Thursday, 22 April 2010

Stitching - how i do it.........

Stitchery – how I do it........
I have had questions/emails from girls re stitching and in the Stitch-a-long blog there are all levels of ability. 
I have also taught 2 people who have visited to stitch in the last few weeks which is when I decided I "did" have skills to share....
By putting this post up I am certainly not saying the way I do it is right or perfect but it is what works for me.
So here goes........if you think I missed something ask or leave a comment on this post.
I only do my stitcheries onto cotton fabrics. I mainly do back stitch, running stitch, chain stitch and french knots. I never use a hoop. That is a choice you can make some others use them all the time.

I used to use a thin pellon. Now I have changed to weaveline. Both are iron on and I like the look of both as a finished item but the fluffy bits on pellon catch on every dry bit of skin on my fingers in winter and I hate that. Using a backing gives more stability to the fabric while you are stitching and if you are doing a short cross over on the back to another spot on the stitchery you can’t see the thread from the front.
You can iron the weaveline onto the back of the fabric before tracing the stitchery but if using pellon you have to trace first otherwise you can’t see to trace the stitchery.
###make sure you don’t have any loose threads or hair in between the layers before you iron them together.### 

This is what I am currently tracing stitcheries with a Clover washable marker. I have used several brands of blue washable pens. You can use a pigma pen (permanent) but I get a bit hap hazard and you have to make sure your stitches cover the lines up.
I have had some of the blue not rinse out completely once or twice but a bit better wash and a little soap works wonders.

if you don't own a light box use a window but whatever you use make sure you put a few pins in to hold the pattern and fabric together.............
the mess on the side of my lounge..........I do need to make one of those thingys to lay over my lounge arm to protect it..........
now for the threads..........I use DMC stranded threads and it is 6 stranded............I pull out one thread and double it up and thread my needle........make sure the loop is at the long end............
I don't have knots on the back of my stitcheries.............bring the needle up from the bottom and go back thru and then loop your needle thru on the back of your fabric - see below...........then pull firm....this anchors the thread.........

the important thing when stitching is to make sure the needle goes down where the previous stitch came up - see below i did a bad one on purpose...........if you accidently leave a thread or 2 of fabric between your stitches it will show up later..........unpick the one or 2 stitches and redo them before you go to will be happier later..........
also when getting to a shorter patch look and think how many stitches you may fit into that spot and adjust your stitch length slightly to make it fit...........
nice even stitches...........
the back of my stitchery.............
I saw a tutorial somewhere on an Aussie girls site showing how they do satin stitch..........(send me the link if you know where it was -thanks girls - it is Melly and Me here is the link much better tutorial on the satin stitch then what I showed briefly here) run a tiny line of back stitch around and then the satin stitches go over the edges of it...........must say my satin stitched patches are MUCH nicer now and more even.......
now how to finish...........take your thread to the back of your work and run the needle under a thread on the back and then loop your needle back thru and pull firm...........then.....
run your needle back under threads on the back and pull thru...........
can't see a thing can you...........nice neat finish
main points for me.............make sure your stitches are nice and even - consistency is the name of the game............and for those beginners you will get better as you go along......

and if you have never stitched.............have a is fun and easy...........
..... practice makes perfect they say....
Happy Stitching...............


  1. Absolutely fantastic Chooky - Well done - Great pics and nice easy simple instructions - You have the teaching knack girl :)

  2. Love how you start with a loop instead of a knot....will be trying that one!Pretty sure it was Melly & Me that had tute for satin stitch
    Thankyou for sharing

  3. At least I know now there's at least one other person stitching without a hoop!! Nice to read how someone else goes about it.

  4. Very good tutorial!
    I think it was Melly & Me that did the satin stitch thing, must try that, mine are shocking!

  5. Thanks For the Tutorial Chooky.It is easy to follow When I did cross stitch I started the same way as you with the loop on the back It is much more neater than A knot.
    Hugs Mary.

  6. Great tutorial Chooky and its no wonder your things are fabulous :) Yes I saw that tut on satin stitch on Melly n Me. It does make a difference to do the circle of stitches first and then the satin stitch. All these little tricks sure do help :) Thanks for the fab tutorial.

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  8. Thanks for the Tutorial!! I need to get my stitches more even. I don't' use a hoop, glad to hear I'm not the only one. Thanks Again!!

  9. Thanks for the tip about satin stitch. I'm going to try that because mine is just terrible! LOL

  10. Thanks for sharing Chooky-great explaining and your stitches are oh so even and neat:)

  11. Awesome tutorial! I wish I would have seen this a year ago but I am glad to learn something new now.


  12. Great post. I'm terrible at hand stitching & that loop vs knot thing is super smart. Thanks for the tip.

  13. Thanks Chooky, I really want to try some stitchery but have been a wussy. I might have a crack at it now.

  14. Great words of advice La Chook! I use a hoop for some stitches & always for satin Stitch which I also never stitch a circle around & do in a stabbing motion. I adore SS...nice to play with different techniques & work out what is best for you! Thankyou for sharing!

