Home

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Revisited ....the STEM STITCH


If you are not familiar with Mary Corbett...
this is sweet reminder to check her OUT.....

I have been stitching a lot lately...as See you in September
is right around the corner...Shari is cheering us on this one....
I thought I would remind us all to keep stitching...

I have been stitching STEM STITCHES...
and I LOVE PRESENCIA threads now owned and sold through 
COLONIAL NEEDLE....
( their link is on our side bar)

IT was Mary's post and tut that got me into stem stitches...
move over straight, back stitches...LOVE YA STEM! 

This post is from Mary....

I have a confession to make. I'm not a quilter.

So why, you may be wondering, am I writing an article for a website devoted to quilting? And that's a very good question!

The answer's pretty simple: I'd like to encourage you to add a touch of embroidery to your quilts! Oh, no, not to every quilt, but some quilts are perfectly suited to embroidered highlights, and in the scheme of things, embroidery on a quilt is a new trend...At least according to the latest polls Madame Samm has shared with me.

I would like to add some tutorials here for you, to all those who are interested in the basics. Mdm Samm thought this would be a great start. And I agree with her, so here you are.


If you are to learn one stitch, this is one that you will use more than any other !
Backstitch a close second!

Stem Stitch is my favorite hand embroidery stitch, because it is so versatile and so attractive. The poor stem stitch doesn’t get the attention it is due, in my opinion – most folks tend to stitch lines today using backstitch, running stitch, and chain stitch, more than they do with stem stitch. But stem stitch makes a beautiful line stitch! Hopefully, the how-to video here will help you learn or perfect your stem stitch, and maybe you’ll end up loving it, too!




You can see that the stem stitch makes a rope-like line. How heavy the rope is depends upon the thread you use. Stem stitch can be very delicate, and can be used on the most delicate embroidery pieces. Or it can be bold!


Stem stitch also takes curves really well – so vines, curly-q’s, little circles and so forth are a breeze with stem stitch.




And finally, stem stitch can be used to fill an area, by working rows of stem stitch close together. The shading on the leaf above is achieved by switching out different shades of green as the leaf was filled in.
If you want to read about the stem stitch in addition to watching the video tutorial, please check out the Basic Embroidery Stitch Index, where you will find stem stitch under the Line Stitches.
A Note Concerning Threads and Hands
Threads: For the stem stitch to produce the rope-like results in the photos above, if you’re following the method described in the video below (stitching left to right, and keeping the working thread below the needle), the thread you use should be an S-twisted thread. When threads are made, they are either S-twisted or Z-twisted. Cottons – such as DMC, Anchor, and other embroidery flosses, perle cottons, and so forth – are S-twisted threads. Most commonly used silks are S-twisted threads, but some are Z-twisted (for example, Trebizond, Soie de Paris, and The Silk Mill threads are all Z-twisted). Rayon flosses used in Brazilian Embroidery are Z-twisted. So what does this all mean for the stitch itself? It means that, to achieve the nice rope-like look of stem stitch, you would actually stitch with the thread above the needle, when traveling from left to right. But never fear! As complex as this sounds, most commonly used embroidery flosses are S-twisted, so in all likelihood, if you’re a beginner, you’re using an S-twisted thread, and the instructions in the video are exactly what you should follow.
Hands: If you are left-handed, go ahead and watch the video – you will see that if you use the stab method, you can stitch the stem stitch just like a right-handed person does, and if you want to use the sewing method, just follow the directions for stitching the top line on the rectangle in the video (from left to right, with the thread above the needle).
Here’s the video:





Some further tips on stem stitch can be found here:
For more video tutorials, please visit my whole collection ofHow-To Hand Embroider Videos here on Needle ‘n Thread!
Love to return with another video for you,
Thank you Madame Samm and all of you soon- to- be- stitchers.
I look forward to seeing your stitching!

Editors note: Mary Colbert has been stitching for years- since she
was 10 years old in fact. Who other than Mary would be an ideal teacher
for the months ahead. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to her newsletter on the top right
to her site, she will keep you in stitches.


p.s from Mdm Samm....HOW many have tried on some of your HIGH HEELS lately..?
I have a funny post coming...

