Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Thread & Stitch Questions – a Prize! – and News!


The lattice variation with French knots that we looked at yesterday lead to some questions about threads and stitches.

So, I’m turning one of those questions into a contest! That’s right – if you’re the first to answer correctly, you’ll get a prize!

Lattice Filling with Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch

With about twenty e-mails asking what stitches are outlining yesterday’s lattice variation, I was thinking there might be more people wondering the same thing. Can you guess what the light blue / dark blue stitch variation is, outlining the “wave” of lattice filling?

Lattice Filling with Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch

What about this stitch variation (the reddish-orange one)? Can you guess?

Next week, I’ve got an article lined up for you that will show you up close and personal what these stitches are. They’ve actually been covered here on Needle ‘n Thread in some form or another in the past, but I’m going to put a few of them (and similar approaches to varying your stitches) together for you, to give you some more stitches to play with.

You’ll Get a Prize!

In the meantime, can you guess what they are? First person to name and explain what is going on, stitch-wise, in both outlines will get a prize! I’ll give you one of the six items that I’m giving away this coming Monday. Just leave a comment below with your answer, and whoever correctly names and explains what both stitches / variations / techniques pictured above are first (in the order that the comments come in) is guaranteed one of Monday’s give-away prizes!

This is just a casual approach to a contest – thought it might be fun…

Thread in the Lattice Filling

The thread used in yesterday’s lattice demonstration is coton a broder #25 (also known as Art. 107) by DMC.

Coton a broder 25 Art 107 thread

I’ve talked about this thread quite a bit lately, because I’m using it on my Hungarian Redwork Runner project, and (as you can see) I’m also using it on the sampler I’m putting together to work out stitches for the Stitch Fun series.

It’s a non-divisible embroidery thread, so it’s not the same thing as regular cotton floss with six strands that you pull apart. Coton a broder is used straight off the skein, in one thread, not taken apart. It’s about the thickness of two strands of DMC stranded cotton floss.

That being said, yes, of course you can substitute regular embroidery floss for the coton a broder when playing around with the lattice variations! You’ll probably want to use at least two strands of regular floss – perhaps three. Play around with it and see what works best. That’s half the fun!


Keep an eye out for this, coming up soon!

Vintage Strawberries Online Needlework Class

That’s right – an encore class for Margaret Cobleigh’s Vintage Strawberries! Perfect for inspiring thoughts of spring and summer, the class is dedicated to learning needlepainting (long and short stitch shading), using a beautiful vintage strawberry design.

Next week, I’ll have full details about the class available for you, including the date and time that registration will open. Classes on Needle ‘n Thread tend to sell out quickly (as in, within-20-minutes-quickly), but we’ve opened this one up with a few more spaces, so that more people will have the opportunity to take the class.

If you’re interested in improving your needlepainting skills or learning the art of needlepainting from a master in the technique, you’ll want to take this class! During the class, you’ll receive personalized instruction and feedback in an interactive online setting, where you can enjoy the support and camaraderie of fellow stitchers.

I’ll have all the details up on that, later in the week. Watch for it!

Hedgehog Handworks Needlework Supplies


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(110) Comments

  1. I’m going to go with either Whipped Stem Stitch or Whipped Chain Stitch with Whipped Stem as first choice for the Dark and Light Blue Combination. The Orange looks like one of the combination buttonhole stitches to me, but I want to look at my stitch dictionaries before I answer that one because the individual orange stitches are hard to delineate. I don’t care so much if I win, but I did want to get one answer in in the first ten answers.

    Happy Stitch Dictionaries and Encyclopedias Everyone! Warning – Looking Up These Stitches may Lead To Time with the Doodle Cloth – another of Mary’s Brilliant Innovations.

    Anastasia McP in the Wilds of Rural Utah

  2. My guess would be a threaded back stitch and threaded chain stitch. Anastasia’s term – whipped stitch – might be more accurate.

    Nancy in Newport

  3. The first one looks like whipped back stitch, and the second looks like interlaced chain stitch. Thanks for the fun contest!

  4. Dark blue looks like a loose stem stitch or threaded running stitch.
    Orange, hard to tell, but could be a chain stitch with French Knots.

  5. I think the blue is hungarian braided chain stitch with the dark blue being whipped in. I suspect the orange is the same if not similar stitch but perhaps loosened (stretched).
    Beautiful though! Thanks Mary and look forward to the answers and stitch variations soon!

