"Buttonhole Stitch"

Buttonhole Stitch

Each line on this chart represents a fabric thread.

The Travel Companion uses the Buttonhole stitch.

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The buttonhole stitch is sewn by taking the threaded needle up at 1, taking it down at 3 and leaving a small loop, then taking the needle up at 4 and drawing the loop tight. I have found that if I draw the tightening stitch straight down from the fabric (that is as straight down as much as it is possible) I do not distort the ground fabric as much as I tighten the loop. Repeat these steps one fabric thread to the right for the next stitch.

To prevent a gap between the first and last stitches in the design I place a Straight stitch at 1 and 2 before I begin the first Buttonhole stitch and end the final Buttonhole stitch of the design by taking the threaded needle down into step 1 of the first stitch.

You can change threads smoothly by ending the old thread at step 3 and taking the tail of the old thread under the backside of the stitches on the back of the fabric. Bring that old tail up to the top of the fabric above or below the line of butonhole stitches.

Then start a new thread with an away knot on the back of the embroidery in line with the buttonhole stitches but about two inches away. Bring the needle up in the loop at step 4. Then pull the old tail to draw the loop tight and continue stitching with the new thread. After a couple of stitches I cut away the old tail on top of the buttonhole stitch line. I cut the away knot when the line of stitches is a half inch from it.

Read more about perles by clicking the link in the word.

In the photo above, you can see the loop I left, next to that loop you can see the knot where I started a new thread, you can see the old thread I pulled to the bottom of my embroidery so I could close the loop (next to the word copyright), and you can see I have marked the perles. The knot is from the last thread change, I generally like to cover a couple of inches of a new thread with the whatever stitches I am using in the embroidery. The loop has a sharp right angle in it from where it sat in the eye of the needle.

You can shove the perles up away from the bottom of the row of Buttonhole stitches to make it easier to see the fabric threads you want to cut. You can also look on the back of the embroidery.

Cut along the second fabric thread under the Buttohole stitches. The stubs will be covered when the perles roll back down and the thread remnants will fall off as you stitch. ©1999, Linda Fontenot, www.AmericanFolkArts.com