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Tips for a Button Hole Stitch By Hand

Last time, I showed how to do a button hole stitch by machine on a cute lemon tea towel. 

Today, I am going to show how to do a button hole stitch by hand. This time it will be on this fun chicken applique that I also purchased from Once Upon a Vine.

Chicken applique on a tea towel, ready for the button hole stitch

 To do this stitch, I first attached the applique securely to the tea towel. This was ironed on using an iron-on sticky paper (or fusible web as some people call it.) I used two strands of floss for my stitching thread.  

Selection of threads and the chicken applique

To do the button hole stitch, start from the backside of the applique. Knot the thread and pull the needle up to the top right next to the applique. Following the picture below, lay the thread next to the applique, push the need through about an 1/8th of an inch away from the edge, and have it come back up at the edge. The thread tail should be below the needle at the point. This will create the stitch along the edge of the applique, and the stitch into the applique at the same time. Repeat all the way around the applique, where ever there is a raw edge. 

Demonstrating a button hole stitch

When you run out of thread, push the needle through to the back of the fabric, right next to the last stitch and tie a knot.

Ending the button hoe stitch on a chicken leg applique

This is what the backside of my applique looks like, after I stitched most of my way around the chicken leg. My knots could be neater, but I like it. 

Backside of the button hole stitch

Straight edges are pretty easy to do, just make sure that the distance between stitches stays consistently evenly spaced. (Have you seen the trick where the person makes spacing marks on their thumb so they can see how to space their stitches?)

Button hole stitch on the chicken beak

For corners, like the beak point, and V point of the wattle (the red upside down heart), Make sure you have a stitch right on those major turning points. 

Finished head and beak of the chicken applique

For curves, the stitches will need to be closer together, like on the toes of the chicken. Make sure the side stitch always points toward the center of the piece. 

Finished chicken leg of the chicken applique

Here it is all finished! I am excited to have another adorable tea towel to use in my kitchen!

Chicken is all finished. Button hole stitch completed

 If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. 

To see tips on how to do a Button Hole Stitch By Machine, click here. 

Have fun quilting!


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