Simple stitches – A Guide from Kathy Troup – Editor of Stitch Magazine
Stitch Magazine includes up to 12 projects per issue, some shorter, some take a little longer. The projects on offer in issues of Stitch cater for all – whether you are starting out or developing your skills. Each issue contains a guide to all the stitches needed to complete the projects on offer. To see more about Stitch magazine click here.
Running Stitch (6.29 or 6.28)
Pass the needle in and out of the fabric, making the surface stitches of equal length. The stitches on the underside should also be of equal length, but they may be half the size or less than the upper stitches.
Back Stitch (1.5)
Bring the thread through on the stitch line and then take a small backward stitch through the fabric. Bring the needle through again a little in front of the first stitch, take another stitch, inserting the needle at the point where it first came through.
Chain Stitch (2.1 or 2.2)
Bring the thread up at the top of the line and hold it down with the left thumb. Insert the needle where it last emerged and bring the point out a short distance away. Pull the thread through, keeping the working thread under the needle point.
Detached Chain Stitch (also known as Lazy Daisy stitch) (5.11)
Bring the thread through at A and, holding the thread down with the thumb, insert the needle again just a single thread away. Still holding the thread, bring the needle through at B. Pull the thread through gently to form a small loop, then insert the needle at C to form a small tying stitch over the loop.
Blanket Stitch (1.15)
Bring the thread out on the lower line, insert the needle in position in the upper line and take a straight downward stitch, keeping the working thread under the point of the needle. Pull up the stitch to form a loop and repeat. This stitch can also be worked in a circle, as shown.
Lay down the cord or braid to be couched and with another thread catch it down with small, evenly spaced, stitches worked at right angles over the top.
Cross stitch (2.12)
Bring the needle through on the lower right and take it through to the back 2 threads up and 2 threads to the left, bringing it through to the front again 2 threads down, to form a half cross. Continue in this way to the end of the row, then complete the upper section of the cross as shown.
Cross stitch can be worked from right to left, as shown, or from left to right, but it is important that the upper half of each cross lies in the same direction.
If working on aida fabric, the stitches are worked over a single ‘block’ of the fabric.
Fly Stitch (3.23)
This stitch can be worked singly, in rows or as a filling stitch.
Bring the thread through at the top left, hold it down with the left thumb and insert the needle to the right on the same level, a little distance from where the thread first emerged. Take a small stitch downwards to the centre with the thread below the needle. Pull through and insert the needle below the thread, as shown, to hold it in place, bringing the needle up again in position to work the next stitch. For an open fly stitch filling work as in fig 2, or place the stitches closer together with a short tying stitch for a closed fly stitch filling.
French Knots (4.3 -1 twist)
Bring the thread out at the required position. Keep the thread taut, holding it firmly about 4cms from where it emerges. Encircle the thread just once with the needle and, still holding the thread firmly, twist the needle back to the starting point, inserting it close to where the thread first emerged (not in the exact place or it will simply pull back through). Pull the taut thread so that the knot slides down the needle until it is touching the fabric. Pull the needle through to the back, leaving a small knot on the surface, as shown.
To make a bigger French knot, use a thicker thread or wrap the thread around the needle two or three times.
Satin Stitch (7.1)
Work straight stitches closely together across the shape, as shown. Take care to keep the edge even, and if you are following an outline marked on the fabric, take your stitches to the outside of the line so that the marked line does not show. To give a good edge, stem, back or chain stitch can be worked around the outline; stitches should be taken over the stitched outline.
Satin Stitch (6.30)
On canvas or an evenweave fabric, such as linen, work straight stitches so that they lie side by side. The number of threads over which the stitches are worked may vary depending on the effect desired.
Tent Stitch (7.26)
A small stitch worked over 1 diagonal intersection of the canvas, as shown. The stitches on the reverse are longer and slope more than those on the upper surface.