Are you ready to learn a few more easy embroidery stitches? (If you missed lesson one, CLICK HERE first!)
First up, Outline Stitches. These are stitches you can use for the main outlines of any embroidery pattern, the stitches you “draw” with. Each of these looks a little bit different, try them out to see which you prefer, or use them all in different parts of your work.
The Back Stitch makes a nice, neat line. Start with a stitch in the opposite direction, from A to B. Bring your needle back up at C, just ahead of the first stitch and ending at A. Repeat to make each new stitch meet the end of the previous stitch.
The Stem Stitch got its name because it great for stitching flower stems! Make a stitch from A to B, leaving the floss a little loose. Bring your needle up at C, in between A and B, just to one side. Pull the floss tight and continue the line of stitches.
The Split Stitch quick and versatile. Make a small stitch from A to B, then bring your needle up at C, splitting the stitch in two. Make another small stitch and continue down the line.
Here’s a closer look at the Back, Stem and Split Stitches:
Using a variety of different stitches adds interest to your embroidery. Here are a few Decorative Stitches to try, the Fly Stitch, Lazy Daisy and Scallop Stitch. They are all made in a similar way, by leaving a loose loop of floss and then securing it to the fabric with a stitch over the end of the loop.
The Fly Stitch makes a Y shape, or a cute little flower stem. (You can add the center of the flower with a French Knot, below, or Satin Stitch.) Bring the needle up through the fabric at A, and back down a little ways away at B, but leave a small loop instead of pulling the floss all the way through. Hold the loop flat to the fabric, and bring the needle back up at C, in the middle of the loop. Make another stitch from C to D, forming the stem of the Y shape.
The Lazy Daisy is a teardrop shape perfect for tiny flower petals or leaves. Bring the needle through the fabric at A and back down in the same spot or very close to it, again, leaving a small loop instead of pulling the floss all the way through. Hold the loop flat and make a small stitch over the end of the loop from B to C, securing it to the fabric.
The Scallop Stitch is very similar to the Fly and Lazy Daisy, make a stitch loop from A to B, then secure it to the fabric with a tiny stitch from D to C. You can make Scallop Stitches in a row as a pretty border or edging, or make them in a circle with a dot in the middle for a flower shape.
Here’s a closer look at the Fly, Lazy Daisy and Scallop Stitches (with Satin Stitches for the flower centers):
Next up, the infamous French Knot! These babies are sometimes a little tricky at first but are well worth learning. Once you get the hang of them, they’ll pop up everywhere in your embroidery projects. They make perfect little flower centers, and interesting textures when grouped close together.
Bring your needle and floss through the fabric at A, then wrap the floss around the tip of the needle as shown. Wrap just once for a small knot, 2-3 times for a larger one. Put the needle back into the fabric at B, right next to A and pull the floss tightly close to the fabric as you pull the needle all the way through, securing the knot to the fabric.
Here’s a closer look at some French Knots:
Ready for more? Let keep going and learn some beautiful stitches for creating embroidered florals.
First up, the Woven Spider’s Wheel, or Rose Wheel.
The Woven Spider’s Wheel is perfect for stitching bold circles and flowers. Start by making an odd number of Straight Stitches (usually five or seven) in a star shape out from a center point. Make the spokes each about 1/4 inch long, or half as wide as you want your Wheel to be. Bring your needle and floss up at the center between two spokes and slide them over one stitch and under the next on the surface of the fabric, not through it.
Weave the floss around and around the circle until you reach the outer ends of the spokes. You can use fewer rounds for a flatter circle, or pack in many rounds for a puffy flower.
Here are some examples of Woven Roses. Add a large French Knot in the center and Lazy Daisy or Satin Stitch leaves to make a perfect flower.
Here is another type of rose, the Bullion Rose. Stitched with Bullion Knots, which are similar to French Knots, Bullion Roses are a unique addition to your stitched embroidered bouquet.
Start by bringing the needle out of the fabric at A. Make a stitch about 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide from B to C (close to A.) This will be the length of your Bullion Knot.
While the end of the needle is sticking out of the fabric, wrap floss around the needle five to seven times.
Now slowly pull the needle and floss through the wraps while you hold them loosely between your thumb and forefinger. Reinsert the needle into the fabric, pulling the coil of wraps flat.
Stitch several Bullion Knots pointing out from a center point to make a flower or star shape, or stitch several curving around each other to make Bullion Roses. Here are some examples of Bullion Knots:
All flowers have leaves, so here is a fun leaf shape to stitch alongside your flowers. This stitch is called the Fishbone Stitch.
Start by drawing a simple leaf shape pattern to follow, pointed at one or both ends. Make a Straight Stitch from the top to the bottom of the shape.
Now bring your needle and floss up just to the left side of the top at A, moving downward and across the center line, just to the right side of it at B.
Then bring the needle and floss up again just to the right of the top point at C, and back down and across to the left side at D. Bring the needle and floss up again just below the A stitch at E, following your pattern and continue criss-crossing stitches all the way down until the leaf is complete.
Here are some examples of Fishbone Stitch leaves. You can space your stitches apart, or make them close together for a more solid leaf.
The Long and Short Stitch is used to fill in large areas with solid stitching. It is very versatile, and can be used for Thread Painting, or blending several colors together, just as you would with paint or colored pencil.
Start the first row by making a stitch from A to B. Next, make another stitch right next to the first one from C to D, only half as long. Make another long stitch, then a short one, and continue alternating between the two stitches to form the first row.
Only the first row has both Long and Short Stitches; the rest of the stitches will all be roughly the same length. For the second row, make stitches just below the first row of stitches, filling in any spaces. Unless you’re stitching a perfect square of Long and Short Stitches, they probably won’t all be perfectly uniform, and that is just fine. Add a stitch here and there to fill in any gaps as you go along. Just keep all your stitches going in the same direction, and you’ll have an evenly filled area when you’re finished.
To blend your stitches from one color to another, just change colors to a lighter or darker shade with each row or two.
Here are some examples of Long and Short Stitches:
When “painting” with thread, use the Long and Short Stitch instructions here as a starting point, but feel free to add or change colors, lengths and spacing of stitches as needed. Try using fewer threads for smaller details, and angling your stitches to follow the shapes in the image you’re stitching.
Great job! You are well on your way to creating some fun and unique embroidery art.
Come visit littledear.etsy.com and pick out a unique Kit, Sampler or PDF pattern download to try out your new stitching expertise!