I consider myself a beginner to embroidery because I still only use really simple stitches. Here are three that I promise you can make anything with!
The Back Stitch
This is a great stitch for straight lines and adding texture to an embroidery. To start, make a single stitch about 1/4″ long. Keep in mind whether you want to move right to left or left to right. For right to left begin another stitch about 1/4″ away from where the last ended, then move to the right and end the stitch where the first ended. Continue this step for as long as you want your back stitch. I used the back stitch to create trees in my mountain-scape embroidery.
The Satin Stitch
The satin stitch creates really beautiful “filled in” areas on an embroidery. It consists of several single stitches very close to one another. Be sure to not make the stitches too long (no longer than 1/3″ is a good marker) so the piece can lay flat. If you want to fill in an larger area, stagger the stitches. The satin stitch is how I gave depth and structure to the mountains.
The French Knot
I absolutely love the french knot! It is so dainty and doesn’t work for every piece, but can bring in a lot of texture and bits of color to an embroidery. I used french knots to resemble wildflowers in a field. To create a knot start with your embroidery floss on the top of your fabric where you want the knot to be. Twist your thread around the needle. Twist once for a very small knot, twice for medium, and three times for a larger knot. Then put your needle through the fabric a couple threads away from where you started. Slowly pull the thread through to create a top knot your hair would be jealous of!
As with all of these stitches the french knot takes practice! Be patient and don’t get frustrated when one stitch doesn’t turn out. In the grand scheme of the embroidery you will hardly tell!
Try out these stitches for some practice on scrap fabric or sketch out a design to hang in your home. To learn the stem stitch (how I created the mountain lines) refer back to my intro to embroidery. More next time on how to make an embroidery look complete and how to frame home made art.