  6. I’m going to go for a whipped and twisted chain stitch for the blues, and for the orange i think it could be a raised chain band.
    Good luck everyone
    Caroline from the UK

  7. let’s see, I’m going to take a stab at the inside blue first…Hungarian Braided Chain stitch that is whipped on the outside line?

    And the orange…Hmmmm. There is a band of light colored chain stitch in the middle that is wrapped…with….looks like a button hole?? It almost has the feel/vision like it was worked as a needle-lace element. It’s absolutely beautiful!

    Looks like two beautiful variations on chain stitches.

    1. Now that I take a closer look it appears the orange may be a chain stitch that is put together with a Pekinese stitch on either side. Buttonhole or Pekinese, or something I haven’t touched on…it is lovely! I can’t wait for the answers!

  8. The blue line, dark and light blue is a split stitch. Doing first time around with either the light or dark blue. The second time use the other blue.
    The orange is a chain stitch.

  9. I think I know the answer but that’s not the purpose of this comment. You have gone on and on about the coton a broder thread so much that I just had to order some. Doggone it! You were right, it is wonderful thread to stitch with. And…..I even tried bullion stitch with it and it worked better than other time I attempted “that” stitch before. Thank you.

  10. Dear Mary

    I think the outside dark blue stitch is stem stitch and the inner outside stitch is chain stitch. Thanks for this opportunity of winning a prize.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  11. Beautiful work, as always. The coton a broder #25 is wonderful to work with. CaB and floche are my favorite threads to work with! Once my students and customers use these threads, they fall in love! It is really fun to pack an order and feel the threads, look at the colors and imagine what project it is going to be used for. I love the sheen it gives and it feels so good in my hands as I am using it. For me, stitching is as much about feeling as it is about seeing! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  12. What a fun idea! I’m going to take a shot at naming the stitches. I think the orange outline is a dual-colour variation on the Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch(full disclosure: I would never have recognized it as such, if not for your reply to Lily in the comments on the last post!) and the blue outline might be Whipped Backstitch 🙂

  13. The orange stitches look like a basic chain stitch interwoven on each side with a darker thread so that the dark orange thread comes up over the interlocking thread of the light orange giving the appearance of a half light and half dark chain stitch along the bottom.

    The dark and light blue stitches looks like a stem or outline stitch of light blue whipped with dark blue.

    I hope you understand what I am trying to say. I do not know the exact name of the stitches shown.

  14. Hi Mary! I so love a puzzle. I think the dk blue/lt blue is a a whipped backstitch with the lt blue being the backstitch portion and the dk blue whipping around it. The other stitch I think is an Interlaced Chain Stitch. This one has the lt orange as the chain stitch and the dk orange as the interlacing around it.

    Thank you for all you do!

  15. It’s hard to tell, but giving a best guess, the blue threads are a whipped chain stitch, the reds are an interlaced chain stitch. The tell tale might be looking at the back side from yesterday’s post.

  16. Mary – I am guessing that the blue is interlaced chain, having a darker blue whip stitch over the inner curve. And the reddish orange……hmm……I will guess another version of interlaced chain, with a light colored chain stitch in the center, then lacing through all the chains with the darker color, and then the darker color is used in a back stitch over the inner light chains.


  17. Ok, my final guess.

    Oranges: Interlaced Chain Stitch bands.
    Blues: Hungarian Braided Stitch, whipped on the outside line.

    Maybe I’m close? But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! (Cause I realized that I don’t think there’s been a Pekinese stitch tutorial…)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Mary!

    1. And, for those of you who haven’t taken the Strawberry class, please do! Mary and Margaret have put together a flawless learning experience for needle painting. It’s one you really don’t want to miss!

  18. Hello Mary! I think the dark/light blue stich is a partly whipped outline stich, and the orange is an open chain stich and inside is a regular chain stitch and inside of that is a runnig stitch. Thank you!

  19. Ok, I am going with Pekinese Stitch for the stitches, threaded on both sides. I’m probably wrong but on closer inspection of the stitch and a couple of stitch encyclopedias, Threaded Pekinese looks a lot closer than any of the combination buttonhole stitches.

    I can’t wait to hear what other people think.

    Anastasia McP in Wilds of Rural Utah

    1. Threaded Pekinese is my guess for the Orange Stitches. I am still sticking with Whipped Stem or Whipped Chain for the Blue Stitches. I just didn’t put the word orange in the post above – sorry.