115 comments:

  1. I have never done embroidery, but your stem stitch tutorial makes me want to buy some embroidery supplies and give it a try. Thank you for a great blog post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for a lovely addition to a quilter's tools. I maked your site for future reference to some new stitches to me that I would like to try. I like adding embriodery to special pieces and look forward to adding to my skills.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've watched your stem stitch tutorial several times and really appreciate it as a beginning embroiderer (sp?)... I like the thickness of the stem stitch over the back stitch when using it for outlines. Thank you so much for all of these tutorials ... definitely will be a favorite site of mine!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Mary. Love the videos. I only know a few hand embroidery stitches, yet have always wanted to learn more. I'll definitely watch all of your videos and give it a try.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love embroidery, Mary. Takes me back to when I was young. My mother taught me and I have always found it so relaxing. She was taught by two spinster ladies (this was in the later 30's to early 40's) and she can recall sitting on the steps of their old house as they taught her to stitch. :-) I love it that the art of embroidery is being found again by so many stitchers. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was wonderful. Thank you very much:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm learning to love embroidery as I'm doing the Hocuspocusville quilt pattern.

    Thanks for the link to the stitch video library. I can see it will come in handy.

    Oh and I agree a touch or two to a quilt it suits is fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great Video...I'm so visual and this helps a lot! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love, love this! I'm a huge fan of embroidery - machine, hand, and free motion. Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the tips. I love hand embroidery.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is AWESOME! I have been itching to try putting some embroidery in my quilts, but I had no idea how to do it. Now I do! Thank you thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I learned to embroidery from my mom when I was a little girl. Then went to cross stitch, to counted cross stitch, to quilting. I do embroider on small quilts, it add such a nice flavor. Nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I adore embroidery on quilts, dish towels, and pillow cases - my grandmother made so many! When I was 18, I designed and made my own quilt for my college dorm room and every other block was white with a tiny, hand-embroidered flower. This was a trip down memory lane for me! I've got to find that quilt....it's been twenty+ years since I used it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love Redwork and I have learned a lot from your post today. I think I must be doing a combination of stem and outline, so I will endeavor to perfect one or the other on my very next project. I love my embroidered blocks combined in a quilt with the pieced blocks. Judy C

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you so much for this! I really do prefer the stem stitch to the backstitch...but my stitching is far from perfect in any case. I'm heading your way to sign up!

    Thanks again!
    Dot

    ReplyDelete
  16. Stem stitch is beautiful. Thank you and I will also bookmark your blog for more tutorials.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I always use embroidery on my quilts but it's usually just to make the label. I never mess with a separate label on the quilts - I just embroider my name, date and such on the back itself. And I usually use the stem stitch just because it is so easy to curve. Thanks so much for the link to your blog. I'll be there!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I was delighted to see your post. I follow your blog and am glad that more stitchers have discovered your wonderful tutorials. I hadn't done hand embroidery for more than 30 years until I discovered your blog. Thanks to your blog, I'm back enjoying the pleasure that only hand work can bring.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Now you've gone and done it Madame Samm. I was trying to keep my embroidery life and my quilting life separate. LOL, I am already one of Mary's subscribers.

    ReplyDelete
  20. And S is for Samm, our indefatigable leader, who tenderly cares for this blog and others, for the enjoyment of all!! (And she has the most awesome instincts as to what we would like to see, and what will inspire us!!)
    This post and video is no exception - truly another way to express our creativity and craftsmanship. I haven't done these stitches in years, but I'm inspired now to incorporate them into some projects.
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. S is for sewing time... which I'd love a little of right now, if you could happen to arrange it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. S is for SUPER which is what these threads are. Stem stitch was the first stitch my nana taught me when I was probably 7 years old.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Embroidery is my favorite thing! Thanks for the chance to win those lovely threads! :0)

    ReplyDelete
  24. S is for Special. Embroidery is special to me and I love combining embroidery and quilting. Those threads to be won are special too and the colors are delicious!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. S is for Sa-weeeeeet! I love the Presencia Vinca perle cotton. Thanks for the videos, too!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the instructions. I have been doing things all wrong. Now I may like my results. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love embroidery! To me, today, S is for sunshine.

