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Buttonhole Stitch

I've been doing the buttonhole stitch recently.  I'm mentoring in a Basic Hardanger Class for the Yahoo Group StitchMAP and the current lesson is on the buttonhole stitch.  I thought I'd better refamiliarize myself with it in case I get asked some tough questions.

The buttonhole stitch is used for blanket edgings and wool embroidery for appliqueing:

I've also used it on crazy quilts:

In these cases, the buttonhole stitch is free-form and fun.  In Hardanger it is a bit more precise.  Always over 1 thread across and 4 threads down (except when turning corners).

I've done alot of buttonhole edgings:

Althought tedious, they look great, especially filled with eyelets. 

The first inch went slowly.  I found myself getting off, sometimes over 3 and sometimes over 5.  I started over and kept going.

The next day I didn't pick it up - everything else on my to do list looked like more fun.  Time for some serious will power.  Whenever I want to stitch, I will pick this up first and do at least 2 threads until I'm done.  Then I can switch over to something else.

My second session went much smoother - no mistakes on the straight sections but trouble going around corners.  The third session went even better.  Before I knew it I had stitched 3 threads worth of buttonhole and rounded the first corner (all with no mistakes).  All I needed was a little practice to get into the groove. 

On the fourth session I rounded the half way mark.  It's much easier now. - I barely have to think at all.  Now I know how I was able to do those huge buttonhole borders years ago.


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