Tag: 7daysofstitches

7 days of stitches: french knots

frenchknots

UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You just read the better and improved version :D

French knots are part of the knotted stitches family and often used to accentuate parts of embroidery. They form a very textured surface if clouded together but look great scattered around, too.

Here is how it works:

french1

french2

Wrap your thread around the needle twice.

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Stick the needle into the fabric right behind the position where your thread comes out. Pull the thread a little bit tighter if your knot is wonky. With your thumb hold the thread in place, with index and middle finger secure the place where the needle comes through the fabric.

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Now gently pull the needle through the fabric. Your two fingers under the fabric are there to prevent the knot from slipping through the whole in the fabric. So work slowly, unless you want a wrapped piece of yarn on the back of your embroidery and a little dot on the front.

French knots need a little bit of practice to make them evenly everytime. There are also a lot of variations and different knots around. Some wrap the thread like an 8 or use more/less wraps.

Here are some great pieces of art using the french knot:

mixed media artwork: moss embroidery by Emma Mattson

mixed media artwork: moss embroidery by Emma Mattson

powerful colors in Liz Paynes hand embroidery pieces

powerful colors in Liz Paynes hand embroidery pieces

hand embroidery on felt by Salley Mavor

hand embroidery on felt by Salley Mavor

Here are some examples how I used french knots in my embroidery:

narwal6

flower2

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the CHAIN STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

french knot pinterest board

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

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7 days of stitches: satin stitch

satinstitch4

UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You just read the better and improved version :D

Satin stitch is widely used as a fill stitch. The name comes from the smooth surface similar to the surface of the fabric called satin. The satin stitch consists of parallel usually quite long stitches. There are two possibilities to make the satin stitch. For the first method you simply mark the shape of your area to stitch and embroidery it following the marks. For the second method you prestitch your shape with a line stitch like backstitch or splitstitch and embroider over this. The second method produces a neater appearance and for a beginner is easier to do. The stitched shape is more textured and risen than with the first method.

If you plan to do stand alone shape like the triangle in the picture I would always use the prestitched technique while if you want to embroider something with many small shapes side by side it could be better to stitch right away on the fabric.

Here is how it works:

satinstitch1

Prestitch your shap with split stitch or backstitch. Then go to one end of your embroidery.

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Stick your needle into the fabric directly behind your prestitched form.

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Come out of the fabric on the other side of your embroidered shape.

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Satin stitch looks alike on both sides. If you work in your threads neatly it can create a reversible fabric.

Satin stitch eats a lot of thread if you do it this way. You may feel the urge to save some thread and instead of stitching both sides of the fabric you’ll might want to bring up the needle right next to your previous stitch on the same side where you entered the fabric. This indeed saves ALOT of thread, but it also changes the appearance of this stitch. When you stitch around the shape the thread always lays in one direction. If you alter the stitch and go back and forth on the front only, the thread will look different every other stitch. Also at the entrance point of the threads the stitch will twist a little bit to the next stitch and form an intermitted ‘U’ with the previous stitch. Especially if you don’t use a prestitched shape this often results in a frayed looking edge. As with all things this is totally something everybody has to decide for him/herself!

Many artists use the satin stitch as the dominant stitch. It fills up whole areas quickly and has a smooth surface. Here are some great examples:

Sarah K. Benning embroiders house plants among other motifs. See how she stitches over the satin stitch to achieve different kinds of texture?

Sarah K. Benning embroiders house plants among other motifs. See how she stitches over the satin stitch to achieve different kinds of texture?

colorful hand embroidery by Tessa Perlow

colorful hand embroidery by Tessa Perlow

Impeccable butterflies in satin stitch by Cinder and Honey.

Impeccable butterflies in satin stitch by Cinder and Honey.

 

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the SATIN STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

satin stitch pinterest board

 This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

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7 days of stitches: herringbone stitch

herringbone3

UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You are reading the better and improved version :D

The herringbone stitch is a crossed stitch. It’s commonly used to fill areas with a low amount of waste yarn in the back.

Here is how it works:

herringbone1

Before making the stitch you can mark 2 parallel lines on the fabric to make it easier to keep the right spacing. Then imagine a triangle between the 2 lines with the point where the thread comes out as the left bottom corner. So now when you stick the needle in the upper line you do it just a little bit on the right of the upper corner of the triangle. Then come up just a little bit left of the upper corner of the triangle.

