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  Pulled Thread Embroidery Stitches
  Stitches for Pulled Thread Work

  © Lorelei Halley 2011 

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  Outline Stitches       Pulled stitches by family       Edging Stitches    

Below are some stitch diagrams, for ones I have used on this website.  Refer to the recommended books on the PULLED THREAD WORK page for more stitch diagrams.  I see no need to repeat work that others have already done.  The ones below will get you started.  I have recommended the working direction, and this is based on a right handed person.  Using my recommendation for direction will give you the most natural and easiest hand movements, without strain.

Outline Stitches

Click where you see a hand for the full size diagram.          *
Chain stitch chainstitch  

This stitch is worked from the top down.  Bring the needle up at the red dot.  Insert it again 3 threads below (or however many you want).  While the needle is still in the fabric, loop the thread from left to right under the needle’s point.  Pull gently to remove most of the slack. 

For the 2nd stitch, insert the needle again into the same hole it came out of last time (or 1 thread to the right of it).  Bring the needle up 3 threads below.  Loop the thread under the needle from left to right, etc. 

The stitch can be any length.  It curves very well.
Coral knot stitch                 * coral knot Work right to left.  The tiny vertical stitch goes into the fabric.
Threaded back stitch threaded back stitch

Threaded back stitch is worked in 2 movements.

First make a line of back stitches (the blue lines).  Then take the needle and slip it under the back stitches, one after another, without piercing the fabric.

The stitch can also be worked in several rows close together.  I like 3 rows.  The back stitch rows can be spaced 1 or 2 threads apart.  I usually do the 3 rows of back stitch first, and then do the threading.

This stitch makes a satiny undulating line which contrasts well with Palestrina knots.

The same thing can be done with running stitches.
Pekinese stitch Pekininesestitch

Pekinese stitch is worked in 2 movements. 

Pekinese stitch starts with a row of back stitch worked from right to left (blue stitches).  The thin blue line is the thread path on the reverse side. 

The 2nd movement (red lines) is just slipped under the blue stitch, but does not pierce the cloth.  Start the red row by coming out in the middle of the last blue stitch.  Do not rotate the cloth. 

Slip the needle under the 2nd blue stitch, from below.  Slip the needle under the previous back stitch, from above, without catching the fabric.  Slip the needle under the 3rd back stitch, from below.  Slip the needle under the 2nd back stitch, from above.  Etc.

Whipped running stitch whippedrunningstitch Start with a row of running stitches.  On the 2nd journey whip a thread through each stitch from above to below the stitch, without piercing the fabric.  Several rows can be worked close together, space 1 or 2 threads apart.
Outline stitch and Stem stitch outlinestitch-stemstitch

Outline stitch and Stem stitch 

These 2 stitches are worked in basically the same way, except that for one you keep the thread above the needle, and for the other below it. 

These are worked left to right. 

Bring the needle up at the left.  Insert it several threads to the right.  Bring it up again aligned with the middle of the first stitch.   

You can make the stitches any length.  When they are short the stitch curves well.
Danish knot stitch Danish knot stitch Work from top down.  There will be a tiny diagonal stitch on the reverse side of the fabric.
Palestrina knot stitch Palestrina knot stitch Work left to right. Only the vertical stitch on the far left pierces the fabric.  The rest of the stitches slide behind the diagonal stitch, but do not pierce the cloth.
Sorbello stitch                  bk Sorbello stitch Work left to right.
Raised chain band raised chain band Work top down.  *
Hungarian chain stitch       bk Hungarian chain stitch Work from the top down.
Long arm cross stitch, also called plaited slav stitch or long legged cross stitch long-armed-cross-stitch Work left to right.  Start at the red dot.  Dark blue is thread path on the front of the fabric; light blue is thread path on the back.
Pulled Stitches                   These are only some of the pulled stitches.  My white sampler has over 110 variants.
Wave stitch family    
Wave stitch wave stitch  Work right to left. 
Reverse wave stitch reverse wave stitch  Work left to right. 
Honeycomb stitch honeycomb stitch

This stitch will have no diagonal lines at all.  The stitches on the back of the fabric will all be horizontal ones.  The thin lighter blue lines show the thread path on the back side of the fabric. 

