Basic Embroidery Stitches
16 March 2009
Author: Elaine Trout
If you’re new to embroidery, these step-by-step instructions and diagrams will walk you through how to complete some of the most basic embroidery stitches. You may find it helpful to practice on a piece of scrap fabric first before starting a project. With a little practice, you’ll become a pro in no time!
STARTING AND ENDING YOUR THREAD OR YARN
In general, knots are a no-no in stitching. Whenever possible, you should start your thread or yarn by working over the end of the strands on the back of the fabric. To end your thread or yarn, run the strands under a few stitches on the back. However, if you are working items such as Back Stitch or French Knots on an open area of fabric, you may need to use a small knot to start and end your thread or yarn.
This stitch is used to fill areas and creates a very smooth surface.
1) Following the printed dashes, come up at A, go down at B. If there are no dashes, place your stitch vertically.
2) Come up at C, go down at D. Repeat, laying stitches parallel to each other to form a smooth, even surface. Don’t crowd the stitches or place them too far apart.
3) Return to the starting position and complete stitching the shape.
This stitch is used to add outlines and highlights around areas or to create other detail lines, such as letters, stems, or tree branches.
1) Come up at A, go down at B. Come up at C, then go down at D (same hole as A). Continue, always going back down in the same hole as the previous stitch so your stitches look connected.
This stitch is used to add highlights to certain objects, such as eyes or flower centers.
1) Come up through the fabric at A. Hold the thread about 2" away from A. Wrap the thread once around the needle.
2) Continuing to hold the thread, insert the tip of the needle through the fabric at B (very close to A), to form a loop around the needle.
3) Pull the thread until the loop is tight around the needle. Holding the thread taut against the fabric, slowly pull the needle through the fabric.
4) This shows the completed knot.
This stitch forms a loop and is ideal for leaves or flower petals. On the fabric, the printed lines for Lazy Daisies may be shown in one of two ways. For fabrics with permanent ink, a dot and dash appears on the fabric. This makes it easier to cover the printing with your Lazy Daisies. For fabrics with wash-away ink, a full loop is shown. It won’t matter if the stitched loop doesn’t cover the printed loop exactly since the ink will wash away.
1) Come up and go down at A (dot or point of loop).
2) Come up at B (first end of dash or just inside the loop). Go down at C (other end of dash or just outside the loop) to tack the loop in place. Don’t pull this tacking stitch too tightly; the loop may close up if you do.
3) For loops that meet, start each loop at the same center point.
This stitch can be used for single lines or to fill areas.
1) Come up at A, go down at B, making a stitch about 1/8" long. Come up at C (the midpoint of A-B). Hold your thread to one side of the needle as you draw it flat. Go down at D, up at E (same hole as B). Continue. Always come up in the same hole as the end of the previous stitch and keep your thread to the same side of the needle.
2) Keep the thread to the outside of a curve to make a smoother line.
3) When filling an area, always start each row from the same side and work in the same direction.
Once you become familiar with these basic embroidery stitches you will be prepared to start on your new endeavor. You will be creating original projects to decorate your home with or give as gifts in no time at all.