Embroidery 101: The Back Stitch

When I was a little girl, my mom taught me how to cross-stitch, and how to do simple embroidery.  She taught me how to do it the way her mom taught her how to do it..it was pretty difficult, and was hard to make it look nice.
When I got engaged, my Mother-in-Law was totally in to doing embroidery, and taught me a simpler way to stitch: the Back Stitch.  It’s so easy to make it look nice…and it’s ridiculous how fast it goes.

My MIL and I started a little embroidery pattern business back then, called Two Blonde Mice, and we went crazy designing patterns and stitching samples, so I’ve had my fair share of practice stitching.
I’ve had a few embroidery projects pop up recently, {this one} that I shared with you a little while ago, and a few more that I’ll share with you soon!

But, in honor of all the hand-stitching I’ve been doing lately (and because so many people have commented to me that they have no idea how to do it!) I thought I’d share how easy it is with you on here.

The first and most simple stitch is the one you use to outline drawings, or for words:
The Back Stitch
Here are a couple of pictures of the needle placement:
To explain…with knotted floss, begin by bringing your needle up from underneath 1-stitch length away from the beginning of the letter.  Bring your needle up and pull taut.  Then, you insert your needle back (hence the name) at the beginning of the letter…and without pulling your thread taut, bring it immediately back up again 1-stitch length from where you started, and pull tight.
lather, rinse, repeat.

here’s a VERY rudimentary video for you, to demonstrate a little better…
A couple of other embroidery tips and tricks:

-always line your embroidery fabric, whether it be muslin, or cotton, or whatever, with batting.  This first of all gives it a softer, more quilted look, but also enables you to hide your stitches and knots, so they don’t peek through from behind
-depending on your project, you can use either1, 2 or 3 strands of floss…in the pictures above, I am using 2, and that’s what I use most of the time…if I want a thinner detail, sometimes, I’ll use 1.  Likewise, if I want something a little more bold, I’ll use 3 strands instead.  DMC floss comes in 6 strands, and is easy to separate the strands!
-double knot the end of your floss before beginning so it doesn’t pop through your fabric on accident!