The first time I saw a ‘Bean’ stitch, it was from a distance of about 12 feet. I could see that there was something different about this embroidery, but could not put my finger on it. I asked the owner of the project and they explained it was done with a bean stitch. I felt the stitching and found it to be ‘alive,’ if that is an appropriate expression. It was just so different than the other stitches and I found something that added to my design repertoire. The design was a preloaded one in a new Brother machine.
There are probably many instances of this stitch in a design but it may not be given the specific notation that the stitch is used. Perhaps you may look at some of your favorite designs and find this stitch. For instance, if you have a fill pattern of an apple and there is writing on the apple, it may well be the bean stitch rather than a single or satin stitch. It would certainly show better that the single and the satin may be just too heavy to be effective.
I would wager than some of the ‘redwork’ etc., has this stitch within the designs because it would create a nice measure of dimension for a design.
The definition of Bean Stitch: Three stitches placed back and forth between two points. Often used for outlining because it provides a bolder stitch appearance than a run stitch and requires fewer stitches than a satin stitch. The bean is sometimes referred to as the ‘bean walking’ because it is used as in this first photo, as an outline.
You can see in the leaves that clearly the outer and main rib are in the bean stitch making it a subtle but interesting difference from the ‘fill’ lines of the leaf.
In this design, the bean is in the outer petals of the flower. While these two designs are minimal, the bean can be used in other areas, again being a subtle but defined option for digitizing and embroidery.
Photos courtesy of terradonembroidery.com
In the center of this more filled design, a bean stitch is created with the gold thread. I did sew out all four of the designs and was able to see the striking look of the stitch which unfortunately does not photograph well. This is an FSL and you may have been using an FSL that has a more open work. The one I have used most has a distance of about 1/16” between thread lines. This is a much closer digitized pattern creating a somewhat different look for FSL.
Again, the gold thread here is the bean stitch but I also created some of mine with other colors as well. I made some in red, white and blue. These will be on the plates at my daughter’s Thanksgiving table. You may have noticed that she had a little girl on October 24, Addison Joy Fuller, so she will be taking it easy while the rest of us create a Thanksgiving for her and the new baby.
Photos courtesy of Criswell-emb.com
I used Badgemaster on these, of course, but I also got to try the NEB plastic sided bobbins and was very happy with the results. The thread is slightly lighter than #40 threads making it a good choice to do FSL as well as other projects. At just .38 cents each, they really are a good buy.
I really enjoyed doing this blog because there was a lot to discover about this fun stitch. If you are like me and love this wonderful craft, and you might be thinking of selling some of your projects; you can check out my spreadsheet for determining your ME costs. I was getting so many request for the spreadsheet that I worked up a more robust document which allows for you to create scenarios based on multiple factors. I think you will like the new and added information, making it a 'must have' for the independent business owner.
As we head into the holiday season, may I say thank you to all of you for your generous comments and thoughtful questions. I want to wish you the happiest and safest holiday season for you and yours, Pat