So you've outlined your embroidery pattern, maybe with a stem or split stitch. Pause for a second to admire your work. But just for a second, because here's your next task: filling in your design. There are a number of different fill stitches you can use, but these are the five every embroiderer will use time and time again.
1. Seed Stitch
The seed stitch literally looks like — you guessed it — a seed. If you're embroidering a flower it makes perfect sense, of course, but you can use this stitch for a variety of designs, botanical and not.
2. Satin Stitch
If you want a smooth surface, swipe right on the satin stitch. It adds a nice, raised texture that's great for projects of any size. Just be sure to keep the length of the stitches even so they fill the design completely.
3. French Knots
Add intricacy to your hand embroidery that is both visual and tactile with French knots — you can practically feel those little knots just by looking at them. Before you stitch, create an outline of the design you want, then start filling it in!
4. Long and Short Stitch
This fill stitch is laid out a bit like a brick path. It's perfect for fur, feathers and ombré designs; using different colored floss can help build shading and hues.
5. Raised (Padded) Satin Stitch
If you're looking to add texture to a design, embroidering satin stitches over a seed and backstitch will get you there. This is definitely a good stitch for embroidering eyes or other facial features on a doll.