Creative Embroidery Using the Seed Stitch

No matter how fancy your current sewing machine, no matter whether you make tiny quilts or wall-sized ones, chances are, your first experience with needle and thread was hand sewing.

hand sewing seed stitch gerrie congdon
In Gerrie Congdon’s piece ‘Fiesta,’ featured in the Feb./March 2015 issue of
Quilting Arts Magazine, she uses the seed stitch to create lines, movement, and texture.

Whether you still hand sew or you would like to do more hand sewing–or both–I’m sure you will love a new series we will be running in Quilting Arts Magazine next year. Beginning with the February/March 2015 issue, Jane Dávila will explore a variety of machine and hand stitches and stitching techniques. She will also give you ideas to consider about where, when, and how to deploy these stitches for outstanding results.

“Stitch and the paths that are created when the thread travels across the surface are powerful tools in a fiber artist’s toolbox,” writes Jane. “Through them we have the ability to direct a viewer’s eye, to create a compelling focal point, to draw attention toward or deflect attention from a particular element or space on a piece, and to create a texture that is at once visual and physical, that can be seen and felt.”

First up is the seed stitch, the simplest and most versatile of hand embroidery stitches.

1. Starting on the back of a piece, either bury the tail of the thread between the layers of fabric or use a small knot to secure the end.

2. Come up through the front of the piece.

3. Take a small stitch and repeat.

4. Finish by taking a backstitch on the reverse of the piece, tying a knot, or weaving the thread end between the layers of the front and back to hide it.

hand embroidery seed stitch
Hand sewing the seed stitch couldn’t be easier.

Here are some of Jane’s tips for using the seed stitch in your artwork:

• Change the length of the seed stitches as you approach a focal point to create a sense of depth or perspective.

• Vary the value of the colors of threads used for an ombré effect.

• Arrange all of the stitches in the same direction for a strong path of movement

• Draw attention to a focal point by changing the thread color to a deeper, more saturated color as you near the area

You won’t want to miss this series, and all the other informative and artistic articles from top art quilters in 2015. Now is the perfect time to subscribe to Quilting Arts or sign up a friend.

P.S. How do you use the seed stitch? Leave your comment below.

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Hand Embroidery, Machine Embroidery, Quilting Daily Blog, Tools, Supplies & Resources

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