Embroidering letters and text are a great way to make a personalized gift, and the stem stitch and split stitch are two embroidery stitches that are perfect for this. The stem stitch (as its name indicates) is perfect for flower stems and any line work that is delicate and scrolling. Stem stitch often looks like a rope that’s twisting. Similarly, the split stitch can be used to great effect for embroidering letters and floral elements. Stem stitch gives more of a braided effect. These two stitches are really easy to learn, and you can create any design you like. This tutorial comes with a free pattern (pictured below), and if you’re not already a Peacock Lounge member, you can sign up for free and access all the exclusive free embroidery and cross stitch patterns. In the video you’ll also see a variation on this pattern with some added stitches and colours.
Fabrics used: Ballina linen for the blue/green sample, Normandie linen for the green sample (both from Zweigart)
Embroidering letters with stem stitch and split stitch
Tips for embroidering letters and lines
- With the stem stitch, try and keep the “loop” on the outside of curves (if the curve is coming towards you, have the loop coming towards you too). It will help the stitch curve better.
- Shorten your stitch length for tight curves
- For thicker sections of line (like calligraphic text), stitch in exactly the same way, but travel back along the thicker line sections and cover the line with rows of your chosen stitch
- It’s easier to do a split stitch from the top (coming back like you would with backstitch), but this will leave a hole in the top of your stitches
- Experiment with the number of strands you use, more strands will mean more texture