  20. Hi mary,

    the orange/red thread is raised buttonhole and the light and dark blue is the hungerian braided chain stitch. My guess is its a seashore with waves crashing in or something floating in the sea. I dont know if i’m right or wrong but i sure want to see the whole embroidered picture. Look lovely. Thanks

  21. Very atracive stitches. My guess would be light blue is Hungarian braided chain ctitch and wipped stitch with dark blue over on one side. Orange was regular chain stitch and waved with red color thread double side like a pekinees stitch.

  22. I think the light blue is a stem or outline stitch that is wrapped with a dark blue; so this is a whipped stem stitch. (It looks too narrow to be a whipped chain stitch.)

    The red-orange stitches are a puzzle. It could be a square (ladder) chain stitch filled in with a threaded back stitch. (If it is the Hungarian Braided chain stitch, then it is very loose compared to the video demo.) It could also be a raised chain on a square chain stitch instead of a bar. Sorry can’t help myself. This is great fun!

  23. Is the Blue border: Raised Chain and
    Orange border: Braided Chain?

    I used both of these and more in my “Chain Stitch Sampler” during the TAST 2012 challange (pic on my site.) I loved stitching them, they were so much fun and looked so cool, with wonderful texture.

  24. I’m guessing without any research that the blue stitch is a chain stitch and the orange is a coral knot variation. Just wanted to try this in hopes but I suspect others will know better than I. Thanks for the fun though. I enjoy your newsletter. Very informative.

  25. Blue looks like whipped backstitch.

    Red/orange is harder. Maybe dark center is straight stitches, laced with the lighter orange, which is then laced with the darker color.

  26. I’m not sure if it’s whipped back stitch or whipped stem stitch for the blue, but I’m going to guess whipped stem stitch. I think the orange is raised chain band.

    Looking forward to hearing what the answer is!

  27. Hi,

    I think the blue line is a whipped backstitch, and the orangy one is an interlaced chain stitch.

    But whatever it is, it’s gorgeous and I would love to see the full doodle cloth


  28. Well, I think the blue is definitely your Hungarian braided chain in light blue with one row of whipping on the outer edge loops in dark blue.

    The other seems to be one row of normal chain stitch in light orange (like the row next to it), with two rows of the looping that is done on backstitch in Pekinese stitch. The looping is in dark orange. (“Twin Pekes” as I call doing that down two sides – they are great around lines of coral knot stitch, as well as chain stitches.) But rather than going under and around the part between each pair of links, you’ve come up out of one chain through the centre, and down into the next. This is a nice variation – I must try it myself.

  29. I’d say the light blue is Hungarian braided chain stitch and it looks like you have taken the dark blue thread and whipped it around the edge.
    The red and orange are the interlaced chain stitch, I’m guessing.

  30. It is the whipped backstich and it is used in two different colours.you can also work it in the same color as the backstitch foundation, to create a solid colored, rope-like line.

  31. The dark blue stitching looks like looks like what
    I call a twisted whip stitch. The light blue appears to be a modified chain stitch. The red and orange stitches look like a double rowed chain stitch. But this is only what they look look like
    to me

  32. A lovely piece. Let’s see if I have learned my lessons from your emails….:-) The dark blue looks like it’s laid down (like gold work) and held with at light blue running stitch, and a split stitch in light blue along side. The orange looks like a Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch using 2 colors. – Jackie

  33. I love this grouping of stitches… so effective…
    I am going for a whip stitch in the blues and two rows of chain stitch in the orange…. not sure if I have the technical names…

  34. Hmmm, the dark blue looks like couching and the reddish orange appears to be chain stitch! I really like this guess-the-stitch game 🙂

  35. I’m a day behind in reading your blog, so I just added to the count of people who have asked about the blue thread 🙂

    I suspect that the blue thread has been wrapped through the outer loop of each chain stitch.

    For the red orange area, I suspect you started with chain stitch in the paler color, and then made another chain stitch in the darker color, under and around the lighter chain, adding a couching stitch in the darker color over the intersection of each pair of lighter chain stitches.


  36. Hi Mary,

    With what I can see in the photos my “best guess” is that the blue outline is a light blue Hungarian Braided Chain stitch, with the outer edge of the outside loops of the chains whipped with the darker blue thread. For the peach and orange outline, I’d say an Interlaced Chain Stitch using the peach for the base chain and interlacing both sides with the orange. If I’m wrong, I blame my aging eyes and the small screen on my laptop. 😉

    Now if I could only find a few minutes to pull out the doodle cloth to see if I can “confirm” my “best guess” . . . maybe later this evening!


