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I learned how to embroider a straight stitch, now what?

how to

 Getting Started

If you have just now decided to learn how to embroider, congratulations! You are never too old to start, it's not like learning a foreign language, or as involved as buying a ton of materials. Even the first stitch I am going to teach you is simple, let's get started!

I haven't been embroidering my whole life, but after stitching almost every day for the last 5 years, I think I've learned a few tricks and techniques.

If you are like me, and are learning as a grown up, maybe you have a little less patience and want to get to the point. Yes, you do have to learn a few stitches if you want to embroider, but memorizing the stitches is only the tip of the iceberg. How do you decide which stitches to use where? That's where the real magic happens. 

Everyone's embroidery style is different, but embroidery is about using thread to create textures within the composition. As your embroidery evolves, choosing stitches will become more natural, but until then, stick with me and I'll point out some helpful tips as we go. 

The Straight Stitch

The Straight Stitch. Aptly named, simple, to the point. It looks like a grain of rice, but is the first step in your embroidery journey. 

Straight stitch tutorial by wrenbirdarts

Always start from the backside, or your knot will show. When you have multiple straight stitches in a line, it becomes a running stitch. But don't get hung up on the names of stitches, because depending upon who is doing the stitching, there are slightly different names for the same stitch. Here are a couple of easy ways to combine straight stitches to make something else.

Embroidery Compositions Using the Straight Stitch

An "X" and a star.  These are both great filler stitches. Now, I'll share some photos of how I use straight stitches in some of my art. Like those little stars made of up 3 straight stitches above, I like to use the very same simple star stitches for a night sky. 

night sky by wrenbirdarts

Speaking of the sky, straight stitches are great for creating a sky with different hues. 

Pink and grey contemporary landscape embroidery

Or to emphasize flight, like I used here in my "Birds" embroidery pattern. 

Birds embroidery pattern by wrenbirdarts

Or to show vibes, like these stitches radiating out from the cat's paw. 

Seeing Eye Cat Paw by wrenbirdarts

Here's one from my shop. Look at the cactus, the detail is just tiny straight stitches!

Or, make tiny straight stitches going in different directions as more of a fill stitch. 

embroidered sardine by wrenbirdarts

Now that you've learn the straight stitch, and how it applies to actual embroidery, are you ready for more? Sign up to receive blog posts as soon as they are published, and receive a printable stitch cheat sheet.


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And if want to see more of my stitchery, follow me on Instagram @wrenbirdarts. Or join the Facebook group for even more embroidery discussion: --> "after work embroidery club"

What materials do you need to start embroidering?

Click here for a blog post that describes everything you'll need to start embroidering





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