    ReplyDelete
  28. ....Spun gold! Those gorgeous gold to orange threads would look amazing on a quilt....I have one in mind....it has a lot of chocolate brown and heather grey in it. The top has been boxed, cuz I just felt it needed something....this would be it! Some beautiful embroidery stitches.....thanks for the inspiration! And the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love to combine embroidery with my quilts...but have never used this brand or size of embroidery thread. would love to give it a try.,

    ReplyDelete
  30. S is for Sooooo Helpful. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  31. this is easy [sew I sew] which is my name, has to be S for SEW. Love your tutorial on stem. sue

    ReplyDelete
  32. S is for "Silly Sally" my Mom who taught me to sew and to read. She always said if you can read you can do anything! She would have LOVED Blogs :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thank you for being our guest today. I have 3 spools of that thread but have not done anything with it. Your tutorials will be a great help. I can't get any of your videos to work.

    ReplyDelete
  34. S for stitches because that's what we do. Whether by machine or by hand stitching is fun!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you so much for all the information. Very helpful and the video's as well. I love to add a stitch to my quilts. I think it is very affective.
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  36. "S" is for super duper!! I haven't done embroidery for a long time, but have loved how people are adding it to quilting projects. I'd love to try this out as well. Thanks for having the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love doing stitches on my pieces and even saw that on another stitchery blog and thought I should do more of that. I like the thickness with the threads you used, never tried those. So, S is for Sensational threads and stitching.

    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  38. S is for Stunning! Wow, what a great resource! I have done cross stitch and am just getting into hand embroidery. Your post is very timely! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge, and thanks M. Samm for expanding our horizons! :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. S is for Such a wonderful tutorial!! I love hand embroidery. It is so relaxing to me. An added benefit...if one is doing hand embroidery, he/she can't eat (gets hands and project dirty), so it keeps me from mindless snacking!! Thank-you!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Beautiful threads! S is for Sunshine, which comes with Spring...both of which I am really looking forward to.

    ReplyDelete
  41. S is for Sitting down for the afternoon with a nice cup of tea, to embroider with these wonderful threads. Thanks for the tutorial. It is something I will definitely be referring to time and time again. I love embroidery, it is a great portable project.

    ReplyDelete
  42. S is for stem stitch. Thanks for the video. My stem stitch never looks very good. I probably need to try it again and practice. I do the back stitch. I love embroidery on quilts.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I can just see thoe beutiful yellow and orange colors in some

    S-stem
    S-stitched
    S-sunflowers

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love those threads, as you can see on my blog I also love embroidery....
    For me S is for salvia, I love this plant , there are so many different species . I have several in my garden and yes I am also a gardener......

    ReplyDelete
  45. "S" is for Sawyer, my darling grandson for whom I'd love to make a special little quilt with a touch of embroidery in it! I love embroidery -- it both fascinates and intimidates me. LOL! I do want to give a try, though. GREAT post!! (And giveaway, too!) :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Very good. Thanks for the tute. The threads are beautiful--sometimes I just buy embroidery threads because the colors are so great...but I hardly ever use them!

    ReplyDelete
  47. "S" is for Splendid.
    Embroidery would be a splendid touch to add to my quilts and pillowcases.
    Thank you for a chance at a very nice give away.

    ReplyDelete
  48. S for super-darn-duper! New embrodery ideas and threads. Loving the notion of stitchery on my quilts. I'm gonna do it!

    ReplyDelete
  49. S for "Smiling while Stitching"- you have to be happy when you are doing something you enjoy!!
    I mainly use backstitch, but I have to agree that the stem stitch looks really lovely. Thanks for the tutorial and the chance to win those lovely threads. Sandy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. S for a Super giveaway. I'd love the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I only use Presencia for my hand embroidery and I will never trade. It has a lovely sheen to it.
    I also use Presencia thread which is divine. Thank you for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  52. S is for scrumptious - which is what the colors remind me of. Thanks for the chance to win these 'scruptious threads'.

    ReplyDelete
  53. As far as I'm concerned S is foe Sensational because that's what quilts with embroidery look like. I have been doing it for years and love the look.

    ReplyDelete
  54. S is for STEM STITCH! S is for STASH MANICURE! S is for madame SAMM. S is for STITCHERY in my quilts. So far have only used DMC as a beginner so would enjoy winning the Presencia -- there is a BOM that can join that would be perfect for Presencia thread and those colors. Thanks for the giveaway. p.s. I follow stashmanicure -- look for my butterfly avatar.

