Back Stitch is a basic and simple stitch, and easy when worked on Aida
On plain weave fabric, however, my Back Stitches tend to look uneven.
I sought the advice of decorated and award winning hand quilter Jacquie Harvey BEM, who is famous for including neat Back Stitches to her quilts.
This is what she had to say:
The secret of getting a good, regular stitch is making sure your needle is always at a 90 degree angle as it goes in and out and that when it goes in, it should go back into the hole of the previously worked stitch. Going in at 90 degrees is no problem but coming out is slightly more difficult. This is when I manipulate the piece of work downwards, with my left hand, to ensure the degree is correct - working backstitch on fabric within a frame isn’t easy unless you are working on a large thread count and can see the holes. If you do it this way, your needle will split the thread behind so that it looks the same back and front. As with everything, practice makes perfect and to get a good regular stitch, your eye has to get the gap correct between the last stitch and where the needle comes up again, each time. This needs concentration and I think this is where a lot of people go wrong, by assuming backstitch is just a simple stitch.I highlighted the points I need to check.
Jacquie also revealed that she switched to Back Stitch quilting when she began to suffer from arthritis and found that a longer stitch at the back helped her sew smaller stitches on top.
On her website, Jacquie has a video where you can see how to quilt with Back Stitch. Don't miss it!
Thank you for your advice and help, Jacquie.
For embroidery, the most important point must be to concentrate on the correct gap between the stitches. Look where you put the needle!
The Back Stitch is used with other stitches to form a number of variations. I will look at those in future lessons.
Other names for Back Stitch are 'Stitching' or 'Point de Sable' and in Swedish it is called 'Efterstygn'.
What is it called in your language?
To practise even stitches.
One way will be to pierce a piece of fabric with unthreaded machine stitches and use those even holes as a guide.