01 January 2010

straight stitch

I was wrong when I said that stem and outline stitch are the most common stitches. The straight stitch is even more basic. It can be stitched in any direction and any length and it forms the basis for many other stitches. This stitch is so easy that I almost don't need to show pictures, but I will anyway.

Bring your threaded needle to the front.

straight stitch 1

Take the needle to the back at the end of the stitch and come up at the beginning of the next one.

straight stitch 2

Pull the thread through making sure you don't twist the thread. You want it to lay flat and, oops, don't look too closely at my example because I didn't do this. At your last stitch keep your thread at the back and weave it under your previous stitches. Easy peasy.

straight stitch 3

Used alone, this stitch is great for detailing—like in these individual pine needles

straight stitch 4

For animal fur (and as the basis for those yellow cross stitches)

straight stitch 7

Combined with outline stitch for shading in leaves and flowers

straight stitch 5

Here's another flower, and you’ll notice that the sepal is also done in straight stitch but with densely packed together threads. This is called satin stitch.

straight stitch 6

When I work straight stitch I often use more strands of floss than I would for a stem or outline stitch. Those stitches become thick because of the braiding and overlapping of the threads and you don't get that with straight stitch. I've found that four strands is about right for most things.

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