    ReplyDelete
  55. S is for Spring and for Special--special knowledge helps beginning and advanced embroiderers alike. I've done some embroidery and appreciate your instructions and description of twists, because I'd love to do more. For a long time I've wanted to add embroidery to wall quilts, eSpecially to hand appliqued quilts. I've been working from an old pile of threads and will replace it all soon with new. Thanks very much.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'd say S is for Stem Stitch! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I've done stem stitch (I thought), but it is unlike yours. I'm going to try your method tonight - I think it will work much better. Thanks for sharing with us. I'm off to your blog to learn more.

    ReplyDelete
  57. S is for the sunshine in my life and for a super awesome giveaway. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to win these wonderful threads. Great colors. Judy C

    ReplyDelete
  58. I've just started using embroidery on my quilts - LOVE IT! Right now I'm working on a whimsical quilt on which I am using all hand embroidery to stitch down the fusible appliques -- it's really fun, and helps get me through those ball games I watch with my husband. Love that Presencia thread -- I've just started using it, and it is wonderful! And their customer service is beyond belief. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  59. S is for Something else to put on my gotta try list.
    thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  60. S is for Samm - the bestest blog hostess on the net !

    ReplyDelete
  61. S is for sew special. I've been wanting to try my hand at embroidery for awhile now. I have to check out the tutes. The stem stitch is beautiful. It would add sew much to special quilts. Please enter my name in the draw.

    uschbear at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. I use the stem stitch almost exclusively for the redwork I do. I love it! I even taught my aunts how to do it so they could use it, too!

    S is for SANDY of course! That's ME! :P
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sandy A

    ReplyDelete
  63. S is for super timing of this post. I'm just about to start my first embroidery project - a gift for my mom. This stitch will come in handy... and so would the threads. =)

    ReplyDelete
  64. S is for Sanders! (my lsat name)

    S is for sure hope I win - I love these colors!

    S is for sincere thanks for a chance to win :0

    Laurie - llsbaskets at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  65. S is for Stitcher! Whether quilt or embroidery.
    I am thankful this tutorial is here. Thanks for the chance to enter. dfamily864@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  66. S is for Susannah, a very sweet granddaughter. Her G'pa calls her "Bug," and she knows just how to give that playful sideways glance that will melt your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  67. How odd that I just blogged about different types of threads just yesterday. And I gave Presencia a very high rating on my blog. I haven't been able to get any but a couple of white skeins that my LQS had left over so a few more colors would be wonderful. I am off to watch the videos. Probably over and over and over again.

    Oh, S is for Spring Stitchery...what I've been designing today!

    ReplyDelete
  68. This is the first stitch I learned as a young girl. But I think I need to practice it again because mine never looks that perfect. S is for Saturday and Sunday! Weekend stitching time.

    ReplyDelete
  69. What a great post - loved seeing your stitches up close. I've been an embroiderer for a very long time and love Presencia threads. :) blessings, marlene

    ReplyDelete
  70. S for stitching!.. or Sandie! :-) I love to embroider and have referred new stitcher's to Mary's site many times! Thanks for the chance to win those gorgeous threads!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Oh my gosh! I have been dying to try Presencia threads! They are so rich and beautiful - Just might have to add a lot more embroidery to my quilts!
    Thanks for the sponsors and the chance at the drawing!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I am learning to applique and embroidery would add a lot of details to my blocks.

    ReplyDelete
  73. S is for SIZZLING! What hot colors for Spring...I love them. :)

    ReplyDelete
  74. S is for singing, which is something I cannot do, and S is for stitching which is something I can do, and S is for sensational which is what this giveaway is!

    ReplyDelete
  75. S is for sensational! Love those thread colors!
    I add embroidery to my quilts....applique ones mostly....and love the look of it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  76. Well, you changed things since the we hours this morning! What pretties all in a SSSSSpringy color - yellow is my April color.

    ReplyDelete
  77. S is for SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS !!

    ReplyDelete
  78. The threads looks so pretty and fun.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I forgot to tell you that S is for stitching in the spring on a splendid day!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Love the tutorial. I had seen things done with the stem stitch and didn't have a clue. I need to pull out a stamped towel and get to work! Of course some thread would be really helpful. :)

    S is for simplify.

    ReplyDelete
  81. S- Sobervios y Sublimes
    Thanks for the chance to win those spectacular threads!

