There are so many great embroidery stitches so why do I use so few of them?
The answer is that the ones I do use are so versatile. These are my 5 favourites.
1 • Running Stitch
Possibly the most useful of them all, Running Stitch is a basic, straight stitch that can be used in so many ways. By varying the length of the stitch and the thickness of the thread so many different effects can be achieved. I use it most frequently for drawing portraits using just a single strand of stranded cotton thread.This stitch is also good for hair as just changing the direction of the stitch can give a wave or a curl effect. Patterns can easily be created on clothing by using the stitch in different directions to draw squares, stripes, triangles and zigzags. Here are some examples of how I have used running stitch.
Another of my frequently used straight stitches is Arrowhead Stitch. I often use this simple straight stitch to form a ‘mock’ herringbone pattern which evokes the look of a woven herringbone tweed fabric. This is achieved by combining 2 different colours of thread in the same needle. It’s so useful for making patterns on coats and jackets as seen below.
3 • Cross Stitch
More recently I have been using a lot of Cross Stitch in a free, non-formal way to create patterns on dresses and also a colour filling stitch on my Graffiti series. Vary the size and of the stitch and the thickness of the thread for for more variety of finished surfaces.
4 • Darning Stitch ( Needleweaving)
Darning Stitch or Needleweaving as I prefer to call it is a great stitch effect for drawing house bricks. A long straight stitch forms the warp for the area you want to fill and then using the needle to weave your thread in and out of the warp stitch to form the weft building it up until the whole area is filled.
5 • Couching
This versatile stitch is used to hold a thicker thread onto a background by stitching it down to form shapes or to fill an area. Vary it by using a different colour, a cross stitch or an angled stitch on the top instead of a straight stitch.
Enjoyed seeing my favourite stitches? Let me know what yours are.