an embroidery stitch sampler

When I worked at Spoonflower, I had the chance to teach a number of classes in the company's public meeting space, The Greenhouse. Hand embroidery is one of my favorite things to teach---it's portable and so addicting---and with the ability to print patterns directly onto the fabric of your choice through Spoonflower, it was the perfect opportunity for me to design a few simple patterns for my students.

One of the first samplers I created was this stitch sampler. I quickly realized it was not a project that could be completed in a three-hour class (French knots take a long time!), but instead is best for stitching over time, as you learn and perfect your hand stitches.

Each word is stitched with the stitch that it represents---fern stitch, stem stitch, split stitch, satin stitch, chain stitch, running stitch and the French knot---and is framed with a back stitch and cross-stitch border. I kept my color palette super simple, using black floss for all of the stitches with the exception of the back stitch border, which was done with gold metallic floss. There are so many variations that you could try though; I think a color gradient, moving from light to dark, could be really beautiful.

Rather than using a hoop, I decided to staple the finished piece to canvas stretcher bars. The finished embroidery turns into an excellent reference chart to hang on your wall and refer back to as you stitch other projects.

If you'd like to try your hand at stitching up your own sampler, you can buy a pre-printed fat quarter in my Spoonflower shop (I recommend the linen-cotton canvas). Please be sure to share any projects you create with the hashtag #saltyoat, so I can see and share them. Happy stitching!