Embroidery Stitch Diagrams and Directions
Embroidery Stitch List - Quick Reference
Here you will find a list of stitches for surface embroidery along with a diagram for working the stitches. These are the basic stitches that every beginner to embroidery should learn, as well as variations of well-known embroidery stitches.
The back stitch is a basic embroidery stitch used to produce a thin line of stitching, or to outline shapes that will be filled with satin stitch.
The blanket stitch is a basic stitch that can be used to create an edging, used as a surface embroidery stitch, or to applique elements in place on an embroidery project. It is worked using open half-loops of stitching, similar to a hand-worked buttonhole stitch.
Bosnian stitch can be used in a surface embroidery, freestyle or counted thread embroidery project where a zigzag line is needed. There are several different ways the stitch can be worked, and two variations are given in the article.
Buttonhole Stitch - Crossed
The Crossed Buttonhole Stitch is a variation of the standard buttonhole stitch, a common surface embroidery or edging stitch. Work the design along a hemmed edge, or to outline a shape or create a decorative band in an embroidery project.
The cable stitch is an embroidery stitch worked similarly to back stitch, with the exception of the stitches stacked one above the other in a staggering pattern that resembles a cable. It can be worked along a straight or cruved line on evenweave or plainweave fabric.
The chain stitch is a looped stitch that is worked individually, or along a curved or straight line. There are many variations of this stitch.
Chain Stitch - Cable
The Cable Chain stitch can be worked in both straight and zigzag versions.
Chain Stitch - Feathered
The Feathered Chain Stitch is a decorative hand embroidery stitch that utilizes detached chain stitches arranged in a zig-zag pattern as if working the feather stitch, forming a hybridized stitch.
Chain Stitch - Single
The chain stitch is a looped stitch that is worked individually, or along a curved or straight line. There are many variations of this stitch. Here you will learn to work the single, detached chain stitch.
Chain Stitch - Square
The Square Chain Stitch is a chunky, open version of a standard chain stitch. This stitch can be used alone as an interesting border or outine stitch, or pass ribbon or other trims under the stitch for a multi-layered effect.
Chain Stitch - Twisted
The Twisted Chain Stitch is worked similarly to a standard row of chain stitch, with the exception of the second insertion point of the needle being outside the previous stitch. This motion produces a textured, twisted stitch than can be used along straight lines and curves or to outline shapes.
Work the Chevron Stitch in rows and bands, or along a curved line.
Chevron Stitch - Double
The double chevron stitch is worked using two rows of intertwining standard chevron stitch. It can be worked in a single color ot two colors.
The colonial knot is one of several knotted stitches used in embroidery and is commonly used in Candlewicking embroidery. It can be worked individually, in groups as a filling, or along a line or path.
The Cretan Stitch can be used to outline shapes, as a border, or to join two pieces of material together using a decorative, open lacy stitch.
Cross Stitch - Chinese
Learn to work the Chinese Cross Stitch. This 3-part stitch can be used in borders and rows.
Cross Stitch - Upright
The upright cross stitch can be used as a scattered or engineered filling stitch, or in bands and borders. It is worked similarly to standard cross stitch, with the exception of the stitches being worked vertically and horizontally, rather than diagonally.
Cross Stitch and Partial Cross Stitch
Cross Stitch is commonly worked on Aida fabric by stitching one stitch over each square in the fabric, or counted by working over two threads when using an eve weave fabric. However, cross stitch can also be used as a surface embroidery stitch when working with pre-stamped items or hot iron transfers. Learn to work a cross stitch, a row of...
The Ermine stitch can be worked singly or in rows, or scattered as a filling stitch. It's made from a vertical stitch crossed by two diagonal stitches and is easy to work. It can be used as a counted stitch, or as a surface embroidery stitch and can be worked freestyle or pre-marked on the fabric for perfect placement.
Eyelet Stitches - Basic
Learn to work a the basic eyelet, star stitch or Algerian eye stitch. Thes stitches can be worked individually, or in rows and groups.
Feather Stitch and Straight Feather Stitch
The feather stitch and its variations are used in surface embroidery to create airy lines of stitching along curves or straight lines. It can be marked on the fabric or worked as a counted stitch.
The fern stitch is a surface embroider stitch used to create an open, lacy stitch along a straight or curved line. It's beautiful worked as tree branches, ferns, or seaweed in a project.
