Embroidery letting can be broken up into two categories. First, is lettering made with a single line of stitching. Second, is lettering that has a space to fill in with stitches. In this post I’m going to share the best fill stitches for embroidery letters.
I like to think of satin stitch like drawing with a marker in a coloring book. You try to stay inside the lines and you can see which way your strokes go. It’s the same with stain stitch. You stay within the lines and need to pay attention to which way your stitches go. Satin stitch is great for big block lettering. It is less successful filling in thinner areas.
Brick stitch is just a fancy name for lines of backstitch made close together. The “brick” part comes in how you make the stitches. Each line of stitching is offset from the previous. This makes the stitches look like little bricks stacked on top of each other. Brick stitch is most successful with a full strand of floss, and works in well in thin and large spaces. It is the best choice of solid color fill, with a smooth all over texture.
Long and short is a great blending fill stitch for embroidery letters. When you want to fill a shape with more than one color, let’s say to make an ombre effect, long and short is the perfect stitch. Long and short is similar to brick stitch, in that each stitch is off set from the rest. This means that there are on defined lines between color changes. This helps the colors blend together for a seamless finish.
Bullion knots are a fun way to add texture to your shape. Depending on the thickness of your floss, you can either make bulky knots that take up extra space, while adding height. Or you can make thin delicate knots that lay tight to the fabric, giving a kind of beaded look. Bullion knots can be a bit tricky to master, but are well worth the effort.
I love French knots. They are one of my top 3 favorite stitches to make. Consequently, I have used them in as many ways as possible. Using them to fill a space adds a bit variety to your hoop. Most embroidery stitches have a very linear appearance. French knots break that mold and add a round dot like texture. You can make big, thick knots that stand up off the fabric, or you can make small knots that sit close to the fabric. Both add a unique texture that you don’t find in other stitches.
The puff stitch is something of my own creation. It falls somewhere between a formal stitch and a stitching method. Resulting in a shape filled with puffy intersecting lines of stitching. This allows the stitching to pop off the fabric, giving the shapes an almost ballon like texture. Thought this stitch probably isn’t for everyone, I love the texture it creates.
While it not technically a stitch, it does offer an interesting approach to filling in a shape. Till now, all the stitches have talked about, fill in the entire shape. Using a pattern top fill in the shape allows you to play with negative space. This means you can give special importance to certain letters or words by how much to fill them in or by the type of pattern you fill it with. In the example below, the “M” is filled with a simple stripe. From a distance these letters fill mostly solid. Then as you get closer, you begin to see more definition of the colors and it adds and extra layer of interest to the hoop. The yellow letters are filled with flowers and dots. This, combine with the tone on tone color scheme, makes the letters fill playful and happy.
All of the examples in this post come from my work. All but one (long and short stitch) appear in my patterns. Click on the links below to find the patterns in my shop. If you are new to stitching, don’t worry. All of my patterns teach you each stitch step by step. Let me teach you how to make amazing lettering.
Alphabet Love Pattern – has 11 different ways to stitch or fill in letters.
You Are My Sunshine – is a beautiful monochromatic hoop with a pattern fill on the ltters.
Mama, You Got This – has lettering on the simpler side with a couple follower to finish it off.
Everything’s Fine – “I’m fine. It’s find. Everything’s fine.” The last couple years in a nut shell. COMING SOON!