Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Seamly Stitching" - Part 1

Welcome to Hand Embroidery 101 - The Embroidery Sampler !!!

Once a month, on the second Tuesday, I will be posting Hand Embroidery Stitches in a 12 part series for my local Quilt Guild. We're just regular people with the desire to bring the skill into our personal repertoire!  A dozen or so of us decided that we all wanted to learn the basics of Hand Embroidery so I volunteered to "Lead the pack" so to speak. :-) Here we go!

Every month, there will be 3 stitches, a multitude of links and resources, in digestible chunks for those that want to participate.  I am by NO means an expert.  But I will be. :-)  What I AM good at, is when I get an itch to do\learn something, I can find and organize valuable information relatively well. And when I teach - I focus particularly on mistakes and gotchas so others can learn from them.  So join in!   Comment, send me pictures, send me links, whatever tickles your fancy!

There is a new magazine that recently premiered called STITCH-IT-TODAY.  In issue #2 (on newsstands now) there is an inspiring article entitled - THE EMBROIDERY SAMPLER.   We start our meeting tonight reading this aloud to get a feel for how samplers came to be...

"The original Sampler was a sampling of stitches.  The word sampler (example) is derived from the Latin word exemplum, which means "an example to be followed".
Today, embroidery samplers are often viewed as stitched art created for decoration, but their use originally began as a method of recording information...."

Seamly Stitching - Part 1 

There are 2 Project Options for learning & recording your stitches:
   "Band Samplers" or a Stack & Slash Quilt
(here's a video tutorial on how to make a basic one Stack & Slash Quilt Demo)

Materials Needed: (many items are available at Joann's and you can use coupons!)
  Aida cloth - 11-count or 14-count
  Various Embroidery Needles for various size threads (See chart below for sizes)
  DMC Embroidery Floss
  DMC Perle Cotton Thread
  Embroidery Hoop or Frame.

1) Running (Straight) Stitch - a stitch that resembles a line when complete.
Also known as:
Running stitch; Gathering stitch; Seaming; Tacking; Pad stitch; Darning; Prick/pin stitch; Tramming
Here are my Sample Stitches for "Straight\Running Stitch":

2) Back Stitch - a stitch that resembles a continuous line when complete.

Here are my Sample Stitches for "Back Stitch":

3) Stem Stitch - an embroidery stitch forming a continuous line of long, overlapped stitches, typically used to represent narrow stems.

Here are my Sample Stitches for "Stem Stitch":


Extra Resources:
Hand Work Inspiration Pinterest Page


  1. Hey, Jan--great post! I'll definitely be referring to these videos. Question: I'm thinking about using one of my hand-dyes in the long, banner form. Should I stabilize the fabric somehow? The embroidery/hand-stitching I've done before was on fabric already fused to a batting. I'm wondering if I should use stabilizer this time (tho not batting--that was kind of a pill since it kept pulling through to the front of the fabric).

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