10 Easy Embroidery Stitches to Embellish Your Projects

10 Easy Embroidery Stitches to Embellish Your Projects

10 Easy Embroidery Stitches to Embellish Your Projects

Hand embroidery is so relaxing, and small projects can go anywhere with you. There are a gazillion stitches out there. (Sometimes we invent our own if we embrace little slips and make them a repeating pattern!) I find that I go back to a reliable list of stitches that bring me success, and if the blogging world is any indication, I am not alone! Here are 10 easy embroidery stitches to embellish your projects.

1 Running Stitch is a basic stitch used for outlines. It is simply that a running stitch that is the basic and most simple stitch.

Running Stitch

2Stem Stitch is a great stitch for, um, just that, stems! It’s also a great outline stitch with the way the threads make a scroll type design the way they are stitched for the stem stitch.

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Stem Stitch

3French Knot is used to create texture by wrapping the thread around the needle point to create a knot. These French knots below are beautifully perfect to create these grapes, or use big loopy and sloppy knots to create texture and movement to your embroidery project. Anything goes!

French Knot

4Fly Stitch is a great stitch to add movement to a piece, create a fern-like line or even seaweed background.

Fly Stitch

5Back Stitch creates a solid line for outlines by doing a running stitch, then backing up and filling in the blanks.

 Back Stitch

6Chain Stitch is great for filling in spaces quickly and easily, or making bold lines on a piece. Threads are looped around the needle before the stitch is taken to make a chain.

Chain Stitch

7Seed Stitch is used to visually fill a space with small stitches that go all directions. It looks intimidating, but is really easy and goes quickly.

Seed Stitch

8Feather Stitch might look complex, but is really easy. You pick a line to be your base, then take loops with your thread to the right and left along the base line. It’s great as a border, to give a full outline to an element and filling space.

Feather Stitch

9Split Stitch is similar to the back stitch, but you go back and literally ‘split the stitch’ when you bring your needle back up through the previous threads. This makes for a nice straight stitch around curves.

Split Stitch

And, number 10 . . .

Detached Chain (Lazy Daisy) make happy daisies! Flowers can be made in all shapes and sizes, as many loops as you want! Make them bright and happy, or as a small background pattern. Make them whole, or only sew 3 loops to simulate a flower bud.

Lazy Daisy or Detached Chain stitch

Since there is usually more than one way to get somewhere, Check out 2 or 3 different methods before settling on what to be your “go to”. We’ve got links above to full posts on all of these embroidery stitches, or check out these blogs and sites with fabulous illustrated tutorials on our Top Ten Embroidery Stitch List – plus you’ll find other cool embroidery stitches.


French Knot

Sublime Stitching has great tutorials.

“This ain’t your gramma’s embroidery” and Jenny Hart breaks each stitch down with detailed photos. Lots of info on tools and supplies here, too, written in a fun, yes-you-can style.


Bluprint is a great source for all things creative, including hand embroidery stitches! This page gives you a variety of online classes so you can learn at your own pace and graduate in your jammies!


Wild Olive step-by-step directions for basic embroidery stitches

Check out Wild Olive for great step-by-step instructions on basic embroidery stitches. Her pages are lefty-friendly, and that can be so important when you are starting out!


urban threads non traditional approach to needle arts

Urban Threads is the destination for non-traditional approaches to traditional needle crafts. Their designs are more edgy and, well, urban, and can be completed with a few basic stitches. Their machine embroidery designs have a non-traditional bent as well – who says tea towels can’t be fun?


Browse through other inspirational embroidery stitch how-to’s and projects to inspire you! 


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