Top Ten Medieval Embroidery Stitches- #2 Button Hole Stitch

Top Ten Medieval Embroidery Stitches- #2 Button Hole

Our friend Susan O’Dee (Mistress Briony, as she is known in the Society for Creative Anachronism) is a talented embroidery expert from New York State. Recently, we asked her what the top ten most useful embroidery stitches were, specifically for pre-1600 AD projects. She came out with a great list and graciously offered to film them for us. Number two on the list is the button hole stitch, also known as the blanket stitch. As the name suggests, it’s great for edging and preventing hand cut button holes from fraying. But this stitch is also used across a variety of embroidery projects including surface embroidery, quilting, cutwork, and lots more. You can work these stitches spaced wide apart for one look, or very close together for a completely different effect.

Additional thanks to Pakshalika Kananbala for filming and editing the video.

Click once to view the video.

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Carol Mclamb March 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

With tent stitch, does it matter which direction you go, as long as you’re consistent?

Susan O'Dee March 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Hi Carol!

The short answer would be no. Most of the pieces I can think of offhand (where I’ve been able to see detail) are the same as the direction I’m going in the video…10:00-4:00 or NW to SE. But I don’t have reason to think it was universal. In fact there is at least one period piece from Hardwick Hall where the stitch direction varies within the piece, possibly to make different parts of the picture catch the light differently.

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