Introduction to Hand Embroidery - Lesson Two

Kawaii Rainbow Cloud Tutorial

Lesson two will focus on four slightly more advanced stitches mostly used for adding decorative details to your work.  They include the Satin Stitch, Lazy Daisy, French Knot, Woven Wheel and Bead work.

This project will recap the stitches learned in Lesson One (Straight Stitch, Running Stitch and Back Stitch) and will give you another chance to practice these basic stitches  before moving on to the decorative stitches.  Here's the link to the first lesson if you missed it:

Materials Needed

Embroidery thread

Embroidery hoop – I prefer a hoop with an inside diameter of about 5 inches, but it’s totally up to you

Fabric – for this project I've used linen, but quilters’ cotton or muslin work well too.  Choose a fabric with a medium weave as it's less likely that the needle will leave noticeable holes in the fabric. 

Your fabric should be large enough to fit within the hoop with at least a half inch to an inch of excess fabric around the edges.  For example, for my 5 inch hoop, I’d cut a piece of fabric that measures about 7 x 7 inches squared.

Needle – use one that you feel comfortable with

Disappearing ink marker or HB pencil

Sticky tape and scissors

Optional: Seed Beads and a beading needle

Let's get started!

Download the Stitch Sampler Tutorial and print onto regular printer paper.

Cut around the outer edge of larger square and tape the printed design onto a window so that the light is reflected from behind the paper.  Alternately, tape the printed template onto a light box so that the light is reflected from behind.

Please save the Stitch Key at the bottom of the page for referencing stitches.

Now tape your fabric square over the template, making sure to position the fabric over the design so that it’s evenly centered on your fabric .

Use your HB pencil or disappearing ink marker to trace the design onto the fabric.

Lay fabric over the inner hoop of the embroidery frame, centering design in the middle, then fit the outer ring over the top and wind screw to tighten the frame.

Please note:  I've mostly used doubled thread for this project, except while doing the Woven Wheel which uses four strands and the French Knots which require one strand for each knot.

Begin by outlining the cloud in Back Stitch using a doubled threaded needle.  Next, working in alternating rows of Running Stitch and Back Stitch, stitch the outlines for the rainbow beginning from the smallest arch and working outwards towards the largest one.

Outline the eyes, nose and outer cheeks with Stem Stitch.  Use Straight Stitches to sew the eyelashes and brows.

Outline the mouth with Back Stitch.

You're now ready to move on to the Decorative Stitches!

Satin Stitch is used to fill in the cheeks.

Mostly used to fill in any area, Satin Stitch is sort of like colouring within the outline.  Though the technique is simple, it is helpful to practice it a few times to achieve perfect results.  Basic Satin Stitch is made by working Straight Stitches very close together in parallel lines.

Lazy Daisy Stitch - Leaves and Flowers

Also called Detached Chain Stitch, it's an isolated stitch usually worked around in a circle to create the look of flower petals.  Used as a single stitch, it can create the look of leaves:

Woven Wheel Stitch - Rose

This stitch is also known as Spider Stitch and it's a beautiful easy-to-embroider stitch which can be used to create pretty roses

The base of the stitch is basically a five-spoked star:

Once the spoked star has been created, you'll create the 'rose' petals by weaving your thread over and under the spokes in a clockwise direction till you've reached the very tips of the spokes:

French Knot - Freckles

A French Knot produces a small tight know that works well for creating a slightly raised stitch to add dimension to your work.

They're perfect for creating freckles on dolls or for adding dots of colour to the center of flowers, etc.

Bring the needle up through the back of the fabric.  Wrap the thread around the needle two or three times, then, while holding the thread firmly, insert the needle down into the fabric very near to where you first brought it up.

Hold onto the thread firmly a you slide the needle out through the back of the fabric.

I prefer to use one strand of thread for making freckles as they may appear too bulky otherwise:

Beaded Embroidery

Add a dash of pretty to your projects by stitching on a few tiny seed beads.

Use your disappearing ink marker to mark dots in the areas you'd like to accentuate, then insert a beading needle up through the back of the fabric and out through the dot at the front.

Slide the bead onto the needle and then insert the needle back down into the fabric so that there's enough room for the bead to lay flat against the fabric.  Secure the bead in place by stitching it down twice.

I hope you'll enjoy stitching this sweet little project!  Remember, be patient with yourself, each stitch looks better when sewn with a little care and thought to how it will look after it's been sewn.  Practice makes perfect!💕


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  2. This is adorable! I can’t wait to stitch it. I’m pretty confident with the stitches used, except for those French knots 😂 But I think your directions will really help

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