Fabrications – In Bloom Three (part three)

I love the techniques I’m about to share with you They can be used for decorative embellishments on all sorts of projects, adding lots of visual interest.

For this phase of the project, you will need a tapestry needle, beads with holes large enough for the eye of the needle to pass through, and some perle cottons.

I call the first technique “reverse couching.” The tight wavy line that reverse couching produces makes it a good candidate for small stems, branches, vines, and general outlines of flowers and other objects.

To work reverse couching, sew a line of straight stitches at 4.0 mm using a strong thread. The line can be straight, curvy, or any shape you like. Thread a tapestry needle with matching perle cotton and bring it up at the bottom end of your stitches. Now, with the point of your needle to the right of the next stitch, pass the needle under the stitch and come out on the left side.

Cross your needle over the stitches and again pass the needle under the next stitch, working from right to left. Continue this same motion until your line of stitches is complete.

Reverse Couching Sample

Of course, you could use any number of different threads with this technique, adjusting the stitch length to accommodate the various thread (or yarn) sizes.

Here are the places on In Bloom Three where this stitch is worked. I used a #5 perle cotton on the lower area of the project and a #3 peril cotton near the top.

Perle cotton #5

Perle cotton #3

The second technique is a variation of the first. (Although I didn’t use this one on the project, it’s a nice stitch to have in your repertoire.) With the point of your needle to the right of the stitch, pass your needle under the stitch.

Now, position the point of your needle to the left of the next stitch and pass it under, coming out on the right side. Repeat this motion until your line of stitching is complete. This variant produces a wider wave effect than the first technique.

Taking this one step further, before each pass of the needle, string a bead onto your thread and then pass the needle under the stitch, working right to left and then left to right. This is a great way to attach beads since your line of stitching serves as the perfect guide.

Step 1

Step 2

In part four, we’ll transition to perle cotton techniques using a double line of stitching.


N. Rene West
Time Treasured


  1. Clothmatters said,

    April 23, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Great place to see beautiful designs and tutorials.

  2. Nola said,

    April 23, 2007 at 7:54 am

    I really laughed when I saw this demonstration! These were among the first stitches I was taught in sewing class in primary school, back in… let’s see…1966! (The first one was a running stitch.) I guess it shows that the really good ideas persist. It works brilliantly with beading too, doean’t it?

  3. Emmy said,

    April 23, 2007 at 9:48 am

    thank you sharing all this wonderful work and how it is done
    I realy love all of it
    regards Emmy

  4. April 24, 2007 at 10:31 am

    As they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. These pictures are perfect in teaching your embellishment techniques. Thanks for the lesson!

  5. April 24, 2007 at 11:32 am

    I am not sure what to say so let me just say…WOW.

  6. Rose Marie said,

    April 25, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for a great tutorial and I love visiting your blog … I learn something new everytime!

  7. Kay Susan said,

    April 25, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I was taught these too, working in perle cotton on a square of coarse evenweave fabric, fringed around the edge. Thank you Rene for reminding me and setting me off on yet another tangent!

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