    ReplyDelete
  82. "S" for Spring, Stem Stitch, Sewing and...Sheryl! (me). Actually, my really-truly-I-kid-you-not initials are: SEW. Yep!

    This was a great post with LOTS of useful info. Loved the stitch close-ups. Thank you, Mary! (And Madame Samm!)

    ReplyDelete
  83. I used to embroider a lot and have just gotten back to it. Great tutorial and gorgeous thread!! S is for Stupendous Sewing Saturday! Yippee!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Haven't done this in a long time, but you make me want to start again. S is for simply wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  85. S is for "super smart Samm" and Mary for showing us how to ex - spand our stitching savvy:) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  86. S is for simple. I love the simple beauty of embroidery. The color + flow is grace on fabric. Thanks for the giveaway.
    janet
    jchlangley@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  87. Thank you so much for this post! I have just started an embroidery project and can really use these tutorials so I do it right! I will be spending some time at Needle n' Thread.

    ReplyDelete
  88. S is for serendipity - after days of being withough internet, I finally get to visit your site, and there are these beautiful threads in the colours of Spring! Thanks for the tutorials.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Thanks for the videos. I'm just starting to add embroidery to my quilt blocks and this instruction will be a big help.

    ReplyDelete
  90. S for simply sumptuous! :) Mmmm, yellow :) (drool! lol)

    ReplyDelete
  91. S is for Super Stitching! Thank you for the tutorial, and the oppoturnity to win the threads. I love stitching just a little more than quilting, but mostly when the two are combined.

    ReplyDelete
  92. S is for STUPENDOUS! I love stitching so much and pick my quilting patterns because it has stitching. But I've never been able to do a stem stitch until now. That video was wonderful. Thank you thank you thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I love embroidery! I've used simple embroidery stitches as part of my quilting on some quilts. I love to quilt and embroider so I figured why not?

    S is for silliness :)

    ReplyDelete
  94. S is for sleep -- never enough around here. Thanks for the tutorials. I do love embroidery but am not stellar at it.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I LOVE the photos in this blog post (and the information too), so stunning and eye catching, they just make me want to stitch on every scrap of fabric I own!
    S is for ...selfish...I so want those threads lol!

    ReplyDelete
  96. Those are pretty threads, and I had never considered -learning- how to embroider just always thought... "I can't do that"
    S is for Stupid and Scared. :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. S is for the Subtle color changes of thread. Just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I learned embroidery in 8th grade Home Ec. I have just begun to practice my stitches in preparation for adding them to more quilting projects. I LOVE handwork so your tutorials will be very helpful to me. I need some refreshing of my memory of how to stitch some of these stitches. Thanks for the wonderful post!
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane

    ReplyDelete
  99. Thanks for a great post. I only have just started doing embroidery.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Mary, I am catching up on some blog reading. Nice surprise for me to see you here!

    ReplyDelete
  101. S is for spring stitching with a beautiful stem stitch! Thanks, your tutorial is just what I needed.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Really impressive. I'm always inspired my embroidery but feel that I may lack the patience to apply myself properly. I love your colour combinations.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Lovely stitching! High heels? Ha, haven't worn them in years...used to love 4" heels though...but I've since traded them in for a very well worn pair of crocs!

    ReplyDelete
  104. Mary's blog is amazing with all her sharing of stitches and beautiful projects. As for High Heels...Not for these feet and back any longer. I might still have a few pair in my dressing room...just for memories. Looking forward to your post. Creative Stem Stitching Bliss...

    ReplyDelete
  105. Thanks for this great post! I really love stitching and its great to learn another handy stitch.
    High heels? Sadly I can't wear them but this summer's sandaletts had a little heel, lol!

    ReplyDelete
  106. I Love Mary's Blog and started following her about a month ago. I Love this stitch too, it's such a pretty stitch. Ok, Heels, I Love them, and where them several times a week....when I dress up to go out of the house. I am really getting anxious to see what you have been working on.....sew many lovely hints dropped lately ;)

    Huggs, Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  107. Great tips and tutorial! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  108. I have subscribed to Mary's posts for several years now and refer to her often. She has a LOT of great information on her blog. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  109. The stem stitch was the first stitch I was taught when my mother taught me to embroidery when I was little.

    ReplyDelete

You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...