Friday, February 5, 2016

Butterfly Chain Stitch

Isn't this a beautiful stitch?! This is the Butterfly Chain Stitch and it is the newest stitch I have learned from my 100 Stitches Plus list.

The Butterfly Chain Stitch is actually a composite stitch,  made up of two stitches - the Straight Stitch and the Twisted Chain Stitch.  The Straight Stitches are stitched in clusters of three stitches and then the Twisted Chain Stitch is worked over each cluster.

This stitch can be worked using two different colors or weights of floss or you could also use the same floss for both stitches.  

I like this pink and gray combination of perle cottons.
The pink is DMC color variations 4180 and the gray is DMC 414. 

Even though this looks fairly straightforward...I found it very helpful to measure and mark a few guidelines!

I marked two parallel guidelines at 1/2" apart.  These will define the width of the Straight Stitches.

I also marked a line equidistant between the two parallel lines.  This will be the guideline for the Twisted Chain Stitch:

First up are the Straight Stitches

To form these, I came out of the fabric on one parallel guideline and went back into the fabric at the opposite parallel guideline:

Three Straight Stitches - fairly close together make up the first cluster:

The clusters should be spaced so that the space between each cluster is the same as the width of each cluster.  So for mine, my cluster is 1/4" wide so I started the next cluster 1/4" to the right of the first cluster.

And the same for the next cluster:

All the way to the end of the parallel guidelines:

Next is the Twisted Chain Stitch in pink:

To start, I came up through the fabric on the center guideline at the edge of the last Straight Stitch cluster:

I pulled the thread all the way through:

Then I brought it back around and slid the needle under the first stitch cluster.  Notice in this picture the needle tip is going under the Straight Stitches and the working thread but is not entering the fabric.  It is just sliding across it:

Now the needle goes over the working thread - this creates a loop: 

and as the thread is pulled:

It draws the Straight Stitches together in the center. Make sure to pull this nice and tight so it forms a butterfly :) 

Now repeat for the second cluster:

Sliding under the cluster and working thread and then over the working thread:

Keep working down the line of clusters until the final one - I went back into the fabric on the center guideline right next to my final chain loop/knot:

Here is a look at the underside of this stitch:

And a final look with all the guidelines washed out:

This stitch is from the book Embroidery Stitches by Mary Webb.


Ana Love Craft said...

I absolutely love this stitch ! They seem butterflies and I love butterflies!
Enjoy your weekend!
Hugs and love from Portugal,
Ana Love Craft

Kim said...

Hi Ana I love this one too! I am looking forward to using it on a project :) Have a wonderful weekend!

Darlene said...

Hi Kim,
This is a beautiful stitch! I love the colors you chose to highlight it.

I am wondering tho, how do you think you might use this stitch? I think it would make a lovely border.

Kim said...

Hi Darlene - I was wondering the same thing. It would be a beautiful border stitch. I think it would be nice over a seam on a patchwork or crazy quilt.

Darlene said...

Oh, I never thought of that. It would be perfect on a crazy quilt!

Sophie said...

It's so gentle and tender. Lovely colors.

Silvia LGD (Little Green Doll) said...

What a beautiful stitch! Thanks for this tutorial.

Kim said...

Thank you Sophie!
Silvia - Thank you and you are welcome :)