  15. OK,this was good. I am taking a copy of it all. My trouble is I am not at all good in bachstitching. So I usually use stem-stitches. Must get on practising some day.
    Thanks a lot for the tutorial, Chooky :0)

  16. Donna - that is a really good tip starting with a single thread doubled to replace a knot with a loop - I used to use that for cross-stitch years ago and had clean forgotten it - thanks so much for reminding me :o)

  17. I really like that idea for the satin stitch Chooky! Pity I didnt know that at the beginning of the week!
    And, I have always done the loop on the end thing too.... very neat that way!
    Great tutorial!
    x Sarah

  18. Thank you for the tutorial, I will try to sew like you - it looks nice :o)

  19. Hey Donna! Great tutorial and always interesting to seehow others stitch/prepare etc. I usually quilt-as-you-go, so use warm and natural but for GJ am using the vliseline and quite like working with it. Have used the weaveline before and had 'issues' with it and gave up. The pellon I've seen before is thicker than the vliseline but not as thick as warm and natural ... so many products out there! :0) I don't stitch with a hoop, either - hurts my hands to hold it and stitching is less portable. Happy Stitching! Bear Hugs! KRIS

  20. Thanks for the tutorial. It is always good to see how other girls handle stitching, and good to learn new tricks.
    Jytte R

  21. Thanks for the tute...I need all the help i can get. Now I'm going to start with the loop, do the back stitch under the satin and hopefully always put my needle into the last hole!

  22. Lovely work and lovely pics....what size needle do you use and what kind?

  23. It is always fun to learn something new. I like the loopy start and the way you finished off. Your back looks so neat. My daughter's cross stitch always looks neat like that. Mine is a mess. I'm hoping my new stitcheries look good. I've not done much embroidery lately except the stitches required in a cross stitch piece but I started it when I was young and did much of it early on in my marriage. Just been cross stitching 3 or 4 years, though. I'm going to start out with a hoop on this.
    I always used a hoop with embroidery but not cross stitching.
    Thanks for showing what you do with the backing.
    Mama Bear

  24. Thank you to sharing with us! :)

  25. Thanks Donna! I will be referring back to this later!! The picture of the loop was very helpful, I've read descriptions before but I need pictures to understand! Is there a trick to getting 2 threads through your needle? That sounds difficult...threading is my least favorite part of anything to do with needles :)

  26. Great Tutorial..Thanks on the Tip for No Knots at the back..I'll use that one..much neater.

  27. how lovely of you to share this . Will have to try "starting" without the knot and thanks for th info on the satin stich - well done.

  28. Hi, never thought to double up the thread as you do ,i've always pulled 2 threads out of the skein. I like the loop idea and will be trying that also. Thanks for showing your ideas too. sue

  29. Wonderful phots and instructions! The satin stitch is done like that for other embroideries too and it actually works.

  30. very good Donna.Thanks
    ciao ciao

  31. Great tutorial. Nice to see someone else not using a hoop. It seem almost everyone else uses one... I like your way of starting with a loop at the back instead of a knot, will try that next time.

  32. Hi, Chooky:)
    My son will make me one light box for Mother's Day, Yupi!!!
    Thank you for sharing

  33. This is one of the best tutorial I've seen! And it makes me glad to see that you also stitch without a frame, I have been critized for that...Thank you so much!

  34. Great tute Chooky. I have a similar light box made by myself tell Mr Chook I like his style.

  35. I am a new stitcher, so I found all your tips great. Previously when cross stitching I had used the loop of thread, but till I practise more I need to be able to undo the odd stitch or two, so no gaps.

  36. Thanks for this great tut, especially the bit about the loop and not using a hoop.

  37. What a fantastic post!
    I pretty much know what I'm doing these days but oh how I wish I'd had this tutorial when I fist started dipping my toes in the water so to speak.
    I'm so glad you showed the picture of Pellon as for years I have wanted to know what it was. Now I see it is just what I know as Vilend H630 a lightweight fusible wadding and I also use the H640 thicker one as well when making my bags.
    I love Weaveline and it's thanks to you that I got to try it in the first place.
    I can now get it via the UK. It is a great product.

  38. Thanks for pointing this out. I am proud of I did back my stitchery already, and I use the same loop method as you. I learned years ago from cross stitch, NO KNOTS!

    I attempted blanket stitch first around some fabric. Then some lazy daisy's. It isn't so great but will be good with practice!

  39. Thanks for the tips, i'm a beginner, Now I've learned not to knot ;) and to do well the satin stitch, so from now on my stitchery will be better.

  40. Thank you for taking the time to post this tutorial! It is so wonderful! I love all the detail!

  41. This is great Chooky...I'm going to try the loop thing to start....and derrr, I thought you did satin stitch inside the backstitch!


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