starting-place, and above the thread. Pull the thread through its entire length, then with the point of the needle pull the slanting thread to form a square, inserting the needle directly opposite where the thread came out, slanting the needle as at first.

Feather Stitch

This stitch is simple slanting buttonhole stitch. It is called brier, coral, and cat stitch, as well as feather stitch. This last name is given because of its feathery appearance. It may be described as an alternate buttonhole loop made first on the right and then on the left-hand side. The loops may be single, or in pairs, or in threes, fours, or fives; combined with dots or French knots, one can make a variety of designs.

French Knots

To form the simple French knot, bring out your thread to its full length where the knot is to be, hold the thread under your left thumb, put your needle under the thread quite near the cloth, and turn it so as to twist the thread once around it. Then put the needle in where it came out, draw it through from the back, and bring out where the next knot is to be. One twist of very coarse silk will make a beautiful knot; but many prefer to twist the silk two or three times. If a very large knot is desired, it is better to use double thread than to twist so many times around the needle.

Bullion or roll stitch is made by winding the thread about the needle seven or eight times, and is used in making small flowers and leaves. It has also been called the rice stitch; when done in cotton, it resembles rice.

Lazy daisy or bird's-eye stitch. This is a loop like a chain stitch radiating from a centre. The loop is fastened by a tiny stitch at its base, and the needle brought out at the centre again.

Darning Stitches

This consists of parallel lines of alternating stitches long on the face and short on the back of the material. A greater part of the thread being on the surface, it is valuable as a background, leaving out the design which has been worked in outline stitch.

Satin stitch is at its best when worked in floss; the stitch must lie evenly and not be too long. Long-and-short stitch is a form of satin stitch.

Couching is fastening to the material to be embroidered one or more threads or cords, with small stitches at right angles to the cords. It is best done in a frame.