6 of my favourite FILLING STITCHES in Embroidery

filling stitchesHand embroidery is a wonderful thing. Simple one dimensional outlines drawn on fabric are filled with some colourful threads and you have a  beautiful work of art that delights and rejuvenates your mind and comes alive in different dimensions. Most of the stitches in hand embroidery can be used to fill these design outlines. Even the stitches used to give outline to the designs can fill embroidery designs . But most of us have favourites – like for whatever it is in life. These are my favourite filling stitches

1 Satin stitch

filling stitch satin stitch

This stitch is what comes to my mind  the first time any design outline has to be filled – the satin stitch.

Smooth as satin – the stitch sounds easy but this is also the most difficult stitch to fill outlines, especially If you are particular about the outline of the stitch and the even stitches.To get all the satin stitches starting and ending in the same outline and also to get all the stitches lying even and very smooth is a bit difficult and needs careful attention ( a good eyesight) .

If you have a design which is more than1/2 inch wide this stitch is better avoided because bigger areas are difficult to be adequately and evenly covered by satin stitches

A slanting satin stitch and padded satin stitch are also favourite filling stitches . A different effect can be given by making satin stitches and weaving through the thread ( as in laid work)

2 Chain stitch

filling stitch chain stitch

Chain stitch is a very versatile stitch. There are about 10+ variations to chain stitch and as such can be used as an outline stitch and a filling stitch. You will have to thread your needle with all the 6 strands of the embroidery thread and make small chain stitch line starting from the outline and then filling the whole design

3 Long and short stitch

filling stitch long and short

This stitch goes without saying is the favourite filling stitch of most. Long and short stitches are the best filling stitches when you have a big design area to fill. Another advantage of this stitch is that it is quite forgiving. you can go back and fill the designs even after you have finished the work – if you see that some area is not completely filled.

needle painting

Needle painting ( which is a technique of filling the whole design with many different coloured thread like strokes of a paint brush blending colours ) can be used to fill designs in the most brilliant and realistic way.

4 Blanket stitch

filling stitches buttonhole stitch

Another beautiful stitch which can look as pretty and smooth as satin stitch when used to full designs. The advantage of blanket stitch is that it gives you an outline on one side which can make the design stand out. You can make this stitch as close as you want to  – which can almost mimic the look of satin stitches

5 French knot filling

filling stitch french knot

French knots can give  a three dimensional look to the design. You will have to make several french knots and cover the whole area with small french knots.

It looks difficult but for some this is the most easy filling stitch because one single french knot can cover  some area. The texture of french knot is  beautiful. You can give an outline stitch with split stitch or stem stitch before filling the design  with french knots. Other knot stitches like  bullion knot stitch can also be used to fill design s depending on the effect you are looking for 

6 Cross stitch

filling stitch cross stitch

Cross stitch is a  favourite embroidery stitch for many and it can fill embroidery designs quite satisfactorily. The effect of  cross stitch filled design is something different from the other filling stitches

Maybe you have your own favourites which are different from these. Hope you will mention these in the comments.

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Comments 4

  1. Your website is filled with so much inspiration and help. Thank you for all the work you put into making this such an inviting place to visit.

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