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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • •
Time
25 mins

Use chain stitch to embroider words and messages
Chain stitch is a great basic embroidery stitch which you can use to work letters to spell out names, words, special messages... and more. You can use it to make stand-alone art to frame. Or use it on panels to incorporate into textile projects such as pillows and even clothes. Remember to choose a sturdy fabric like linen or reasonably heavyweight cotton. You can use an embroidery hoop if you prefer, But I find that you don't really need one if your fabric is sufficiently sturdy.

Posted by Fiona G. Published
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  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 1
    Step 1

    Some sturdy fabric, embroidery floss, an embroidery needle, some small sharp scissors and a water-soluble pen - a special felt-tip pen whose ink disappears when sprayed or dabbed with water. (You could use a quilter's pencil if you prefer but I find the pens much easier.)

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 2
    Step 2

    Using your water-soluble pen, write the word or words you want to embroider on your fabric. My letters are 0.75-1.5 in high.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 3
    Step 3

    Divide the 6 strands of your embroidery floss into two, so each length contains 3 strands. Thread your needle and bring it up at the starting point of your work. You are now ready to work your first chain stitch.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 4
    Step 4

    Take your needle back down into your starting point. Then take it out again a little further on.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 5
    Step 5

    Pull your needle through your work, remembering to tuck the little loop you are making under the needle so it doesn't disappear. You have now made your first chain stitch.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 6
    Step 6

    You are now ready to work your second stitch. Take your needle back down through the first chain, at the exact point where you pulled your floss through. Then take it out again a little further on, like you did when you made your first stitch.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 7
    Step 7

    Pull your needle through you work again, like you did in step 5. You have now created your second chain stitch.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 8
    Step 8

    Carry on working chain stitches till you come to the end of your letter. To turn a corner, you simply take your needle back into you last stitch in the normal way. But you take it out again to one side, rather than further along the line.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 9
    Step 9

    When you come to the end, take your needle over the last chain you have worked to secure it and out through the back of your work. Secure your floss and fasten off. You can work joined up letters in a continuous line of chain stitch. If you need to join a new length of floss, simply fasten the existing piece off in the normal way and bring your new length out through the last chain worked.

  • How to stitch . Chain Stitch Embroidery - Step 10
    Step 10

    When you have finished your work, spray or dab it with water to get rid of the water-soluble pen marks. Dry it, press it lightly if you want to and display. You could also embellish it if you want to - with buttons, sequins or whatever you like.

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