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 for this, but I find that I gravitate to the same five. Below are my faves.
1. The Seed Stitch
The seed stitch literally looks like — you guessed it — a seed. I think it has a great vintage feel and a fun texture. 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. The Satin Stitch
If you want a smooth surface, swipe right on the satin stitch . This is one of my favorite fill stitches because it adds such a nice raised texture and you can use it for miniature or large embroidery projects. Just be sure to keep the length of the stitches even so they fill the design completely.
3. The French Knot
I adore the look of French knots because they add an intricacy to hand embroidery that is both visual and tactile. You can practically feel those little knots just by looking at them! I usually create the outline of the design with this stitch first, then fill in.
4. The Long and Short Stitch
This is a nice fill stitch that works in small and larger embroidery pieces. The long and short stitch is laid out a bit like a brick path. (My stitches are sort of small in the photo above, so you may need to squint.) Different colors of floss in the stitch can build the shading and hues you want for ombré, fur and feathers.
5. The 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.
Now I've covered everything. Hope you've had your fill!