    1. Oops! What I forgot to mention is that on the orange outline there are no tacking stitches used on the interlacing stitches. Unlike the instructions in the Stitch Fun section for the Interlaced Chain Stitch which add small, straight tacking stitches to the loops after the interlacing is worked through the chain stitches.

  37. I believe the blue to be a chain stitch or braid-stitch. The redish orange I don ‘t know the name for, but it is like a running stitch and the needle is brought back to form a loop at each stitch

  38. It is chain stitch, with a whip stitch over the chains. It is a beautiful stitch which I love to use, it comes out perfect every time and does not take much extra effort or time to do.

  39. Hi, I think the stitches are based on chain stitch therefore the pale blue thread is chain stitch, the pale blue with dark blue is whipped chain stitch and hungarian braid chain stitch for the orange thread. I’m looking forward to the answers!

  40. I think the blue stitching is whipped running stitch and the orange stitching is a chain stitch down the middle with both sides whipped (whipped chain stitch).

    Thanks for your lovely work it is a joy to behold.

    Iris B from Brisbane, Australia

  41. Hello from Australia,
    blue/blue is chain stitch whipped on the left side only.
    orange/red is double chain. Orange first then whipped with red chain stitch on top

  42. I hope the stitch in blue is a variation of the Hungarian Braided Chain sitch and also the organge one too.
    are wonderfull stitches for curved edges
    Rosemary. Australia.

  43. Hi mary,

    sorry to post a second comment but its the blue threads thats got me confused. I think its whipped hungarian braided chain stitch, because i checked the how to videos and there was no stitch with that name so i thought may be the dark blue was (inter) laced, whatever it is its beautiful and it has got all of us thinking but i stick to the orange/red being raised buttonhole.

  44. The blue outline is whipped chain, I think. I often use it myself. The second one also looks like some sort of embellished chain stitch but I’m just to lazy to go over to my studio to look it up.

  45. G’day Mary,
    I’ve decided the blue is Hungarian Braid Stitch whipped on one side only, and the orange is Chain Stitch interlaced on one side only.
    I’ve deliberately not read the other comments so please excuse me if I’ve doubled up and given you extra reading to do.
    Thank you for this interesting prize opportunity.
    Cheers, Kath from Oz.

    1. Mary, I meant to write “Chain Stitch interlaced on one side only”…
      … minus the couching.
      I’m not sure if the couching is a usual part of this composite stitch but you haven’t used it in this variation.
      Thanks, Kath.

    2. Mary, I feel silly! My confusion arises because I went back to the previous post of this “Doodling with Latice Stitch” and concentrated on the LAST photo in which the orange stitch was interlaced on one side only! Oh boy, DUH!
      BUT…the one in this post is interlaced on both sides!
      An old family joke comes to mind. A lady was awarded the party prize for the making the ugliest face. “But, I wasn’t playing” was her lament afterwards. I win the prize for the silliest, without even trying.
      Cheers, Kath

  46. The first stitch might be whipped stem stitch

    I think the 2nd stitch might be Hungarian Braided chain stitch loosely done.

  47. The reddish-orange one is interlaced chain stitch(both sides)
    The light blue/dark blue variation is chain stitch-whipped and interlaced(one side of the chain is whipped with dark blue and the other side of the chain is interlaced with the same light blue)

  48. Light blue is the Hungarian braided chain stitch n than its laced with dark blue. Than light orange is the chain stitch n than both sides are whipped with dark orange

  49. Hello, Mary!

    I am going to say that the first one is a whipped stem stitch and the second one is a chain stitch worked in light orange and the second one in the dark orange is a Hungarian chain stitch worked over the other chain stitch.

    Best regards,


  50. Blue – Light blue is chain stitch and the dark blue is hemming/couching done on chain stitch.

    Red/orange – Chain stitches interlaced.(apearance
    of honey comb stitch.

  51. This is fun! I think the blue is whipped back stitch and the orange is whipped cable chain stitch with – oh, this is the hard bit- either running stitch or chain stitch in the contrast colour down the centre.

  52. I think the light blue is a chain stitch with the darker blue a stem or outline stitch placed next to it. The reddish colored rows are two chain stitch rows side by side.

    I love needlework and just discovered this blog last week. I spent a Lot of time reading the archives of this blog last week! What a resource–thank you for such a wonderful blog. I will be a regular visitor from n9ow on.

  53. THe blue is whipped stitch the Orange is The Mountmellick embroidery stitch “is a decorative line stitch made of up little triangle-like stitches that join together like chain stitches”

  54. I think light blue dark blue stitch is whipped stem stitch and the reddish orange one is interlaced chain stitch in which interlaced stitch is not tacked down

  55. Neat question, testing our knowledge. The first stitch (light blue and dark blue)is couching, I believe the second set is a double chain stitch.
    Thanks, Mary once again for your inspiration.

