Hand Embroidery Stitches
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How to Teach yourself Hand Embroidery Stitches


So many stitches can be overwhelming!

It’s true – there are an amazing amount of wonderfully different stitches when it comes to Hand Embroidery. However, to enjoy stitching you really only need to know a few and you can teach yourself how to do them in no time, in a fun way so it doesn’t feel like a chore.

There are an abundance of talented embroiderers with great blogs giving out a wealth of information on individual stitches.

I have a lot of stitch tutorials on this blog which are connected to stitch a longs and actual patterns that use those stitches. I have considered creating posts focused on just stitches myself but it seems so unneccessary when the information is already out there – you just need to know where to look… Let me show you the resources I use…

Just so you know, this post may contains affiliate links.  If you click through to a website and register or purchase something, I get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you. All opinions and reviews are my own. You can read the full disclosure here.

Embroidery Stitch Books…

Books are a firm favourite of mine. I have way too many stitching books (!) however, there are a couple I go back to time and time again when I want to figure out a particular stitch…

The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery…

RSN Book (UK)… / RSN Book (US)

rsn book of embroidery

This is by far my favourite book on Hand Embroidery – it has beautifully clear step by step photo’s and covers every aspect of hand stitching. I have used this time and time again to learn a new stitch.

The Embroidery Stitch Bible…

Stitch Bible (UK) Stitch Bible (US)

This is my second favourite – there are so many stitches shown in a clear and easy to understand way. You can just go through the stitch at your own pace until you have it mastered.

RSN Stitch Bank

This amazing resource was launched in 2021 and it is a game changer. There really is no need to go anywhere else to find out how to do individual stitches. The amount of hours it must have taken to get to this point is mind blowing and they will be updating it with even more as time goes on.

You can head over to the stitch bank here… RSN Stitch Bank


I love pinterest! There is so much to look at you can easily lose an hour just happily scrolling from one thing to another! To keep your focus, I have compiled a board that is just about Hand Embroidery stitches which you can find here… Hand Embroidery Stitches

There is a wealth of information in this Pinterest board which will cover a whole host of stitches. It is also forever being added to so make sure you ‘follow’ me if you want to stay ahead.

You can get the Stitchdoodles FREE Stitch Guide from the link below. This PDF shows you how to complete 16 stitches.

Video Tutorials

If you are someone who does well with watching someone actually do the stitch then if you go to You tube and type in the stitch you are interested in – there are lots of videos on the subject!

Stitch Samplers

Beginner stitch samplers are not something you need to pay for! Grab some cloth, a needle and some thread and practice some stitches from any of the free ways above. You would be better placed investing in a good stitch book you can use time and again and then you can make countless stitch samplers trying out different stitches.

To get you started I have a couple of FREE Templates you can use. They are a great starting point for practising your stitches on and if it looks good you have a reference to look back on when it’s complete.

My Hexagon Template is a really fun way to display and practice some stitches…

hexagon embroidery sampler

Choose a stitch and fill a hexagon. By the time the hexagon is filled in that stitch is learnt and you can try another stitch on another of the hexagons. This is a great project to keep ‘on the go’ so whenever a stitch you don’t know comes along and you want to practice – fill a hexagon before you stitch the real thing.

Another sampler template you can download for FREE is this poinsettia…

poinsettia sampler

The PDF gives you the full size template with the stitch guide and it looks really beautiful when complete. You could do it any colour – it doesn’t have to be a poinsettia!

To access the hexagon and poinsettia template all you need is the password to my FREE resource library, which you can get from the link below.

So many ways to learn…

You don’t need to spend a fortune or be a fabulous artist to be able to create something that you will not only enjoy but will be worthy of a place on your wall.

Points to Keep in mind…

There are specific ways to do a particular stitch and there are sometimes alternative ways – unless you are a purist, embrace the one you get the best results from. It does not have to be an exact replica or follow the exact directions. It really doesn’t matter how you did it as long as it looks good and you enjoyed it!

Perfection is never going to happen! You can always rip out a stitch or practice before you go for the real thing but ultimately giving it a go is what matters. As you progress you will see huge progress in your work. Once you get a bit more proficiant you could always revisit a pattern you want to make a better go of.

Before you know it you will be ready for a fabulous sampler like my ‘Walk in the Woods’ Pattern…

This has a lot of stitches incorporated in the design. It is so colourful and fun to stitch it is the perfect way for you to  learn a multitude of stitches as you go along.

Choose a pattern you like and get stitching… as you come up against a particular stitch you can figure it out and move on from there…


Happy Stitching!


Hand Embroidery Stitches

>> Enter the Free Resource Library <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get below…

You will also get the Free stitch guide to 16 Stitches…


  1. Thank you so much Julie, my first love was patchwork and quilting and I always use this as inspiration for my designs. Hope your project goes well. x

  2. I’ve been embroidering since my early teens. I’m now retired and a few years ago took up quilting. My tutor has come up with a project for the spring that incorporates examples of embroidery panels into a patchwork quilt. I came across your website and am inspired to use the project to show case all sorts of new designs. I’m looking forward to using your library of stitches to do this.

  3. Thanks for such an amazing blog and very help full for the embroidery designs I saw cartoon embroidery designs in different styles your Embroidery style is a unique way, and the same pattern use in Digit IT please visit this site hope you gain great knowledge of Embroidery Digitizing relates.

  4. Hi Susan, I know exactly what you mean – I can’t just sit down and do nothing! I need to be creating something as well! Hand Embroidery is so portable and stress relieving I can’t imagine my life without it. Best of luck with your new hobby. x

  5. I have recently given up jewellery making after 10 years and need to fill my time another way. Once you have been a maker you need something to do with your hands. I used to cross stitch many years ago but now want to try hand embroidery and also bead embroidery as I still have lots of tiny gemstones left over. You have been so inspirational already and I can’t wait to get going properly. You are so generous with your time and expertise I can’t thank you enough. Many thanks and stay safe xx

  6. I never Leave comments on blogs l BUT since I found your site last week you helped point me In the right direction of so many relevant, comprehensive resources – I wish I’d found you earlier as I’ve spent two months surfing aimlessly when you have it all in one place !!!!
    Ps love the hexagon idea for practicing and showing what stitches look like 🙌

  7. Hi Tammy, Thank you so much, that’s so kind of you to say. So glad you enjoy the blog and the patterns. Best wishes.

  8. I am enjoying YOU & all that YOU’VE done for all this wonderful material on embroidery not to mention all the FREE stuff!!!!! I am very new to embroidery. I recently retired after 24 years on the bench & found in retirement I was going to have to find something to do. Embroidery is what I found & I am enjoying learning it. You have definitely helped ALOT & I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! Have a blessed day, Tammy

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