How to stitch the outline of a biscornu

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If you’re stitching something that has to be assembled biscornu style, and you hate having to count those endless stitches to make sure your square IS STILL a square by the time it’s done, then here’s a really cool trick for you!

That dreaded backstitch outline. Often stitched white on white (some designers just don’t have any consideration for their stitchers, do they 😉 !! Ooops, so sorry… really 😉 !) How are you supposed to see those stitches, never mind count them!? And if you make a mistake at the start, you’ve had it, and you’ve got to do it all over again… Grrrr…  Been there too, don’t worry. I model stitch my own designs 😉 !! You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to start over again. Usually that involves a fair amount of swearing…

So I tried concentrating better… no chance. I did NOT try drawing the grid on the fabric with those funky pens that vanish (my faint heart wouldn’t take it, should those lines fail to fade or should they somehow come back to haunt me…!!). I tried stitching a single strand of contrasting thread every 10 stitches… and decided it was way too much hassle to have to stitch 2 outlines, one of which was going to have to be taken out at the end anyway… what a waste of time! And that’s when it hit me:

WHY ditch the second outline!?

Those graduations are really useful even when you’ve finished stitching and you’re assembling the biscornu (or humbug, or whatever else). Fair enough, we can’t keep a contrasting thread in there, because it’ll show, so you see what I’m getting at? That’s right, a 2-in-1 solution 🙂 You stitch the graduation AND the backstitch outline TOGETHER, on the outside, so it doesn’t show when assembled, and you don’t have to unpick it!!! Winner 🙂 !!

Here is goes:

1. Use the loop method (explained HERE) to start your backstitch line, and begin with a vertical stitch (over 4 strands of fabric). Then stitch 5 normal backstitch stitches:

Outline tutorial

2. Stitch 1 vertical stitch (over 2 strands of fabric). That’s your 5s marker:

Outline tutorial

3. 5 stitches later, stitch another vertical stitch (over 4 strands of fabric), that’s your 10s marker. Etc… You’re basically stitching a ruler 🙂

Outline tutorial

4. And you keep going until you’ve finished the outline!! To stop the backstitch outline, you can use the method explained HERE.

Outline tutorial

Those graduations will be there the whole time to help you assemble the biscornu (quite useful when you have to find the EXACT middle of one of the sides 😉 !!!), and they’ll be hidden inside the hems, once assembled.

A few design ideas you may like, for which this outline method works really well:

What do you think?

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