VINTAGE BLOOMS -- If you are having difficulty with the applique and embroidery for Vintage Blooms, please look under the Oops! tab for a PDF file with an explanation or click here.
The Stem Stitch is my favorite hand embroidery stitch, because it is so versatile and so attractive. The poor stem stitch doesn't get the attention it is due, in my opinion. Most folks tend to stitch lines today using Backstitch, Running Stitch, and Chain Stitch, more than they do with Stem Stitch. But Stem Stitch makes a beautiful line stitch. Hopefully, the how-to video here will help you learn or perfect your stem stitch, and maybe you'll end up loving it, too!
The Outline Stitch is a lot like the Stem Stitch -- only the position of the working thread is above the needle as you stitch -- or, if you're going upwards on your design, it's to the left of the needle.
Outline stitch can be used for fine lines and it can also be used for filling by working rows next to each other. The noticeable difference between the outline stitch and the stem stitch is that the Outline Stitch forms a closer twist in the look of your line, so that you don't see the separation in the stitches as clearly as you do the Stem Stitch.
The Backstitch is one of the basic stitches used in hand embroidery. Like the Running Stitch, the Backstitch creates a line made up of straight stitches, but unlike the Running Stitch, there is no space between each stitch.
The Buttonhold Stitch (which is actually the blanket stitch, technically, but both terms are used interchangeably today) is used in many types of hand embroidery. It is a very versatile stitch, and once you have the basic stitch down, it's just a matter of applying it in a variety of ways.
The Chain Stitch is a versatile hand embroidery stitch that can be used to outline and to fill spaces. It's a fun stitch to work and is done easily around curves, in lines, or in large spaces for filling.
The Detached Chain Stitch, also known as the "Lazy Daisy" or just "Daisy" stitch, is an isolated stitch -- that is, it stands on it's own as a stitch, without being connected to another stitch. The Detached Chain Stitch is a very popular embroidery stitch, because it's an easy and pretty stitch. It's perfect for flowers, petals, and leaves, but can be used in lots of different ways.
The embroidery instructions will usually tell you how many wraps to use for the French Knots. Two wraps French Knots are most common, but there might be the occasion to use just one wrap, or perhaps for a larger knot, three wraps.
The Colonial Knot is sometimes confused with the French Knot. This knot looks much the same but lies flatter on your fabric. Sometimes this knot is better than the French Knot, especially if you are making many of them in a group.
The Feather Stitch is a great stitch for creating vines and branches. It makes a great "spray" background for floral embroidery, and the Feather Stitch takes curves well.
#1 Favorite -- 100% cotton, woven, fusible interfacing
This light weight fabric is fused with a hot steam iron on the back of your embroidery block prior to stitching. It stabilizes your background fabric, helping you to form the stitches better and the embroidery to look smoother. In addition, since it is acting as a lining, it will hide any knots or tangles on the back of your work that may accidentally occur during stitching.
#2 Favorite -- Presencia Perle 12
Presencia Perle 12 is 100% cotton, color fast embroidery thread. As it is wound off the ball, it is equal to 2 strands of cotton embroidery floss sold in skeins. So that means no more separating strands. Simply cut off the length of Presencia, thread your needle and start stitching! The Presencia website has a conversion chart for DMC floss.
#3 Favorite – Thread Heaven
Thread Heaven is a conditioner for all hand stitching threads – embroidery, quilting, binding, applique, or beading. It coats the thread with an invisible polymer that greatly reduces knots and tangles.
#4 Favorite – Piecemakers Embroidery Needles, #8
These needles are very sharp and thin. If you prefer a little shorter needle, I recommend size #9.
#5 Favorite – Needle Dome
This great notion allows you to thread ten (10) needles with thread for your project and store them neatly. The needles fit into tiny slots evenly spaced around the dome and the thread wraps around a spool inside the dome. Then, like magic, you can pull the pre-threaded needles out one at a time without tangles! I just hate it when I run out of thread and have to stop stitching to re-thread my needle. Not anymore! The Needle Dome is a must have for a redwork, black work, or blue work project.
#6 Favorite – Tiger Tape
Used by hand quilters for many years, this removable tape is marked at 1/8 or 1/4 inch intervals as a guide for your perfect stitch length. The ¼ inch is great for blanket stitching and the 1/8 inch is helpful for beginners who are having trouble achieving a consistent stitch length.
#7 Favorite – Thimble Pads
I’m not a thimble girl. Mother tried, but it just never worked for me. However, there are times when my pushing finger gets really sore (and may even develop a callus). The Thimble Pad is a leather dot with very strong adhesive on the back. It strongly adheres to the part of the finger where you need protection and is easily removed. The adhesive is long lasting and one pad can be reused many, many times.
#8 Favorite – Embroidery Stitch Tool
This great compact, take-anywhere guide shows you how to produce 180 stitches and stitch combinations for hand embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, and crazy quilting. One of the biggest features that sets it apart from all other embroidery guides is that it is beautifully illustrated in full color for both left-handed and right-handers.
#9 Favorite -- Method of Tracing Designs
I have always used a Micron Pigma, size 01, color red for tracing designs for redwork embroidery, and color brown for all others. These pens produce a clear, crisp, very thin line for your stitching. The line is easily covered by your embroidery thread. However, they are permanent markers and mistakes cannot be erased. If this makes you nervous, I would recommend using a Sewline pencil. These pencils have ceramic lead and produce a very thin, crisp line that can be erased (except for the charcoal one). I suggest using the pink Sewline for redwork and the pink or green Sewline for all other designs.