Learn to make a Pekinese stitch for your embroidery projects.
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Designer: Sue Spargo


  • Perle cotton Nos. 5 and 8 in two contrasting colors (Designer Sue Spargo prefers variegated perle cotton from Valdani.)
  • Chenille needle No. 24

Pekinese Stitch

1.    First work a row of foundation backstitches with perle cotton No. 8. To do this, pull the needle up at A (Diagram 1). Insert it back in to the fabric at B, and bring it up again at C. Push it down again at D, and bring it up at E. Continue in the same manner to stitch a row along the appliqué edge.


2.    Using contrasting perle cotton No. 5, weave a series of e's through the foundation row of backstitches. To do this, first bring the needle up at A, near the center of a backstitch (Diagram 2). Working from the top (right) side of the piece, pass the needle down under the adjacent (second) backstitch, making sure not to insert your needle point in the fabric; pull the needle through. Note: Determine whether you wish to pull the stitch taut or leave it loose for a loopy effect. Be consistent with your pulls for steps 2–4.


3.    From below the foundation stitch line, pass the needle under the first stitch, making sure the working thread is behind the needle (Diagram 3). Pull the needle through.


4.    From above, pass the needle under the adjacent (third) backstitch (Diagram 4); pull the needle through.


5.    From below, pass the needle under the second stitch, making sure the working thread is behind the needle (Diagram 5); pull the needle through. Repeat to weave e's through all backstitches (Diagram 6).