Drizzle Stitch Tutorial

Drizzle stitch sample 1Drizzle stitch is fun as it stands free from the fabric. In other words it is a 3D stitch. It always makes me smile when ever I see it. It is mainly used in Brazilian embroidery worked in rayon thread but you can use any thread with a good twist such as cotton pearl. In Brazilian embroidery you often spot it at the centre of a flower adding texture and dimension. It also combines well with floral motifs work in Silk Ribbon Embroidery. Drizzle stitch is a great to use in underwater scenes as clusters of the stitch it looks like coral or sea anemones.

Since tension is important, stretch the fabric in an embroidery hoop or frame. Also this stitch is easier to work if you use a use a milliner’s or straw needle as the shaft of the needle is the same diameter as the eye and this means you can slide the stitches along the needle easily in the second phase of the stitch.

For all my, ‘you should do this’ and ‘should do that’ it is not that hard to work and more than makes up for its fiddliness with effect.

How to embroider Drizzle stitch

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 1First bring the needle to the front of the fabric. Next you take the thread out of the needle but leave the needle in the fabric. I know this is counter intuitive to anyone who sews but it is what you do

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 2Next to where the thread emerges poke the needle a little way in the fabric. Take the thread in your hand  and wrap the thread over your  index finger.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 3Rotate your finger keeping the thread still over your finger but under slight tension. This movement will create a loop around your finger.

Transfer the loop from your first finger to the needle.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 4Slide the loop down the needle. Then pull your finger away so that a loop sits on the needle. Pull the thread until snug but not tight. This is the first cast on stitch.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 5This looping action and transferring the loop to the needle, is similar to casting on a stitch on a knitting needle.

Work a number of cast on stitches, gently sliding them down the needle as you go. Work at least 6 loops if not more. You can work 20 or 30 loops to create long spirals. Keep the stitches even on the needle.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 6When you have the required number of even spaced stitches rethread the needle.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 8Hold the cast on stitches between your thumb  and first finger. Hold the stitches firmly but not so tight the thread can not be pulled through.  Gently pull the thread, through the center of the cast on stitches and continue to pull the thread through the fabric to the back. Pull firmly but not too tight.

step by step instructions drizzle stitch 9The finished stitch will be free at one end so that it will pop up from the fabric and will coil in a spiral to the base.

The size of the stitch depends upon the number of cast on stitches you use. The higher the number of cast on stitches the bigger the loop. The thickness of the thread will determine the weight of the stitch.

For a contemporary look mix this stitch with other textured stitches such as bullion or french knots. It also looks good used in combination with such stitches as cast-on stitch, oyster stitch, whipped wheel stitch, whipped spokes and add a few beads to the mix. I hope you have fun with Drizzle stitch!

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block.  I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim was to be practical and inspiring.

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to use in your stitching projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 

Cast On Stitch Step by Step Tutorial

Cast on Stitch sample 8Cast on stitch forms little loops that sit proud against the background fabric and one of those stitches that once you master it and establish the rhythm it is fun and relaxing to work. It also impresses people easily, as it looks outrageously difficult to do. To be honest it’s not that hard. Cast on stitch is a bit tricky, I admit but not so difficult that an intermediate stitcher can’t master.

Most people are introduced to this stitch via Brazilian embroidery but you can use it in other highly textured forms of contemporary embroidery too.

Cast on Stitch is a little time consuming but worth the effort. It really produces a 3D element to a piece embroidery and people invariably want to reach out and touch it.

A tip for working Cast On stitch!

For the best results with this stitch use a milliner’s needle on a foundation fabric stretched in an embroidery hoop or frame.

Most of the problems associated with working cast-on stitch is that people use the wrong needle and dont use a hoop. I suggest you try milliners or in some places people call them straw needles. Why these particular needles? Most embroidery needles have an eye that is wider than the shaft of the needle which means any stitch that wraps the thread around the needle often runs the risk of getting too tight as you pull the thread through.

Milliners or straw needles have an eye and shaft that are the same width which makes sliding the stitch along the needle easy. Try it as it does make a difference!

Where do you get Milliners needles? Specialist needlework shops will or should stock them. If you are not near a needlework store you can buy Milliners Needles online (this is an affiliate link which means if you shop here I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, but that is not why I recommend them!)

Cast on Stitch sample 1

How to work Cast on Stitch

Bring your thread to the front of the fabric and take a tiny bite of the fabric by making a small back stitch, as illustrated and have the needle emerge from the fabric close to where the thread emerged initially.

Cast on Stitch step by step 1Leave the needle in the fabric. In other words do not complete the back stitch. You need both hands for this next step hence the need to have your work mounted in an embroidery hoop.

Cast on Stitch step by step 2Place the thread over your left index finger, rotate your finger keeping the thread still over your finger but under tension.

Cast on Stitch step by step3This movement of twisting your finger creates a loop around your finger.

Cast on Stitch step by step 4Transfer the loop from your finger to the needle by sliding the needle through the loop and moving the loop to the needle.

Cast on Stitch step by step 5Slide the loop down the needle. This is the first cast on stitch.

Cast on Stitch step by step 6This looping action and transferring the loop, is similar to casting on a row of stitches on a knitting needle hence the name.

Cast on Stitch step by step 7Work a number of cast on stitches, gently sliding them down the needle as you go. They look like a line of buttonhole stitches sitting snug but not too tight on your needle.

Cast on Stitch step by step 8Keep them evenly spaced for best results.

Cast on Stitch step by step 9When you have the required number of stitches cast on to the needle hold the cast on stitches with the fingers on your left hand and pull the thread with your right hand, through the cast on stitches. Hold the stitches firmly but not so tight you can not pull the needle through.

Cast on Stitch step by step 10Take the needle to the back of the fabric and pull your working thread firmly but not tight to create the loop.

Cast on Stitch step by step 11The curve of the loop depends upon the number of cast on stitches you use and size of your first back stitch. In other words the distance between the point where the thread emerged from the back of the fabric and the point where the thread entered the fabric. The higher the number of cast on stitches the bigger the loop.

Cast on Stitch sample 7If you add a bead to the middle they make lovely little flower motifs. These Cast on stitches are worked in Cotton perle #5 .

Cast on Stitch sample 2These Cast on stitches are worked in hand dyed silk on stems of feather stitch

Cast on Stitch sample 4In this case they the cast on stitches are worked in hand dyed wool on stems of knotted feather stitch worked in cotton perle #5.

Cast on Stitch sample 3

These are also worked in a red hand dyed wool. The little organic shapes are worked on line of Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole stitches worked in a green cotton perle #5 thread.

Cast on Stitch sample 5

The last sample is a line pansies that are made from 5 Cast on Stitches.

Cast on Stitch sample 6

Anyway enjoy the stitch, experiment with it and I am sure you will discover more that can be done with it!