Hand embroidery stitches step by step

Hi Creative Mamas! Welcome to my hand embroidery stitches step by step guide. In this guide I will show you what my favorite six embroidery stitches look like and I will give you instructions so that you can get going with your own embroidery practice :).

They are super simple and easy to learn. However, you can create very intricate results by combining them and playing with color and shape outlines.

hand embroidery stitches step by step

What is Embroidery?

In case you are a beginners let’s first define what we mean by embroidery. Embroidery is the decoration of a piece of cloth through a series of stitches and it’s an amazing sewing craft to learn. It’s very easy to get started.

You only need to learn a few basic stitches and you can embroider the world! It’s simplicity is what makes embroidery so sophisticated. Simple materials are all you need combined with a little bit of time, practice and patience.

Best hand embroidery stitches step by step:

  • Back stitch
  • Running stitch
  • Blanket Stitch
  • Whipstitch
  • Lazy Daisy (a variation of the chain stitch family)

The above hand embroidery stitches are my favorite and by far the easiest to start with. Here is an explanation step by step to how to make the stitches and in some cases I have included videos as well for your refeence.

Back stitch

Great for your outline stitch. Work from right to left.

Great for your outline stitch. Work from right to left. Bring needle out at Point 1, insert at Point 2 and come out at Point 3. The main thing with this stitch is to make sure that the distance between 1-3, and 1-2 is exactly the same . Repeat sequence for next stitch.

For illustrated instructions refer to Basic Stitches Printable.

hand embroidery stitch step by step backstitch


Check out this video for a Back Stitch Demo 

Running stitch

My favorite stitch for embroidering and quilting! Just run a needle going in and out on both sides of the fabric (1 & 2). This is the easiest stitch of them all.

running stitch hand embroidery


Check out this video for a Running Stitch Demo 

Blanket Stitch

Great stitch for using on edges! You can play around with the width of the stitch. If you do the stitches close together it becomes a buttonhole stitch.

Bring needle out at Point 1 (bottom line). Insert at Point 2 (on a slight diagonal) then come up at Point 3 directly below from Point 2.

Repeat sequence but remember that Point 3 of previous stitch is now Point 1.


Great for edges that fray. It’s my to go hand sewing stitch if I cant access my zig zag stitch in my sewing machine. I love this stitch for applique!

Bring needle out at Point 1 and insert at Point 2 (right at the edge of your applique piece and in a straight line from point 1). Come out at Point 3 and repeat sequence.

whipstitch hand sewing stitch

Check out this video for a Whipstitch Demo 


Lazy Daisy Stitch

The Lazy Daisy Stitch  is a variation from the chain stitch. Check out this amazing step by step tutorial on how to make an embroidered tea cozy using the Lazy Daisy stitch .

hand embroidered stitches step by step  tea cozy

These are my favorite hand embroidery stitches and they are super versatile. You can use them to embroider pillow covers, to embellish a nursery pillow with hand stitches.

You can use embroidery stitches in any fabric collage project such as a hand made fabric journal or to decorate and finish a hand quilted pillow with your favorite embroidery stitch.

2 thoughts on “Hand embroidery stitches step by step”

  1. Thank you Victoria . It’s inspiring me . I’m a potter . I also want to buy a weaving loom but not idea where to start with lessons . Do you this at all ? Regards

    • Hi Alison, thats so cool! I used to do a lot of weaving and had a floor loom, a rigid heddle and a table one. I currently use this one https://woolery.com/leclerc-dorothy-table-loom.html?aff=151 and it works a treat. I had to let go of my floor loom due to a lack of space in my studio 🙂 check out these guys https://woolery.com/?aff=151 they are great. I get a lot of my supplies from them and they also stock ashford weaving looms which are made in NZ. Where are you based? I don’t teach weaving because evn though I love it and I am ok at it I don’t feel I am good enough to teach it…


Leave a Comment