Bullion Knot

Alone or with a french knot, bullion knots can really add something special to your work.  They can feel a little bit intimidating at first but if you remember to keep your tension easy so you can pull the needle through the wraps, it will quickly become a valued stitch in your repertoire.  The beauty it adds is worth the practice.

The Stitch

The Bullion Knot seems complicated but it is well worth practicing because the effects it allows you to create are great in number. Take a look at Sharon B’s Bullion Knot Special Feature. By the way, I recommend Sharon B’s Stitch Dictionary 150%. Her photos, instructions, and sheer volume of information can not be beat. She has far more than I ever intend to do here.

Bring your needle up at B, down at A, then up again at B. Keep your needle in the fabric as shown in the photo.
Wrap your needle with your thread as many times as will fill the distance from A to B. If you want your bullion knot to raise up in a little curve above your fabric give it a couple extra wraps.
Holding the bullion wraps firmly against the fabric, pull your needle through the wraps. This is tricky. If you wrap too tightly you will have a difficult time pulling your needle through, if you wrap too loosely, your knot will most likely be sloppy. This part takes a bit of patience to get the tension correct.
Here you can see the needle and thread pulled through the wraps.
Keep gently pulling the needle thread through the knot until it doubles back and aligns with A. Insert your needle at A and pull thread through.
I like to bury my threads in the back of my work as often as possible. You can see that I do tie a knot at the beginning (to the left and below the point of the needle in the photo). When I’m done with the color I’m using or have completed my motif, I bring my needle and thread to the back of the work. Doing a shallow running stitch (make sure you don’t pierce the motif and have your knot show in the right side of your work) I work the needle through the ground fabric a couple stitches.
I turn my work and stitch back along those same few stitches so that I sew the thread to itself. This is a very sturdy tie off.

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