This would be one of my favourite stitches – not to do, but to admire. I spent years admiring them and perfecting them to look just as good as those in my Inspirations magazines (yes I have every issue!) I think they can be so delicate and soft and beautiful or bright and cheery depending on their application – but they are not easy to perfect so  I will give you as many tips as I can and then I have quite a challenge for you in your ‘page’ this week so you can really practise.

First and possibly most importantly you should use a different needle to get a good bullion – the straw or Milliner needle – this needle is long with a sharp point and a smaller eye but the important bit is that the eye and the shaft are the same width/size so that the wraps slide over the eye easily.

image They come in many sizes – choose the size that fits your thread.

okay, to our hoop

The line represents the bullion stitch


Bring the threaded needle up at A P1090110

down at B and back up at A  - leave the needle in the fabric (both ends)P1090111

Hold the thread with your right hand and rest the hoop on the table or your lapP1090112place your left finger under the needle lifting it up from the fabricP1090114

     and wrap the thread clockwise around the needle, slide each wrap past your  finger to the bottom of the needle close to the fabric (the finger stops the wraps from flying off and loosely tangling)P1090113You need enough wraps to cover the distance between A and B for a straight bullion (if you want a curved bullion you do too many wraps to fill this space) P1090115Slide all of the wraps close together evenly to the bottom of the needle then – with your left hand (thumb and finger) hold the wraps whilst you pull the needle through with the right hand.P1090116keep pulling all the way through, all the while holding those wraps.     P1090117You will not likely have perfect wraps once you pull through – see little loopies and uneven wraps – don't panic, we are not finished yet  P1090119hold the thread taut with the left hand and place the needle under the wraps. Whilst you pull the thread run the needle up and down along the underside of the wraps – they will even out and tighten up around the thread. You may need to use a finger nail to push them down to sit tightly and evenly togetherP1090120until they look like this – then you put the needle back down into the fabric at B to finish and anchor the stitch.P1090121


There are many ways you can use a bullion to represent flowers, animals etc etc. My favourite of course is the rose – you can see lots of these around my house and studio.

P1090129 P1090131 P1090132 P1090135 P1090136but the rose is not the easiest stitch to do…

so lets go through it step by step

You can stitch a rose in different shades to make it look more realistic and you can do one row of petals or two (or more if you wish). The number of wraps will depend on the type of thread you use and the size of your rose but I will tell you how many I used for this sample just to give you an idea.

Start by making two straight bullions side by side. 

P1090123Using Presencia Finca Perle #16 thread i used 7 wraps for the centre bullions.P1090125

Now we have to think of stitching a stem stitch around the centre but each stitch is a bullion. I like to start my first stitch around the top of my centre (you could use a different shade thread here) – i used 12 wraps. When you finish and anchor your first bullion see that the needle comes up to start my next bullion half way along the last bullion (as in stem stitch)P1090126Continue around the centre tucking the last bullion inside your first stitch. I try and do five bullions for the first row of petals (four can sometimes make it look squarish)P1090127    P1090128 Now you could change colours again and do another row of petals – use approx 15-18 wraps this time and about 7 wraps to get around.


Todays ‘page’ is not so much a design but a sampler of different uses of Bullions. It might be a challenge and will take quite some time but you will be experts by the time you finish.


The circle outline is stitched in chain stitch with a running stitch outline. I have placed some running stitch filler into the grass area.P1090107

The lavender is stitched with a feather stitch with bullion flowers. about 6 wraps each. P1090106 these flowers are bullion circles – points A and B are at the same point (just take a one thread stitch) – you do lots of wraps – up to 30 until it lays down in a circle – you may need to couch the top edge down into place. Put a french or colonial knot in the centre and backstitch the stems.P1090105 These flowers have a satin stitched centre, bullion petals – two bullions with points A and B being the same for both – about 12-15 wraps. The stems are backstitch with the leaves being stitched the same as the petals – about 18 wraps so the curve slightly.P1090104 These flowers have bullion petals – 12 wraps, french knot centres, stem stitch stems and fly stitched leaves.P1090103 aww cute little butterflies, bullion bodies with lazy daisy wings.P1090102 and dont forget the little bunny hiding in the stems… bullion body and head, french knot tail and lazy daisy ears..P1090101 The rose has a chain stitch stem, lazy daisy leaves and bullion flowers and buds.

P1090138for more ideas and inspiration check out my pinboard. If you are an overachiever check out the pear!

You can download this weeks page here…. Download Bullionstitch

Only a couple more stitch lessons to go and then we will start our stitch book cover with everything you have learnt. I do hope you are still enjoying it

until next week- happy stitching.