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How to create Block Tatting


Block tatting refers to a solid motif composed only of chains joined in a manner to create a square or rectangle. This block can be tatted using a shuttle and ball but it is preferable to use two shuttles. NOTA BENE: if you are using a ball thread and one shuttle you will need to cross your threads using the simple shoelace tie. This brings the solitary shuttle back into proper position.

To practice this technique in the traditional method use a large thread. If you are using two shuttles, wind them in the continuous thread method (CTM) to eliminate one set of tails to hide. Begin by tatting a simple ring to give you something to hold and then a short strip of chain, OR, create a mock picot by wrapping the thread around a paper clip, tapestry needle, safety pin, or anything to give you a bit of slack for the picot. Tat a chain the # of DS required by the pattern for the first row.

All the picots which occur in the process of the block must be extremely tiny, mere bumps. As the block is formed the rows of chain will have the bar of the DS all on the same side. Be sure to tighten the chain by compressing all the stitches back to the previous starting point. The chains should lay flat against one another, with as little curve as possible.

Here is a practice pattern demonstrating the traditional method of turning the chain over, back and forth, with tiny lock stitch picots at the end of the row. Each following row will join to the end picot.

Row 1
CH using shuttle #1.
Make a mock picot by tatting a lock stitch (the first HS without transferring the loop) and following it with a correct second HS, continue to CH 8 DS
tat lock stitch (first HS) and then correct second HS.
turn the work in your hand over from right to left as if you were turning the page of a book.

NOTA BENE: if you are using a ball thread and one shuttle you will need to cross your threads using the simple shoelace tie. This brings the solitary shuttle back into proper position.

*Row 2
Using shuttle #2 tat a very tiny picot
CH 8 DS make a shuttle join into the picot of the previous row.
tat a lock stitch (first HS) and then a correct second HS
turn work in your hand again from right to left as if turning the pages of a book.

Row 3
Using shuttle#1 tat a very tiny picot
continue to chain 8 DS making a shuttle join into the picot of the previous row
tat a lock stitch (first HS) and then a correct second HS
Turn work in your hand again from right to left.

Repeat from * for the width of square desired

It takes a least four rows of chain to make a definite block shape.

Be sure that you completely tighten each chain before the shuttle join is made. Run your thumb gently across the chain to help it to lay flat.
Please compare this traditional method to the modern method of block tatting.

You can use the block anywhere you would use a repeating motif.

Ila Frost Block Tatting Exercise









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Content copyright © 2014 by Georgia Seitz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Georgia Seitz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Georgia Seitz for details.

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