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Repeat the step above, but upside down. The triangle has it’s base now in the upper line and the pointy corner at the bottom.

herringbone4

this stitch produces 2 dashed lines of stitches in the back

The herringbone stitch is ideal for filling long stretched areas. It works great for leaves, flowers or braided stuff. Don’t stretch the stitch too high because it tends to contract the fabric between the 2 lines if your tension of fabric is not right or simply the space between both lines is to big. Try not to pull the thread too much after each stitch or the fabric is more likely to contract inbetween.

By positioning the stitches you can also achieve multiple effects with this stitch.I have made several tutorials on variations of the herringbone stitch here, here and here, if you want to give this stitch a try.

herringbonedaysembherringvaremb-verticalherringbone The herringbone stitch is not as commonly used as the other basic stitches we covered over the last days. Luckily Maria Tenorio uses this stitch (and many many others more!) for her plushs:

hand embroidered plush by María Tenorio - look at the variety of stitches in her works!

hand embroidered plush by María Tenorio – look at the variety of stitches in her works!

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the RUNNING STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

herringbone stitch pinterest board

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

If you have additional information about the herringbone stitch, please feel free to comment!

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7 days of stitches: chain stitch

chainstitch3

UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You are reading the better and improved version :D

Number 3 in this series of 7 basic embroidery stitches is the chain stitch. This stitch can be used as a line stitch or to fill whole areas with embroidery. You can substitute back stitch with chain stitch in most line stitching patterns easily.

Here is how it works:

chainstitch1

Stick the needle in the same hole where the thread comes out and pull it up at one stitch length. Wrap the thread around the point of the needle and pull the needle out.

chainstitch2

Repeat sticking the needle in where your thread comes out, pulling through the fabric from underneath, wrapping the yarn around the needle and pulling the needle out. To secure the last stitch stick the needle behind the loop of the last stitch.

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The chain stitch looks like a slightly twisted back stitch on the back side.

A technique using chain stitch as basic stitch is Zalakdozi (or kashmiri) from India. The outlines and the fillings are done in colorful chain stitches with a hook, instead of a needle. It basically is crocheting on fabric.

Many artists use the chain stitch as a dominant stitch. It’s dual purpose of filling whole areas AND making a clean outline open up a lot of possibilities.

Yumiko Higuchi uses the chain stitch very often in her work. Her delicate pattern work is faszinating to look at.

Yumiko Higuchi uses the chain stitch very often in her work. Her delicate pattern work is faszinating to look at.

Izziyana Suhaimi embroidery on watercolor painting

Izziyana Suhaimi embroidery on watercolor painting

miga de pan embroidered rugs

Embroidered world map carpets by Miga de Pan – what a brilliant idea!

Two patterns of mine using the chain stitch:

chain2
horse cushion

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the CHAIN STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

pinterest board chain stitch

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

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7 days of stitches: stem stitch

emb-stem

 UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You are reading the better and improved version :D

Stem stitch is an elegant line stitch that resembles a rope. The slanting segments make this stitch blend the single stitches into a smoother line than the more distinct segments of back stitch or chain stitch.

Here is how it works:

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Stick the needle into the fabric at one stitch length and pull it up at half the length of the same stitch.

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Repeat to stick the needle into the fabric at one stitches length and pull it up where your last stitch ends.

stemstitchback

The stem stitch looks like backstitch on the backside.

 Stem stitch is often used to support other stitches which makes it difficult to find artwork which feature this stitch as the main stitch. However here is a selection of artwork incorporating the stem stitch:

Baobap's 'fireflies walk with me' handembroidery

Baobap’s ‘fireflies walk with me’ handembroidery

NaNee hand embroidery's 'camping' embroidery pattern

NaNee hand embroidery’s ‘camping’ embroidery pattern

Looking for a pattern to practice the stem stitch? Here are some of my patterns:

cabin embroidery
kristall hand embroidery pattern
jeans1

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the RUNNING STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

pinterest borad stem stitch

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

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7 days of stitches: backstitch

emb-back

 UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You are reading the better and improved version :D

This is probably the most popular stitch with folks new to embroidery. It’s neat and versatile and you can stitch your way through all the outline embroidery patterns out there.

backstitch

Stick the needle in the fabric one stitch length on the right where the thread comes out of the fabric. Then pull the needle through the fabric one stitch length on the left where the thread comes out of the fabric.

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Repeat stitching in the hole on the right already made by the stitch before and come out of the fabric on the left.

The backstitch creates a neat line of defined stitches on the front side and a stem stitch on the back side.

