Stitching styles

I find everyone’s stitching styles very interesting, and everyone develops their own short hand and methods of doing things- whether it is your initial set up (where you sit, how you place your pattern, your scissors, threads and all other necessities), through to actual method of stitching.

There are all kinds of ways people stitch from the push-pull method – where you push the needle through and pull it all the way through to the back, and then push and pull it through to the front, to actual stitching, where you simply push the tip of the needle through from where you finish the previous stitch to where the next stitch starts and your needle never actually goes completely behind the fabric.

Some people like to stitch two handed (requires a stand so both hands are free), some people like to stitch with ultra tight fabric (useful expecially when you are learning to keep your stitch tension even.

Even how people make individual stitches varies – some people use the English Method where you make each individual stitch, and some the Danish, where you go along /////// then back \\\\\\\\ (or whichever way – as long as the stitches are all in the same direction it doesn’t matter which way you prefer). Other very patient people do the stitching where you can’t tell the front from the back as it forms crosses on both sides.

Speed varies a fair bit between projects and depending on complexity and colour changes. Rethreading needles with different colours takes time, so if you have a section with lots of different colours sometimes having multiple needles helps.

For me, things like Mirabilia’s are reasonably quick stitches as she has a style with how she lays out her colours in skirts, so you don’t have to refer to the pattern so much. Also I use a lot of reference points and don’t actually count stitches as much I find, so I can stitch and talk or watch TV and not get into too much trouble. By reference points, I mean that if I get a certain amount done counting correctly, I can then use that bit as a reference for the next bit (eg. I work out start and stop points – so if I can glance at a pattern and see that a row stops three before then end of the row above, and I know the row above is correct, I don’t have to count… hope that makes sense).

Anyway, better go. it is late, and I need some sleep!


  1. Hev said,

    September 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I also find it interesting to learn the different styles of the different stitchers. Though I also do the reference point style with all my designs along with counting though.

    • aflyingneedle said,

      September 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

      Referencing does make it easier!

      Sometimes you can’t do it though, which makes stitching so slooooooowwww!!!

  2. Cassle said,

    September 9, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Thanks so much for this posting… πŸ™‚ I think I really should stock lots of needles…! πŸ˜€ By the way, at some time I use the “actual stitching” where I just slip the needle.. But that only happens for blocks.. My question: Do you frequently flip and flip your work when doing non-block stitching or is there any other way?

    I can’t stitch with both hands because I don’t have that tool to hold my fabric. πŸ™‚

    • aflyingneedle said,

      September 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

      Thanks for your comment. I am annoyed at myself at the moment as I have misplaced my pack of needles. I have a pack with about 8 needles in it, just in case I need them… oh well. I am sure I put them somewhere safe!

      I don’t tend to flip my work unless a) I am starting a new thread, or b) I have a knot. I guess I stitch a bit by feel… If I have a fair distance to travel for the next stitch I will finish the thread off and restart it. If it is a short distance I can often work out where to stitch without flipping the fabric. If there are lots of colour changes in a small area, the stitching does go a lot slower though.

      • Cassle said,

        September 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm

        Thanks for this one, I tried to follow your strategy and I have been trying to get some ‘moves’ to avoid flipping my fabric over and over.. πŸ˜€ Now, I just have to try to trust myself better because I have never tried the grid yet and I have to make sure (over and over) that I count right.

  3. Cassle said,

    September 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Btw, have you ever seen some WIP update photos that have a kind of…. lots of strands around the finished area?? It seems like the owner didn’t finish those threads and just leave them like that.. I don’t really understand why they do like that. Could you please give me a little explanation? I keep wondering whether leave all those threads like that won’t make them feel confused and I do wonder whether it could make them stitch faster…

    • aflyingneedle said,

      September 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm


      I think what you are talking about is called parking. Generally not something you do with smaller pieces, but some people find it works for them on bigger pieces. Personally I just find it confusing. This is a really good tutorial on how it works.

      Is this what you meant?

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