7 Must Have Hand Embroidery supplies…

7 must have hand embroidery supplies

When I started out in Embroidery I was fascinated by the amount of information out there and as a beginner you can be quickly overwhelmed by the what’s why’s and how to’s of Hand Embroidery!

Here I have detailed 7 Must have Hand Embroidery supplies I feel are necessary to make your piece of work as good as it can be, let’s go…

Quality Fabric


Ooooh, I love fabric!

Nothing makes your work stand out better than the fabric you choose to stitch on. Having a bit of a fabric addiction, I can safely say I have tried a whole variety of different ones as its great to see the impact it actually does have on the finished piece. Believe me, its surprising but very true.

Some of my favourites…

100% wool Felt, 100% Klona Cotton, Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton, Robert Kaufman Essex Linen, Pre Shrunk Calico

Beautiful Threads

threads copy2

There are so many delicious Threads to stitch with so don’t just get in the habit of sticking with what you know. DMC and Anchor have a fabulous array of colours in stranded, perle, soft cotton but there are so many different types to try as well in different fibres and lots of exciting colours from many different manufacturers.

Quality Needles


There are many different types of Embroidery Needle. They come in many sizes – the larger the number, the thinner the needle will be.

Crewel or Embroidery Needles are the best type for Hand Embroidery – they are medium sized in length with a sharp point and a long eye  (this allows more than one strand of embroidery floss to be threaded at the same time).

I find a size 7 is my most used and go for a quality make as it makes all the difference. John James needles are excellent in my humble opinion!

Embroidery Hoop


It’s that ‘Q’ word again – Quality! This is just my personal view based on many a stitching project!  

For a quick and simple set up and stitch – the ones I like to stitch with are Elbesee Hoops – great price, great quality and by far the best I have come across so far.

For more detailed, time consuming projects I love my  Elbesee Seat frame as I have 2 hands free to stitch and its a bit quicker.

Other frames you could use include the following …

Q snap Frames  – Not for me, I tried this but didn’t find it a comfortable stitch experience and was constantly having to turn the ribbed clamps to tighten as I stitched.

Spring Embroidery Hoop  – perhaps these are better for machine embroidery. I tried these thinking they would be great but for me the tension just wasn’t tight enough for hand stitching.

Flexi Hoops – I love these for framing my work at the end as they make them look fabulous!

ulky sticky Fabri Solvy water soluble Stabilser

sticky fabri solvy

There are a multitude of ways to transfer your hand embroidery design to your fabric but this is my ‘go to’ design transfer method if I want quick results, am using dark or thick fabric, or if the design is really intricate and fiddly to draw.

If you have not tried this then you must give it a go, you will never look back! You can purchase single sheets from my Etsy shop.

Stabiliser Fabric

I am a firm believer in stabiliser fabric being a necessity in Hand Embroidery unless you are using Wool Felt or similar which is thick enough to support your stitches on its own.

All you need is some Calico – I use this one as I find it lovely and soft and a nice weight.

Benefits of using a stabilser fabric behind your main fabric are…

  • Adds support to your stitches
  • Hides the threads at the back if you are a bit messy!
  • Gives you an easy way to start off and finish your thread
  • Makes your work look so much better at the end

A Fun and Inspiring Pattern

Possibly the most important choice you will have is your pattern. Make sure you choose something that you really like and that excites you otherwise you will give up before you finish!

butterfly embroidery pattern by stitchdoodles

We all have our favourite things – mine are dogs and rabbits – so I absolutely love stitching these and am always excited to see the end result.

Make sure it is achievable for your skill set and is easy to follow with lots of pictures. A great hand embroidery pattern can be ruined by a frustrating and badly written pattern so choose wisely! Pick something you love the look of and can follow and it will be a joy to stitch from start to finish.

Take a look at the hand embroidery patterns in my shop for some inspiration to get you stitching… StitchDoodles Shop

Happy Stitching!!!   ♥

Bah Humbug!!!

So, I am going to be honest at the risk of alienating some stitchy followers!

I am not a Christmassy person! (aaaagggh!) I said it and its out there!!!

I feel so much better for letting that bit of info out in to the air!! That said, with it not being my favourite time of year I still participate in the festivities and enjoy the effect the season has on those I love.

With that as my driving force, my Christmas Pattern this year has come early (I know, shock abounds and I don’t quite know what came over me!) In a doodling moment, this star evolved (!) and I felt this would look fabulous as a tree topper. I wanted bold, bright colours to bring the star out and be the centre of attention and so decided to see what a gorgeous indigo blue would look like with a silver thread…

I went with an Indigo Linen fabric by Robert Kaufman, I have used this fabric many times and it is gorgeous and comes in an array of colours.

Star embroidery pattern

The thread is silver not white as the photo would have you believe. As usual, I made no plans and decided to go with what stitches came to mind as I stitched the different elements.

I started with the main lines of the star and went with stem stitch. I love using this to give a nice strong outline to a design and find it a comfortable, easy stitch to  build up, perfect for beginners.

star embroidery pattern by stitchdoodles

I incorporated Trellis Stitch (love this for a quick filler that looks fab!) and then decided some little stars would complete the overall effect. I am really pleased with the crispness of the finished design.

Of course, I had to see what it would look like in one of my fabric covered hoops!…

Star hand embroidery pattern by stitchdoodles

My original idea of a Tree Topper needed to be explored so I replicated the design on felt – this time I went for red with white…

red star Christmas embroidery pattern

I backed it with indigo coloured felt and unintentionally made a very american looking star!

Anway, I think it still looks very festive and can’t wait to get this on top of my tree this December.! Pattern in my shop very soon…


Autumn’s Pallette

Wow, I am seriously loving this Baltimore block I am stitching. Rather than go for the traditional green that the leaves were calling to be stitched in, I decided to think Autumn!

Amazing what a difference colour makes in the overall effect of a design as well as the impact it has on the actual stitching. I can’t wait to stitch each leaf and see it evolve and contribute to the overall wreath.


Berries have proved to be a bit more tricky. The traditional red did not give enough contrast so I am trying this grape colour to see if it suits the overall effect. I think once I add the branches it will give me the overall decision on the berry colour!

Either way I am absoloutely loving this stitch journey and am excited for the next one in the series. Baltimore stitchies will be available in a collection of patterns when they are all complete! Not sure when that will be but keep coming back to find out!

A WIP Weekend!

Have you ever started so many things and not completely finished any of them you start to question your ability to follow through!

This weekend I seem to have flitted from one WIP to the next and still not finished any (!) but hey – I had fun so whats the problem! Here’s the result on my work table…

hand embroidery designs by stitchdoodles

To the untrained eye this is indeed a mess however, to me I see many things that delight and enthrall – we have Baltimore blocks, hexie remnants, gorgeous new wool felt for some more new designs, threads, hoops and oh so many wonderful things – this is a place of beauty ! – but in order to please those with an untrained eye I had better put the tidying of the table on my WIP list as well!

Looking forward to sharing Mr Bear with you newbies this week – he is a delight to stitch so be sure to check in Thursday so you can make him for yourself.

Bear hand embroidery pattern by stitchdoodles