Inside: Stitch Stem Embroidery Tutorial & Ideas

The best part about embroidery, in my opinion, is that it is a never ending hobby. There is always more to learn. Whether that be tricks, new helpful tools, or new stitches, there is a seemingly never ending pool of content for us embroiderers to absorb.

There are hundreds of things for you to learn, so getting bored is basically a nonissue when embroidering. You may have to spend hours on one piece, but you will never get burnt out because there is always more to try. If you are new to embroidery, then you may feel a little daunted by the vast about of information at your fingertips.

But don’t feel too overwhelmed, you don’t have to learn it all at once, and honestly, that’s an impossible task anyway.

Ideas for stitching tree stems

My advice is to start with the simple, basic stitches that are a must-have for any embroidery project. Otherwise, you run the risk of biting off more than you can chew. You can’t learn to run before you learn to walk, and you should treat embroidery with the same idea in mind. It can really deter you if you go for the hard stuff right off the bat. You’ll be able to do it, I’m sure, but your experience will be full of frustration and stress, and those two things are the opposite of what embroidery is about.

Sure, those feelings are unavoidable when learning a new skill. But there are definitely things you can do to minimize that. So to help you do so, today we are going to cover a simple, base stitch that can be useful for the rest of your embroidery journey but will also be super easy to learn. Today’s goal is one thing: to mast the Stem Stitch!

What Is A Stem Stitch?

The Stem Stitch is one of the most common and most used stitches in embroidery. Its primary function is to be used as an outline of different shapes in a project. You can use this stitch to outline leaves, flowers, and many other things. The possibilities with this one are seemingly endless!

You can curve it your stitch it in a straight line, so it’s versatile and great for basically anything you are trying to achieve with your embroidery.

This stitch is also great because it’s incredibly easy to learn. So it’s perfect for beginners. If you are interested in learning this stitch for yourself, then you are in the right place, my friend!

I’ve written a simple, step-by-step tutorial on how to do a Stem Stitch, so you won’t even have to google it. This is your one-stop shop for all things embroidery. At the end of this article, I also included some Stem Stitching Ideas to help you get some inspiration for your project.

It can be so helpful to see other people’s work because it acts as not only a visual aid but as creative fuel. Let’s get started!

How to Do a Stem flower Stitch

How to Do a Stem Stitch In Embroidery


Before we begin, you’re going to want to use your pencil and draw a light line on your fabric. This line will basically act as our guide as we practice this stitch.

Step One

The first thing you want to do is bring the needle up through your canvas towards you. You should be coming out just above the line guide.

Step Two

About one centimeter away, you are going to want to bring the needle through the fabric. This time it will be going through directly on the line we drew.

Step Three

Next, you bring the needle back up right next to the first spot we started with. After this, you will repeat this process over and over until your line has formed. When you get the hang of it and can do this 3 step process without forgetting or needing to read this tutorial again, then you are all set. You have learned the Stem Stitch!

Now that you have that under your belt, the next thing you want to do is to use this stitch to create your very own design. If you are drawing a blank on what you’d like to embroider then don’t stress, down below I’ve created a list of some of the cutest ways I’ve seen the Stem Stitch Utilized.

Summer Embroidery Ideas

Stem Stitching Ideas

For these, I made sure to include examples that are both simple and intricate, so that way regardless of what kind of design you are going for there will be something here for you. If you want to create your own, you are absolutely welcome to do so as well. All you have to do is plan it out, then sketch it onto your embroidery fabric.

If you are just starting out, the simpler the better. Also, remember that you are not limited to things, you can embroider words too. Quotes are a great way to practice the Stem Stitch!

1. Simple Stem Stitch Tree

2. Tulip Garden

3. Cute Flowers

4. Butterfly

5. Flower Mandala Design

6. Beautiful Swirl

7. Sweet Flower Bundle

8. Blue Daisy

9. Cute Garden Starter Kit

10. Herbs

11. Botanical Leaves

I hope you enjoyed learning all about the stem stitch and that you are well on your way to mastering it. Sometimes I think back to when I first started to learn how to embroider. It has become such an important part of my life now I can’t help but look back and be filled with so much glee.

I hope that you will also fall in love with this art the way I did.

Crafts have always been very important to me, but embroidery is different. It’s like crafting in a time machine!

Since, you know… it’s been around for centuries. How cool is that?

Stem Stitch

More Embroidery Ideas You’ll Love

  • How To Do Brazilian Embroidery + Easy Patterns – If you loved adding the Stem Stitch to your embroidery arsenal, then you have to follow it up with this tutorial on how to achieve the most common Brazilian embroidery stitches. Not only are these unique, but they are 3D and will add an amazing dimension to your work. Brazilian embroidery contains some of the most intricate designs I’ve ever seen. They are truly inspiring. Check them out.
  • 23 Cutwork Embroidery Designs You’ll Love – Following up the Brazilian embroidery with one of my all-time favorites: Cutwork embroidering. Now, this kind of embroidery first began CENTURIES ago, being used to create beautiful table clothes and even clothes and dresses. Don’t let this be a dying art form, check out this list of 23 Cutwork embroidery designs that will make you fall in love.
  • 27 Mexican Otomi Embroidery Tapestry Patterns – Embroidery can also be used as a way to honor where you came from. Take this form of embroidery for example Mexican Otomi Embroidery has a distinct style and history that is held closely by the Otomi People. Check out this article that goes over said history as well as gives you a look into the amazing designs that have come from it.