Start the first row at the red dot.  Bring the needle up at A and down at B. 

Then bring the needle up at C, down at B, and up again at C. 

Then take the needle down at D and up at E.  Take it down at D, and up again at E. 

Take it down at F, and so forth. 

When you are ready to start the 2nd row, turn the work 180º. 

The 2nd half of the diagram shows how the rows mesh together.
Four sided stitch family    
Four sided stitch Four sided stitch Work right to left.
Four sided stitch in diagonal rows 4 sided in a diaognal row Work upper right to lower left.
Diagonal four sided stitch diagonal 4 sided stitch Work upper right to lower left
Four sided stitch spaced four sided stitch spaced See here.  Work right to left.
Four sided stitch - half drop variant four sided stitch - half drop variant  foursidedstitch-halfdrop

Thick lines are stitches on the front side.  Thin lines are the thread paths on the back side. 

This diagram shows how the rows mesh together.
Satin stitch family    
Spaced satin stitch satin stitch                                                            *

  spaced satin stitch variant                                    

 
Step stitch step stitch Work diagonally, upper right to lower left.
Back stitch family    
Ringed back stitch ringed back stitch Work right to left, in 2 journeys: an outward journey and a return journey.  Outward journey is pink, return journey is green. At the end of the outward journey, and of each row, rotate the work 180 º
Square back stitch Square back stitch Work diagonally in 2 journeys: work half the square in the first journey, and complete the square in the return journey.
Small ringed back stitch   smallringedbackst



 



 

Each row consists of 2 journeys.   The 1st diagram shows the 1st journey.  The dark blue lines are the stitches that appear on the top of the cloth.  Light blue are the thread paths on the reverse side of the cloth.  Note that some holes are shared.

  • Work from right to left. That is easiest and most comfortable.

  • Begin at the red dot.  Bring the needle out at the red dot, and put it down at the other end.  The light blue line shows the thread path on the back side of the cloth.

  • When you have completed the 1st journey, rotate the cloth 180 º and start the 2nd journey. 

The 2nd diagram shows 2 rows of stitches and how they mesh together.  Each row contains 2 journeys.  The blue stitches are the 1st journey of the 1st row.    

At the end of each journey or row rotate the cloth 180 º.  Start the purple journey at the green dot, still working from right to left.  At the end of the purple  journey rotate the work 180 º again.  These 2 journeys make up one row of stitches. 

The orange and green journeys make the 2nd row of stitching.  Start the orange journey at the green dot.

Faggot stitch family    
Faggot stitch Faggot stitch faggot

faggot stitch, changing rows
Work upper right to lower left.  All the right side stitches are vertical or horizontal, but all the stitches on the back are diagonal.  Stitches can be worked over 2, 3, or 4 threads.
Reverse faggot stitch Reverse faggot stitch, diagonal cable stitch Work lower left to upper right.  Stitches on the right side are diagonal, but stitches on the back side are either horizontal or vertical.
Diagonal drawn filling Diagonal drawn filling Work upper right to lower left.  Each row is a normal row of stitches, but the following row leaves one thread crossing between each row.
Greek cross family    
Greek cross stitch, dense variant   Greek cross stitch
 Greek cross stitch    Starting the 2nd row
  Each Greek cross stitch has 4 movements.  In the top diagram the stitch which lays on the top of the cloth is blue, and the orange line is the thread path on the reverse side.

 I find that working from upper right to lower left gives the best pull.

 For the dense variant each stitch shares holes with its neighbors.
Greek cross stitch - 2 thread variant    Greek cross stitch - 2 thread variant

  Greek cross stitch - 2 thread variant - spacing
  This is one of the most difficult stitches to count, but its appearance is very striking, and worth the effort.   The 1st row is the most difficult, but successive rows are not quite so bad.