Don’t make this common mistake:

Here is something people do when they want to save thread or perhaps didn’t learned it the right way: They make step 1 like in the picture above, but then instead of going back for every stitch they make one running stitch and one backstitch.

backstitch3

You save the amount of one stitch every 2nd stitch by doing this, but let’s take a look at what it looks like:

backstitch4

The line in the front is the cheater-backstitch, the line in the back is the proper backstitch. Do you see the difference? Right! Every second stitch is flat (the running stitch) and the other ones are risen (those are the proper backstitches). So if you compare this with the line in the back you’ll notice, that the proper backstitch line is all one height. Also because of the different directions every stitch is made (one is going left and one is going right) yarn with a sheen reflects the light differently than if the stitches were all heading in one direction.

I made this mistake in my early embroidery stages, too, often wondering why my stitches look so wonky. It was not until someone on a blog pointed out how many people make this mistake and often unknowlingly ruin their embroidery pieces this way. So my advice to you: don’t be lazy and do the proper backstitch. It looks so much better!

Some artwork showcasing this popular embroidery stitch:

Down Grapevine Lane embroidery tutorial

Great use of back stitch by Down Grapevine Lane’s statement embroidery tutorial

design sponge luck tutorial

Design Sponge’s tutorial on how to embroider on a Shirt using the back stitch.

cozyblue poppy pattern

Poppy Pattern by Cozyblue – the black stitches are mostly made in back stitch. This example shows how a simple drawing can live up by using a variety of stitches instead of just one! She used backstitch, chain stitch, satin stitch and french knots.

Here is one my own patterns that uses the back stitch:

Feathers hand embroidery pattern

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the BACK STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

pinterest board back stitch

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

stitchesbanner

 

7 days of stitches: running stitch

emb-running

 UPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You are reading the better and improved version :D

Let’s start with the first of basic stitches for this week! The RUNNING STITCH probably is the most simple and basic embroidery stitch. Yet you can achieve the most intriguing patterns or minimalistic line stitchings.

Here is how it works:

runningstitch

For the running stitch you go over and under the fabric in one line.

By increasing or decreasing the space between stitches you can achieve a different look of the running stitch.

Embroidery techniques using the running stitch as their basic stitch are Sashiko and pattern darning.

Sashiko is a technique from Japan traditionally using indigo blue and white for thread and fabric. Geometric patterns are embroidered with running stitch following some basic rules for edging and center. Sashiko is often reversible.

Pattern darning is a technique used all over the world. The pattern is created with running stitches over the whole length of the pattern row for row. You can see an example in the top image in this post (the arrow shaped lines). It resembles two colored woven fabric or in some cases satin stitch. Pattern darning can be done reversible.

Some artists use the simple and raw nature of the running stitch to their advanage. Here is a selection of a few to show you how versatile this stitch really is.

laubordados montanietas hand embroidery

‘montanietas’ by laubordados

running stitch used by Alabama Chanin for handsewn and embroidered garments

running stitch used by Alabama Chanin for handsewn and embroidered garments

geometric landscapes by s.lapre

geometric landscapes by s.lapre

A great way to get into the running stitch are my geometric animals patterns:

geometric animals hand embroidery pattern

Wait, there is more! Here are some great examples of embroidery featuring the RUNNING STITCH curated in a Pinterest board:

pinterest board running stitch

This tutorial is part of 7 days of stitches. Take a look over here to see all the other stitches.

stitchesbanner

7 days of stitches

stitchesbannerUPDATE: Originally I wrote this post in February 2014 as a tutorial series. However, I recently felt that it would be great to vamp this series up and add some new insights of my own, picture examples and a pinterest board to get in the mood to start stitching! So if you are reading this in 2016 and later: Hello! You just read the better and improved version :D

For the next 7 days I want to introduce my new embroidery stitch tutorials. I selected 7 out of hundreds of stitches which I think are the most basic and versatile stitches around. In fact I wanted to narrow it down to 5 stitches first, but the sheer amount of great stitches made it so difficult to choose! I’m so happy to finally make these tutorials and show you. All 7 stitches I use in my work constantly. I think it’s important to stretch one’s skills to more than one or two embroidery stitches because it makes such a difference and enhaces the possibilities and quality of embroidery when you use a variety of stitches.

I hope my selection of embroidery stitches motivates to try out some new things and do things differently than usual. If you need some advice on material and tool selection, here is an article on that.

7daysofstitches schedule

Now to the links to every stitch:

emb-running
emb-back
emb-chain
emb-stem
emb-satin
emb-french
emb-herringbone