Bullion Knot

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TIP: Bullion knots are easier to work if you stretch the fabric in a hoop and use a milliners needle.

illustration of bullion knots used in crazy quilting

Bullion knot is also known as bullion stitch, caterpillar stitch, coil stitch, grub knot, knot stitch, post stitch, Porto Rico rose and worm stitch.

Bullion knot is a versatile stitch which is can be used as an accent or massed together to create a dense texture. The weight of the thread used, determines the size of the finished knot. You can create interesting effects by using two or three contrasting fine threads threaded in the needle at the same time.





a step by step illustration of how to work bullion stitchStep 1

Bring the thread to the surface of the fabric and insert the needle a short space away. Point the needle backwards so that the point emerges near the place that the thread comes out of the fabric. The distance between these two points determines the length of the knot.

Wrap the thread round the needle five or six times and then pull the needle carefully through the coil. While performing this action hold the coil down on the fabric with the left thumb. Pull the working thread through the coil until it tightens and take the needle through the fabric at the point where it first appeared. The coil of thread should now lie neatly on the surface

a step by step illustration of how to work bullion stitchStep 2

Increase the number of wraps on the needle to create a different appearance to the knot. This change can be quite radical from small grub like humps (just a few wraps) to long twisted loops (25-40 wraps). The weight of the thread you use will also effect the look of this stitch.

If you find bullion knots tricky stretch the fabric in an needlework hoop or frame so that it is possible to have both hands free to work the knot.

illustration of bullion knot used in crazy quilting


Bullions wrapped with a detached chain stitch used in a floral motif on crazy quilting. Worked in hand dyed silk thread.






Buttonhole family:

There are many other stitches that are classified in this group. The stitches that I have listed here in the Buttonhole family are: