Select Page

The Power of Three

8 November

Design
Lifestyle
Embroidery Tips
Colour

Does anybody actually know how many hand embroidery stitches there are? When I began exploring embroidery I was daunted by the sheer number of stitches I thought I needed to learn. I bought some recommended books, looked around online, took a few courses—and was still baffled.

It seemed that all of the focus was on the technique of producing the stitches, but it just wasn’t clear which stitch was suitable for what. And why did I need to know all these different stitches? Some of them are nearly identical.

An early sampler-so many different stitches!

It seemed that all of the focus was on the technique of producing the stitches, but it just wasn’t clear which stitch was suitable for what. And why did I need to know all these different stitches? Some of them are nearly identical.

Eventually, it occurred to me to flip that around and start with the design or image. And I realized that there are only three design elements to consider: line, fill and decoration or highlights.

So, you can break down what stitches you need accordingly. There are a number of stitches that work to make a line-and some work best as a straight line and others curve easily. Filler stitches can be fast or slow to fill a shape, and some work best when you want a smooth, clear ground and others give a bit of texture. Decorative marks or highlights can add a bit of interest or bling like jewelry and there are plenty of stitches that can do that for you.

Over the course of this blog I will show you a number of stitches and how to do them but my suggestion is that you approach it like this:

Try 9, master 6, and pick 3

Why am I suggesting 3?

As I’ve learned and explored embroidery myself I’ve discovered stitches that I really enjoy working and others that are not so much fun. They are either fiddly or I forget how to do them properly and have to look them up again… meh! Its supposed to be enjoyable!

When I settled on the few that I really like, my work became more focused and stronger. There is plenty of variation in stitch length, number of strands, use of colour to keep it interesting.

And, it doesn’t mean I’ve taken a vow and can never add in something different. That’s why I propose you try several. Then you’ll get the hang of them and begin to see which you enjoy doing and can focus on practicing those. And it’s not about being perfect either, but liking what you see.

My favorites are split backstitch, straight stitch and French knots. They may not end up being yours, but let’s see.

Check this article out and try a couple.

 

My three favorites – for now

Share this article

 The Magpie Collective blog will serve to inspire readers to engage with their own creativity, support their interest in design and stitchery and provide a framework of tips, simple techniques and encouragement.

This website and its content is copyright of Magpie Collective
© Magpie Collective 2018. All rights reserved.