Tuesday, May 10, 2011

100 Stitches - #43 zig-zag chain stitch

Here is the latest stitch I have learned from 100 Stitches. It is the zig-zag chain stitch:I think it is a beautiful stitch! Especially when using this floss:This is pearl cotton floss, dmc color variations #4180: I found this to be a very easy to learn stitch. When I saw how slanted the stitches looked in the example picture in 100 Stitches, I thought I would need guide lines. I was right! I drew mine at 3/8" apart. The example in 100 Stitches is worked from right to left so that is what I did. The first step is to come up through the fabric on the top line:
Pull all the way through and go back into the fabric right next to where your needle emerged:
bring your needle out on the bottom line, at a diagonal from where the needle went into the fabric:
Now make sure the working thread is under the needle tip: and pull the needle all the way through forming a loop:
I was a bit surprised at this next step. You now take the needle and go back down into the fabric, but on the way you pierce the end of the loop!
You go right through the floss with your needle - then come back out of the fabric at a diagonal to the top line:
Then, as before, make sure your working thread is laying under your needle tip and pull all the way through.
making a loop that you pierce again to make the next stitch:
pull through
and continue
until you have a long line of stitching:
According to 100 Stitches, piercing the end of the loop will insure that each loop will be held in place. It makes a difference - the finished line of stitching looks so nice and even. It looks so much better without the guide lines: Here is the nice neat underside of this stitch:
This is stitch #43 and is in the linked stitches category of 100 Stitches.


donna!ee said...

wow, excellent addition to any project. i've even used your step by step to embroider paper for my blest be zine...thank you so much for these awesome stitch tutorials! :)

Beverly said...

Hi Kim,
In 2 days I have gone through reading each of your blog posts since you began your stitch tutorials. I am very impressed with all your work effort. Your stitches are beautiful and you are a good teacher! I now look forward to trying out many of the stitches I am not familiar with. I also love your garden photos. Fun to see the beautiful flowers you planted from seed. I will return to order your patterns--your work is lovely. Our home printer is out of commission at the moment.
I look forward to following along with your blog--you are an inspiration!!

Beverly said...


Kim, After reading your questions about quilting I thought of sending you this website (above). You may be able to find some good tips on quilting. Also, a beginner quilt book would be helpful. I don't have a specific one to recommend (mine are packed away due to a remodel). Over time I have picked up several quilting books. Seems I have gleaned information from each one, through time. I believe you would be good at quilting--you have the patience for your stitchery and are creative and do such lovely work.
until next time....

Tonya said...

That is sure pretty. Very neat. I need to feature you someday on my blog. I love all these helps you give us!

Farah Muzaffar said...

Hi Kim.... so creative you are... I never see one like this and how pretty it looks... and so many usage I have now in my mind... It is simply a very smart addition to any project... Thanks for sharing dear
Hope you would like to feel the beauty and fragrance of flowers at

big B said...

Hi donna!ee - Thank you! You are welcome - I am so glad they are helpful!
Hi Beverly - Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments - I had a bit of trouble with piecing my snowman quilt squares together and it has resulted in some uneven spots! Thank you - I appreciate your link and book ideas!
Hello and thank you Tonya! I am so pleased that these posts are helpful :)
Thank you Farah!

Beverly said...

Hi Kim,
Blocks can become uneven after embroidery or piecing. It is good to even up or "square" the blocks before sewing them together--making sure they are all the same size. Not sure if this was an issue for you or not, but it came to my mind. Also, if you find you will need to ease some fullness of fabric in, place the larger of the two blocks on the bottom--it helps to ease the extra fabric so the blocks will come out even when stitched together. And I use pins to hold the blocks together before sewing. Usually I pin at the beginning and end and a couple in between. If there is fullness try to evenly distribute it with the pins. Remember to not sew over the pins, as you may break your needle. Remove them as you come to them. (Although, I just read this week that there is a real skinny pin out now that is possible to sew over.) Hope this all makes sense. Let me know if it doesn't and I will try and explain better.

big B said...

Thank you Beverly! Yes it does make sense and that is exactly what happened when I started sewing everything together. I had quite a few uneven squares - so they were slighty different sizes. I had cut everything out with scissors -I really need to get a quality rotary cutter :) In what order do you think I should have stitched everything together? What I did was to sew the entire outside border of squares together first, making a sort of picture frame. Then I sewed all the interior squares together and then sewed that to the outside frame - by the time I got to the last corner, the un-eveness had caught up with me and I just had to force the last corner together and it came out very crooked and lopsided. I am still embroidering the plain squares and doing decorative stitching so I will be posting another progress picture soon!

Beverly said...

Hi Kim,
If you believe quilting is something you will be doing more of, I recommend investing in a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler(s). Do you have a JoAnn Fabric store near you? They have 40% off coupons monthly. That is what I used when I began collecting my quilting tools. It was very helpful for me, at the time.

In answer to your question re: order of sewing blocks together. I would sew them in rows either horizontally or vertically and then sew the rows together.

I wouldn't unsew at this point though. You will always cherish your first quilt and it doesn't have to be perfect. Anything new, is a learning process. You will look back and see what you could have done differently but you will be in awe of what you accomplished, when you really didn't know what you were doing. From what I have seen of your quilt, I thought it was beautiful. Your stitching is lovely. I think it is such a neat idea you have of using your "fancy" decorative stitches on your seams, and putting embroidery in the plain squares. I would think, the seam decorative stitches would maybe help cover your uneveness you mentioned. I look forward to your update photos.