Needlework tips and techniques - stitch by stitch

How to use this needlework site

A strawberry worked in lazy daisy stitch

Are you hooked on needlework? Keen to learn more? Or an absolute beginner? 

Whether you are hoping to master basic embroidery stitches or create an heirloom, I am delighted to help by offering  tutorials, videos, inspiring ideas, and downloadable projects.

If you are new to embroidery you may choose to start by reading the equipment section to learn about the threads, hoops, needles, fabrics and other items you may need.

Another great jumping off point is the stitch index which covers a wide variety of stitches with instructions and step by step photos. If you learn better by watching my stitching videos may serve you well. 

If you prefer to jump in and try a project straight away, hop over to the free tutorial list.

If you already have some experience, you may like to browse the patterns in my shop.

I hope you love learning different needlework techniques and have fun doing so. 

A relaxing hobby whatever your age, stitching allows you to decorate your home, embellish your clothes and make unique gifts.

Begin simple and develop your skills and knowledge. You may discover one form of embroidery suits you better than another, so try out a variety, before deciding on your favorites.

In my navigation bar at the top of the page I have sorted the techniques into  counted thread and freestyle embroidery. Read on to learn about the difference.

Where is the design?

How do you know where to place your stitches? 

You have two main options here...

  1. An outline, either already on the fabric or in transfer form
  2. A pattern plotted out on squared paper (counted thread)

Which method you prefer is a personal thing, but let's look at the advantages of both.

Transferred designs

Redwork embroidery worked from a transfer

Printed outlines are actual size. There is no guesswork involved. You can place a transfer on a pocket and know it will fit at a glance. Many patterns presented in this manner also have an instruction sheet telling you which stitch to work in which area. The outline defines the size of each element, such as a leaf or eye, so you know the finished piece will be in proportion. 

You are at liberty to be more creative and choose your own stitches to fill each area. This site contains a large library of different stitches.

But what if you buy a kit and the fabric is blank? Where on earth do you start? 

Counted thread

We work these designs from charts plotted on squared paper. Symbols on the chart represent each stitch. The lines of the graph show the threads of the fabric, with the center of the design marked. Fold your fabric both ways to find the center and that is where you start to stich. 

Evenly sized stitches result from stitching over a set number of fabric threads. If you want the design to be smaller overall, you choose a more closely woven fabric.

Cross stitch on 14 count Aida and 40 count silk gauze

Counted techniques

Clicking on the images or links below will take you to the main page for each needlework technique. There you will find further links for more detailed information and projects you can try yourself. You can also go straight to my store where you can buy patterns.

Surface Embroidery Techniques

There is no counting involved in the next group of techniques. Investigate any you are not familiar with by clicking either the images or links..

Scroll below to see reader's comments
Return to top of page  

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.