stitch a long hand embroidery tutorial
[ Inspiration ]

Wonderful Life SAL – Week 1 – Cottage


Welcome to the first week of the ‘Wonderful Life’ Stitch A Long. I am so excited to get started and can’t wait to see all your progress over the coming weeks.

If this is all new and you want to find out how you can join in – please go this page for all the details.

For this first week, we are starting in the centre of the design with…

The Wonderful Cottage

You will need the following colours:

  • #3859
  • #839
  • #3808

Start Stitching…

We will start by stitching the main brick work of the cottage in colour #3859.

Use a full 6 strands of floss for the stitching – this gives the cottage a really nice texture . The following photo shows 3 horizontal rows of Brick Stitch completed…

Start in the middle of the cottage or just below the upper windows and work Brick Stitch in 6 strands to fill in the entire front around the windows and door.

(If you need a recap on brick stitch – you can find it on the blog here)

When complete your cottage should look something like this…

Next, you can choose to stitch the windows or the roof – it doesn’t really make a difference which of these you do first. I’ll take you through both and you can decide where to start…

The Windows and Door…

Colour Guide…

The Windows are incredibly simple to stitch. Firstly, with just 1 strand, stitch the crossed lines in the upper windows and the double crossed lines in the lower windows.

Next, switch to 2 strands and in Satin stitch – fill the rectangular shapes either side of each window. Make long vertical stitches to fill.

Now for the door…

  • #3808 – use 1 strand to stitch a diagonal cross in the window of the door.
  • Use 2 strands to vertically brick stitch and fill the door.
  • Use 2 strands to long stitch both side of the window and the lower edge.
  • Use 2 strands to long stitch a few horizontal stitches across the top part of the door (only do this if you want – I liked the look of it – you may not!)

To finish just put 1 long stitch along the bottom edge of the door.

For the door handle stitch a French Knot – it only needs to be small so I wrapped the thread once around the needle for the knot. Choose whichever colour you would like for this – I went with #782.

Now you have all the little details complete, it’s time for a bit of fun stitching…

The Roof…

For this we are going to do a bit of weaving as I love this effect and it is so much fun to do…

Please note… Completely ignore the colour of the windows and door in this picture – I stitch several versions of things to find out what I like best and these didn’t make the cut! The colours for the windows and door above are the correct ones if you are following the pattern as I have done.

#839 – with a full 6 strands – stitch long vertical stitches, evenly spaced apart…

Make sure they are nice and snug against the fabric – you don’t want them baggy as they won’t weave nicely. (Similarly – don’t pull them so tight they distort the fabric otherwise it will look like your roof is curving in on the top!)

Now you can start weaving the thread to fill the roof space. Using 6 strands of #839 – bring the thread up on the top right corner of the roof as in the photo above.

Switch to a tapestry needle and just take the thread over and under the vertical stitches (staying on the surface until you reach the opposite side.)

Here’s a diagram to explain the process more clearly…

When you have completed one line of weaving – take the thread to the back of the fabric on the top left of the roof.

For the next row – come up just below the previous row on the left – weave the thread under and over the vertical stitches – making sure the over and under’s are opposite to the row above. Take the thread to the back at the end of the second row.

Continue completing each row in the same way to the fill the roof.

Now all you need to do is pop a little chimney on – use 2 strands to satin stitch and you are all done.

Your Wonderful little cottage is all complete…

hand embroidery cottage

Well done for completing Week 1!

Share your beautiful cottage on the Happy Stitching FB Group or send me some pics and I’ll post them here, can’t wait to see how your design is coming along.

Don’t forget you can also share your stitching on Instagram with #stitchdoodlesembroidery.

Happy Stitching!

Week 2 will be here on Wednesday 20th January – see you then!

Here’s some of the wonderful cottages that have been stitched the first week… keep them coming!


  1. This is awesome. I haven’t stitched for a few years. Your instructions feel as if someone is sitting right next to me guiding me along. I love it! So fun.

  2. I’m so excited this morning as soon as I made a cuppa ☕️ I had to look at the blog about the new stitch. Thank you for bringing a bit of fun to ours days

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