  Working 1 row for this variant.  Follow the diagram exactly. 

 This shows how to move from each stitch to the next.  I have seen several different ways to do this, but this method produces the largest holes, and therefore gives you the best effect.  Work from upper right to lower left. At the end of each diagonal row, rotate the work 180 º.

  This diagram shows how to space the rows for this variant.   

 
Upright cross family    
Upright cross stitch     upright cross stitch Work from lower right to upper left.  This gives the easiest hand motion.  Work in 2 journeys.  The 1st journey, going, makes all the vertical stitches.  The 2nd journey, returning, makes all the horizontal stitches, but uses the same holes as the 1st journey.

Left shows how each row is worked.    Diagram below shows how to space the rows. 

This stitch is worked in 2 journeys:  from lower right to upper left, then back down again from upper left to lower right (without rotating the work).  All the vertical bars are made on the 1st journey, and the horizontal bars are made on the 2nd journey.

 The blue stitches are the 1st journey, the thin purple stitches are the 2nd, the return, journey.

 Bring the needle up at 1, down at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc., all the way to 9.

 Do NOT rotate the work at the end of the row.

 To start the return journey bring the needle up at 9, down at 6, up at 7, down at 4, up at 5, down at 2, up at 3 etc.

This stitch has many variants which differ by how the rows are spaced. and how tall each stitch is.  The vertical and horizontal bars can be 4 or 6 threads tall.  The rows all have the same movements.

Upright cross stitch +  spaced 1 thread intersection apart upright cross stitch +   This diagram shows how the rows mesh together for this variant.
Double back stitch family    
Double back stitch Double back stitch Work right to left.
Cushion stitch Cushion stitch Work right to left.  This may look complicated, but is actually the easiest variant, because it is easiest to count threads.  All the steps just move 2 threads.
Square double back stitch Square double back stitch Work lower right to upper left.  There are different  stitch sequences that can be used for this stitch.  But this one makes true puffy squares, and some of the others create parallelograms.
Braid stitch braid stitch

  The stitch is worked from right to left.  It is very important that the thread path on the back should follow this exact path.  That is what creates the pattern of holes typical of this stitch.  This may look complex, but it is actually very easy to count, since each stitch involves moving 2x2 threads relative to the last stitch.

 Start blue row at red dot.  Dark blue is what appears on the front of the cloth.  Light blue is the thread path on the back side of the cloth. 

 Start red row at green dot.  Red is the stitch that appears on the front of the cloth.  Orange is the thread path on the back side of the cloth.  (Or you can rotate the work at the end of the blue row.)
Three sided stitch family    
Three sided stitch Three sided stitch  I find it easiest to work right to left.  Work over each leg 2 times.
Diagonal three sided stitch diagonal 3 sided stitch Work upper right to lower left.
Eyelets    
Eyelets   Direction doesn't matter.  But always come out on the perimeter of the stitch and go down in the central hole.  Pull when your needle has just come out on the perimeter.  This will produce the largest holes in the center.
Algerian eyelets Algerian eyelet  
Diamond eyelets diamond eyelet  
Edge stitches      
Square edging stitch square edging 2nd row See instructions here.  Work right to left.
  work 2nd row over folded fabric To use three sided stitch or four sided stitch as an edge finish, work the first row of three sided stitch or four sided stitch over one layer of fabric.  But work the 2nd row over folded fabric.
Four sided stitch 4 sided stitch See here.
Three sided stitch 3 sided stitch Can be worked in any direction, but settle on one and be consistent, or you will become confused.  I find that working right to left is easiest to do.  See example here.
Buttonhole stitch    
Buttonhole stitch over folded fabric buttonhole over folded fabric

buttonhole + satin stitch over folded fabric
See here.  Work left to right or right to left: direction doesn't matter.  To cover raw edge more securely, work a row of satin stitch over folded fabric.
Hedebo buttonhole stitch    

  Other good sources for stitch diagrams:

http://inaminuteago.com/stitchindex.html

http://www.needlenthread.com/videos

Last edited:   03/30/14