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3 ways to enhance your embroidery

enhance your embroidery

One of my favorite things about embroidery is that it is simple, and easy to learn. I also love that it is complex, and takes ages to master (if that's even possible!). But if you're like me, you're somewhere in the middle of that, or are just about ready to head towards the middle of that.

Today I have a few easy ways to enhance your embroidery. These ideas are good for giving your work a boost, and keeping you learning and trying new things in your work. And the best part is, these apply to stitchers of all levels!

Not-So-Square Meals

Try a new or different stitch. I rarely use the stem stitch or the chain stitch in my work, but sometimes I look for ways to use them because they're different. This is also a good opportunity for me to get better at those stitches. See the yarn up top? Chain stitch that really made this pattern stand out to me. The Sweet Otter? He's got plenty of stem stitch, and it came out nice and smooth (like an otter!).

And those are just some basic stitches that I started adding in. There are hundreds and hundreds of stitches you can learn, but start with just one. You'll find that adding in something new can make a huge difference!

Frustrated Fruitcake
watermelon brooch

Fill in an area. I love the simplicity of just lines, but sometimes, filling things in is just what is needed to make something special. There are lots of different fill stitches you can work with, but that's not the only way to fill in an area! You can use crayon tinting, or even acrylic paint (color or paint first...then stitch!), or applique using a variety of materials.

YIP2010 - 326
stitching without a pattern

Stitch without a pattern. Given the number of embroidery patterns I've made over the years, it should be no surprise that I love patterns, but sometimes stitching freehand can get you creating things you never imagined! I love using this technique with children, because they are good at just jumping in, but it's a good practice for adults too. See where they thread leads you as you make random shapes, lines and designs!

This is also fun when you combine it with a pattern. For example, stitch a small pattern in a hoop, then add all kinds of free hand embellishment around it. Think of it as the embroidery equivalent of drawing and doodling in the margins.

Try one of these ideas, and watch your embroidery grow!


  1. Thanks for the insparation!

  2. Brilliant suggestions (as always!) xoxo

  3. Ouu man, this makes me want to get embroidering again! I did it for a final ISU assignment in grade 11, mixing layered fabrics and embroidery, and it was something my grandmother did a lot too, definitely inspired to try it out again!


  4. These are all great suggestions! I love your tutorials! I want to try that freehand more often now. I bet it's so fun!
    oh and is that otter one of your patterns? He's beautiful!

  5. I needed this today!! Thanks!! I am still trying to get the french knot down, which I am going to just create my own version, and the stem stitch is one I also need practice with!! I appreciate the suggestions!! I should give a try at freehand, it sounds fun!! Have a great day!! xo Heather

  6. Good ideas, even if one's been embroidering for years! Your otter is really cute. (Is it possible for an otter not to be cute?) I like your freestyle too. I like the simplicity of it. Most of my work is more encrusted.

  7. Your pictures, and embroidery, are beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. thanks for sharing these. You make the cutest little things :)


  9. Great ideas! Now I just have to practice the basics. Takes time....

  10. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject, I enjoyed reading it.
    I have mainly been a knitter for many years, but I am venturing into embroidery and have come up with a few small projects of my own, but still have allot to learn but it is so much fun.

  11. Thanks for the tips! Your embroidery ideas are always inspiring, especially for a newbie like myself :)

  12. All of these look so cute! Time to break out the floss stash :)

  13. love all this stitch work! well done!
    enjoyed looking through your blog & etsy shop too...great job!


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