The Fly Stitch is a basic surface embroidery stitch that can be worked singly, as a scattered filling, or in rows.
The four-sided stitch is one of the common stitches used in counted embroidery including drawn thread or pulled thread embroidery, and forms a row of squares along the length of the fabric. Technically, only the first stitch is truly four-sided, with the adjoining stitches made from three additional stitches attached to the side wall of the...
The French knot is one of several knotted stitches used in embroidery. It can be worked individually, in groups as a filling, or along a line or path.
French Knot - With Tail
The French knot with a tail is worked similarly to a standard French knot, but with a tail. this stitch makes a pretty flower, flower center or stamens.
The Herringbone Stitch is used in surface embroidery to make a wide band of stitches, and has several different variations.
Herringbone Stitch - Double
The Double Herringbone Stitch can be worked in a single color or in two colors, and makes a wide embroidered band.
Herringbone Stitch - Laced
This variation on the herringbone stitch is laced with a second color or weight of yarn, and is pretty worked in bands and rows.
Herringbone Stitch - Tied
The tied herringbone stitch is a variation of the herringbone stitch, and is worked in two passes with two colors or weights of thread.
Japanese Darning Stitch
The Japanese darning stitch can be used as a filling stitch, or as a pretty border, row or edging. It is worked in multiple passes, with the horizontal running stitches worked first, followed by diagonal stitches that tie the rows of running stitches together, forming a zigzag or box pattern.
Laid Filling Stitch - Basic
Learn to work two versions of a basic laid filling stitch - the square laid filling and the diagonal laid filling. These stitches can be used to create a light, airy filling for a flower or leave in surface embroidery or crewel embroidery.
Lazy Daisy Stitch
The Lazy Daisy isn't a stitch per se, but instead is the term used for a group of single, detached chain stitches worked in the shape of a flower. You can have any number of petals in a single flower.
The Paris Stitch is a counted thread embroidery stitch that mimics blanket stitch.
The Rice Stitch can be used as a scattered or engineered filling stitch, or in bands and borders. It is worked similarly to standard cross stitch, with the exception of small diagonal stitches worked over the ends of each arm of the larger crossed stitch. Rice stitch can be worked as a counted stitch, or pre-marked on the fabric.
The running stitch is a basic stitch, and is usually the first stitch learned by the beginner embroidery enthusiast or sewer.
Running Stitch - Double
The double running stitch is worked in two passes, and is worked similarly to the single running stitch. This stitch looks interesting worked in two colors or two weights of thread.
Satin Stitch - Basic
Basic, flat satin stitch is an easy filling stitch that can be used to fill smaller areas that are not to be padded or raised, and has also been called the flat satin stitch.
Satin Stitch - Long & Short
The Long & Short Stitch is used to fill large areas, and is similar to satin stitch. It can be worked in a single color or subtle shading can be achieved using multiple shades or a single color, or multiple colors.
Satin Stitch - Padded or Raised
Padded satin stitch is raised filling stitch that can be used to fill an embroidery pattern with raised stitches, adding depth and dimension to a project.
Learn to work the Scroll Stitch. This beautiful surface embroidery stitch is worked by looping the thread under the needle as you stitch, creating a scroll-like effect.
Seed Stitch - Single and Double
Learn to work the Single Seed Stitch and Double Seed Stitch. These basic embroidery stitches can be used as a light filling, or to pad satin stitch.
The sheaf stitch can be worked singly as a design element, in rows, or in a random pattern as a filling stitch. It gets its name from the how the threads are bundled, resembling a sheaf of wheat.
Stem Stitch and Stem Stitch Filling
How to work the stem stitch and variations of the stem stitch. This common embroidery stitch is used in surface embroidery as well as many other embroidery types.
Straight Stitch - Basic
Straight Stitch is a simple embroidery stitch created using a straight, long stitch individually or in patterns. This popular surface embroidery stitch can be worked on any type of embroidery fabric. Using straight stitches arranged in groups you can makes leaves and flowers or geometric designs. Premark the fabric, or work the stitch freestyle,...
Straight Stitch - Counted
The Counted Straight Stitch a simple embroidery stitch created using a straight, long stitch individually or in patterns covering a designated number of threads in the embroidery fabric. This stitch is common in counted thread embroidery projects including hardanger and drawn thread embroidery. It is worked siimilarly to a basic satin stitch.