What Is Long Stitch Embroidery

A long stitch is often used when filling large designs or flowers. It is also called needle or thread painting and is a type of freestyle embroidery. And just like the satin stitch, completing this project is such a laborious endeavor. But you don’t need to have good painting and drawing skills. Only a basic understanding of how long stitch works – and that’s what this article will tackle as well.

What makes a long stitch stand out is its near-perfect 3D effect. Thanks to the outstanding combination of thread and stitch. It is also the reason why it’s used as borders and in combination with other stitches. It ensures a remarkable overall effect.

What Is Long Stitch Embroidery?

Stitch Embroidery

Long stitch embroidery comprises combined stitches in different lengths. You can use this handy technique if you want to make a pattern or image. Getting started in a long stitch might seem intimidating. Most designs only need some basic stitches, though. Create a single bold image or incredibly meticulous vistas. Advanced and new stitchers are welcome to tackle this super fun embroidery project!

How to Do Long Stitch Embroidery?

Stitch Embroidery 1

Learning how to do a long stitch is not generally a complicated process. First-time sewers may get intimidated at first, but that’s normal. Begin as you’d do for the half cross stitch. Leave at least two to three yarn centimeters at the back of your material. Then, hold down with your finger. The needle should go directly through the center of the yarn you’re holding when doing the first stitch.

The same applies to your second stitch. Doing so will ensure your stitches are in a precise position and avoid getting slack. Continue stitching until the yarn is entirely pinned down in place. Just carry on with your long stitches until you finish it off and create a gorgeous design or pattern.

The stitches should go in a very similar direction or work backward and forward. It will allow the rows to fluctuate between two varying locations or maintain a similar approach. Long stitches have been traditionally known to be vertical. However, it depends on the pattern you want to achieve. The possibilities are boundless. Perform a compensating stitch both at the start. Mostly ideal if you intend to make rows and have a clean finish.

long Stitch Embroidery

Embroidery floss is what you call the thread used in long stitches. It provides a unique texture. You can use the same material for doing other forms of stitching. Available in an extensive array of sizes and colors at local and online craft stores. If the fabric has a higher count, expect your stitches to be smaller and the pattern to be quite intricate. Beginners should start at fifteen counts or below, while experienced embroideries can experiment and go beyond.

Alternatively, invest in good quality long stitch kits. It is a more straightforward way to go into this stitching method. They come in various images and patterns perfect for several occasions and applications, such as pillows and many other ornamental samples.

Long Stitch Needlework Ideas

Long Stitch Needlework

Anyone can use the long stitch embroidery to work on many exciting needlepoint projects. Either do it vertically or horizontally or a combination of both. How long can you finish needlework depends on the size and intricacies of your chosen design. I aim to give you a boost to pursue this promising venture. So, here are some of the lovely long stitch needlecraft ideas worth adding to your art library.

  • Rose Design: Perhaps one of the easy and fast needlepoint designs you’ll find. It includes a repeating motif so that you can finish it in an hour or so. Create long stitch roses across your fabric. It produces a beautiful finish. You can decorate it with ornamental trim or anything you think will complement the overall look. Are you feeling more adventurous? Then, I suggest you should use the interlock canvas to make a fascinating effect.
  • Pines Pattern: Here, you will need to do repeating pine patterns. Don’t worry because this is also a quick and straightforward method – even beginners can try their luck. Use vivid dark unicolor green hues to make those pine trees gorgeously alive. Decide where you want to start the project, whether at the top or anywhere. Just be sure to check the location of your first few themes to avoid counting mistakes.
  • Pumpkin Patch: If you have an old or dull outfit, bag, or home accessory, use this long stitch needlecraft. Being super easy allows you to complete the entire project in a few hours. Just stitch directly on a garment or fabric of your choice. Adjust the design as necessary. Why not add a personal touch, such as putting initials or your name?

Long Stitch Needlework

Long Stitch Embroidery – Top 10 Tips

Follow these tips to get the utmost benefit from this creative stitch.

  1. Use an embroidery frame or hoop to stretch your fabric. It also prevents creases and wrinkles that tend to develop from constricted threads. More than that, it helps you build perfect frames for the finished output. Hoops or frames come in an assortment of shapes, materials, and sizes. It works better for teenier pieces.
  2. For a quick stitch, use a pencil or pen to mark each pattern square you’ve stitched. However, it may not always support your needs. It still depends on the size of your pattern.
  3. Only use a single thread if you want a neat smooth finish. You have stranded cotton or pearl cotton, which is also used for cross-stitching. The stranded cotton is composed of six solid strands, while the latter has only one strand.
  4. Various colors provide a striking design effect.
  5. The needles you will use should accompany your work. Crewel needles or tapestry needles could be ideal. Their long eye makes it incredibly easy on your part to thread embroidery floss, even the thicker ones.
  6. As possible, keep your stitches adjacent to each other – allowing for a creative highlighted effect.
  7. Now, this is what most stitchers fall behind – stitch tension. Be sure it is consistent, possibly more than a half an inch. Making knots is an easy way to end and reattach the thread. However, seasoned embroideries suggest tucking or swimming it beneath other threads to keep it in position.
  8. Change stitch direction. Keeping parallel stitches is always a perfect alternative. But isn’t it more interesting to mix things up? It can add shape dimension to your design. Bending your color transitions is another way to play. It gives any project a three-dimensional appearance. It takes time, and there’s no magic shortcut here. Practice until you master this technique.
  9. Transferring the design to your fabric can be done in several quick ways. You can use the ever-popular iron-transfer or a graphite/carbon transfer paper. If not, stick with the manual method, which is tracing right through the fabric. It works best for a meek design or if you have non-elastic or pale materials. You can use a sharp pencil, soluble marker, or pen.
  10. When doing your first long stitch project, don’t beat yourself up. Start with the simple subject matter. Avoid using very delicate, exhaustive images or patterns to motivate your work. You can begin with a simple flower or leaf. Otherwise, purchase a full embroidery kit.

Can I Embroider Without a Hoop?

Yes, you can! An embroidery hoop is not an essential material, but it is nice to have in your tool kits. All you have to do is sustain a proper tension on the fabric to prevent potential compressing or wrinkling. Use a scroll fabric if you have. It is hands-free plus ensures the fabric tension is thoroughly maintained until the last bit of your project.

How Often Should I Change My Embroidery Needle?

Worn or damaged needles cause bumpy threads, skipped stitches, creased fabrics, and other related issues. Once you notice the needle starts to become dull or bowed, change it as early as possible. It will save you from frustration and recurrent labor.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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