Needleweaving Part II-Blackberries



For this part I will illustrate the three thread picot stitch (needleweaving).  The difference between this stitch and the two thread, besides the obvious number of threads, is the the weaving starts at the top instead of the bottom so the thread ends… the bottom.  The picot is still attached to the background only at the base and the rest of the picot is loose and dimensional on the surface.

I use the “three thread” version when I am working with a bit larger scale as it is obviously thicker and weightier than its two thread sister.  I used three threads for the sepals on the blackberries on the American Still Life quilt with the Caron thread I am going to demonstrate with below.




If you compare the two (top photo and above) you can see the weight difference between the two versions.  Even if I had used the Caron thread for the two thread version (above) it would end up approximately half the thickness of the three thread version.  Are you keeping up with me?  😉




The Three Thread Picot Stitch Directions

I am using:  Caron Threads cotton “Wildflowers” thread (1 strand), A size 9 embroidery needle (Crewel), a glass top regular sewing pin and an embroidery hoop (5″).




Start by bringing the thread up from the back directly left and next to the pin at the base of where the pin comes to the surface.




Bring around the pin’s top and take thread to the back at “2”.  Bring the thread to the front at “3” and then wrap slightly across the top of the pin’s head just to catch.


Addendum:  You may notice that I create the “legs” of this stitch in a different order than most stitch dictionaries.  The reason is because this particular order creates a tighter tip for me, which is very important when making sepals.




Start weaving from the top down, over, under, over/under, over, under–back and forth







When weaving is complete, take the thread to the back at the base.



Remove the pin and you have your finished picot.  You could knot off at the back and leave loose or……..



Mold it to a desired position, bring the needle back up at the top and then pierce the tip of the picot and take the needle to the back and knot off.



The picot will now hold this position even with heavy handling and folding.



 I hope you experiment and play with this stitch and find inspiration for your applique projects.  Remember, it is not about the finish line, but having fun during the making.  Do you get on a ride at Disneyland, just for the thrill of getting off?  




all contents ©2009 Sandra Leichner all rights reserved

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About Sandra

I am an Author, Designer, Illustrator and a major international award winning quilt artisan. I love working with fabrics and threads and they have become my medium of choice.

17 thoughts on “Needleweaving Part II-Blackberries

  1. I do use a hoop for all of my embroidery. The reason for this is because when I get to the quilting part, if the tension is not firm enough on the embroidery, it lays all loosey goosey on the surface like a ballon with the air leaking out. Not pretty. Lots of machine quilting loosens up the embroidery a bit.

    I never use a hoop for applique. Tension issues would abound and it would be a nightmare. 😉

  2. wow. i just want to sit next to you and observe each step. (glad you’re blogging it!) will all of this info be in your book, too? can’t wait to pre-order it.

  3. Thanks Janice,

    Since this is more advanced technique, I am pondering a book 2–the next steps maybe?, or maybe a specific book on Jason’s Pumpkin Quilt and the various techniques used for the quilt?

    I will think on it. 😉

  4. Wow. ALmost speechless, but not quite… you know me well enough now to know that I have to ask a question! So, are the rosehips and berries stuffed? (Ahhhh… another tutorial for the list!)

  5. Thanks so much ! I tried out both new stitches. A second book – and a third and a fourth – would be great.
    Hope you and Jason are feeling better.

  6. A second book, yes please!!!! Thank you for the detailed photographs. Are the stems two rows of stem stitch? Hope you are feeling better and Jason too.

  7. Denise,

    The stems are two rows of stem stitch side by side. I am working on a new technique that starts with more threads and decreases down. If you look at the blackberry stems, i.e, the thickness at the start of the side stems vs. the thickness at the very tip end, there is a subtle difference. A natural progression like nature.

    I think this has lots of possibilities. I must play some more and perfect! 😀

  8. Michele,

    I did stuff the individual circles of the blackberries in American Still Life. I did not stuff them on Jason’s quilt. I will let the batting “poof” them. In the case of Jason’s blackberries, I don’t think the stuffing step would’ve done anything because they are smaller. It would have been an unecessary extraneous step when I know the batting would do the trick better in this case.

  9. The tecnnique of doing the stitches was fine. But I did not have the threads you used so the two thread was a bit wilty.

  10. Sara try using three or four threads rather than two, there is no “rule”. As you get comfortable with the stitch, you can decrease the number of threads.

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