Stitch of the Month
September 2008: Couched Circle

by Lois Kershner

September introduces a circle using a couched thread, sometimes called a Couched Coil. As with many other circular stitches, this can be used for a flower or flower center, for hair curls, buttons, or other round shapes.

Couched Circle

The Couched Circle uses two threads, one for the coil, another to tack the coil to the canvas. Your tacking thread could be the same as the primary thread, or different. In the charted illustration the primary coil thread is shown in black; the tacking thread in red.

Couched Circle Chart

Begin by bringing your primary coil thread up at the center of the circle. As you place this thread into a circle on top of your ground fabric, anchor it down with tiny tacking stitches. The tacking stitch could go over one canvas thread as shown above, or could go up and down in the same canvas hole. Do not pull the tacking thread too tightly to prevent making an indentation in the primary thread.

Take care that the thread of the coil stays flat. When your circle has reached a desired size, take your threads to the back of your canvas. The tacking stitches can radiate in straight rows from the center of the circle, or they can be placed at intervals of your choosing as shown in the following illustration.

Couched Circle with Couching at Irregular Intervals

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