  56. (the reddish-orange one)
    ->Interlaced Chain Stitch

    (the light blue / dark blue)
    ->Whipped Stem Stitch or Whipped Chain Stitch


  57. Dear Mary

    Thankyou for posing such challenges! Here’s my answer :

    Outer Blue border is whipped back stitch in light and dark blue strands
    The inner light blue border is Hungarian braided chain stitch

    The Orange has three borders – the inner and outer borders are in stem stitch or outline stitch and the centre line is a chain stitch in light orange with a back stitch worked in between in dark orange.


  58. Not entering the contest because I do not know. But a big thank you for identifying the stitches. I LOVE the paisley piece.

  59. the blue one is braided chain stitch whipped one of the sides. the orange is braided chain stitch too and whipped in the middle both ways, (one whipped first and back again).

  60. Hello,

    The stitches are; the blue stitch is a whipped Backstitch and the orange one is an Interlaced Chainstitch. There are two Chain stitches side by side. Or at least I think…..


  61. Left side and the first row closest to the lattice is in pale blue and is a split stitch with the outside row of whipped backstitch in pale blue and navy. The right side is interlaced chain stitch in two shades of orange?
    Mary, this has been a very stimulating exercise, thank-you!

  62. The light blue is chain stitch.
    Light blue/dark blue is 2 colors threads (dark and light blue ) rolled together and then couched.
    Reddishorange is chain stitch done with 2 color threads ( pink and red) together.

  63. Hi Mary,
    The outline stitches are very lovely. The orange one looks like a cable chain stitch worked over an open chain stitch. The blue one is a bit more difficult to see in detail, but it looks as though you put a whipped edge on a hungarian braided chain. I’m enjoying the use of the filling stitch as well.

  64. Hi Mary,
    Your work is always so neat! I believe the dark blue line is stem stitch, the light blue line is split stitch and the red/orange line is a braided chain stitch. The combination of techniques in your work is always interesting – makes me wish I had all day to play with needle and thread.

  65. Inner out line , the dark blue is out line stitch and the light blue is chain stitch. Outer one is a chain stitch in light colour and the darker thread passed through it to form a back stitch like movement in the middle and and a scallop outside. This is done from both sides so the middle stich is one over the other.

  66. I recommend the Strawberry Class. It is an awesome project to learn shading with long and short stitch and the finished project is a gem. In terms of the stitching — maybe whipped back stitch and the interlaced chain stitched?

  67. The blue and the orange lines look to me like variations of whipped chain stitch. The dark/light blue is one sided whip I think,and the orange yellow looks like a Hungarian braid. I first was introduced to whipped chain when learning stump work. We used it for the trefoil line to give us 3 areas for differing stump worked fruits and leaves. Look forward to reading the emails now. Tried not to be influenced!

  68. I think they are cleverly disguised French knots!!! OK, probably not, but I wouldn’t put it past you, Mary, to be able to do it that way – your needlework skills are amazing! I honestly have no idea, but I really love the stitching.

    Unqualified Guesser

  69. Oh, Mary , I don’t know… Today I’m still confused about that stitch… It caught my attention immediately and I thought :”Ahh, Mary’s showing something new and beautiful, she’s looking for “trouble”,.. ‘cos she’s not explaining what it is, so she’s going to have even more questions than usual”… ;o) So I asked and you answered : “Hungarian braided chain stitch”.
    But I wasn’t convinced 🙂 and what can say now?
    I obviously can’t bring myself to read 100 comments already made… I just can say that blue line must be whipped and orange – alternated… or something…

    But of course no aspirations for prize here…

    Thanks 🙂

  70. Dear Mary

    This was interesting.. I do read your mails regularly. The stitches are so very inspiring,
    The reason I wanted to respond to this contest was, that all the stitches and how to videos on the needlenthread site are really yummy that I watched them quite a few times. Particularly the Bullion rose.. Hence this mail as a response to your contest.
    My guess about the light blue border is that it is a whipped stitch and the orange one is kind of a chain stitch variation (cable or open chain..)

    Best Regards

  71. Hi Mary

    I think that the blue outline on the lattice is chain stitch with one side whipped and the red/orange is double chain stitch. Not sure if I’m using the correct terminology! Love your Hungarian runner, the red is a fabulous colour!

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