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Stitch Fun – Satin Stitch, Stem Stitch and Split Stitch

Stitch this Fabulous Sampler

stitch sampler for hand embroidery

If you want to stitch this wonderful sampler and learn over 30 Hand Embroidery stitches then head over to this page for all the information.

This week I have 3 different stitches for you – these are probably ones you have all heard of as they are some of the more common stitches.

You probably know how to do them already so this is more for the beginners as well as the ones who need a bit more practice.

If you have purchased the Pre Printed Fabric Panel or have tranferred the Template to your fabric – scroll down to the ‘Start Stitching’ section to get started straight away.

To start, we need to draw a few extra shapes on the lower left of the sampler circle…

Draw 2 circles (same size as the couching circle you have already done which was 2cm diameter) – place them along the lower curve next to the couching circle just as in this photo. We aren’t going to stitch these this week but they will be ready for when we do.

Then draw a leaf shape (no larger than 1cm in width at widest point), and next to this draw 3 small circles (each about 0.5cm in diameter).

This should leave you with a small area left to stitch on this lower left quarter of the sampler which we can find something to fill with later on.

Now you should have all your shapes drawn and ready to be stitched…

Start Stitching…

Satin Stitch

I used 2 strands of thread… Starting with the middle smaller circle – outline in back stitch – you will need to make the stitches really small in order to maintain the circular shape.

To fill the shape – make sure you start in the centre and fill outwards to one side and then back in to the centre to fill the other side. The trick is to come up on the outer edge of the back stitch very close. When you take the thread back in on the other side, again go in very close to the outer edge of the back stitch and angle your needle inwards…

Pull the thread through so it lays flat and then take your second stitch in exactly the same way right next to the first stitch – Keep close to the back stitch outline each time to maintain the circle.

Continue like this to complete the first half…

…then go back to the centre and do the same again to complete the circle in full…

Now there are another 2 circles for you to practice on and perfect your technique. For one of the circles, I used a Perle thread size 8.

Now the 3 small circles are all stitched – we are going to carry on with satin stitch for the leaf shape. This time we are going to do it slanted for a slightly different effect… I used the Perle thread for the leaf shape…

Slanted Satin Stitch is done in exactly the same way as you filled in the circles just with the thread being taken across the shape rather than opposite so the stitches look slanted when complete…

and that’s all there is to it. Satin stitch is definately one that is easier and looks better on small areas and shapes – if you want to fill a large area it can start to look very uneven and messy.

There are lots of different variations but the main points to remember for the best success with Satin Stitch is…

  • use a quality soft thread,
  • if using strands – make sure you separate them off and put them back together before putting in the needle – that way they have more chance of sitting smoothly.
  • smooth the threads as you go so they lay next to each other nicely.
  • always start with a back stitch outline
  • always fill a shape from the centre and work outwards.

Now for the Stem and Split stitch…

– both of these stitches can be used as line stitches as well as fillers and look equally nice when used in both applications. I’ll keep this one short and sweet as there are a lot of tutorials on these and I am sure you have managed to get them done at some point before…

Stem Stitch

Draw a vertical line next to the fly stitch on the top right quarter…

I used 2 strands of pink thread and worked the line starting at the bottom and working my way to the top.

Bring the thread up at 1 – go down at 2 – and then come back on yourself up at 3 (on the line in the middle of the stitch you are making).

Pull through to complete the stitch.

To continue – take the next stitch down at 4 (make the stitch length the same as the first one) – and then come back on yourself and up at 5 (half along the stitch).

Continue completing in the same way to complete the line…

Split Stitch

On the lower left quarter of the sampler there is a small space that needs to be filled which you can see here…

Draw 3 vertical lines as in the photo and split stitch them to complete.

  1. Take a stitch on the line.
  2. Come up in the middle of that stitch – solitting the thread.
  3. Continue doing this – split stitching each of the lines to complete.

Now your sampler should be looking fabulous. We have covered the basics so next week we can do some more of the fancy stuff!

Happy Stitching!

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