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 

TAST Week 38 Highlights

hand embroidered drizzle stitch samplePeople had an interesting response to drizzle stitch. They either liked it or hated it. To be honest I think it’s the threading and unthreading of needle that gets people as it breaks the stitching rhythm.

That said there were enough people who really got into it that once again I took far too long trying to decided what samples to feature. It’s hard to keep it to 5!

Over on My Creations Latha decided it was a funny stitch and therefore created a neckline around a funny clown face.

hand embroidered drizzle stitch sampleCrazy Q Stitcher created this little lamb. Visit her blog for a full description of what thread she used and the number of castons. (There is also a larger version of the image if you click on the image in Crazy Q Stitchers blog post)

hand embroidered drizzle stitch sampleOver on Playful Stitching this head of hair reminded me of Medusa.

hand embroidered drizzle stitch sampleI really liked how Claudia incorporated this stitch with other highly textured stitches. I appreciated her thoughtful choice of thread the sat well in the background fabric.

hand embroidered drizzle stitch sampleFinally this little creature from Caro Rose made me smile.

I hope you have enjoyed the featured samples this week. Don’t forget to browse the other comments on week 38 as there are a good number of interesting samples worked this week.

Further information about the TAST challenge

If you need further information on the challenge a list of stitches covered so far or directions on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page.

You can read back through TAST articles by browsing Challenges –  Take a Stitch Tuesday category

Take a Stitch Tuesday Week 38

Todays stitch is Drizzle stitch. Drizzle stitch is used in Brazilian Embroidery and is a down right peculiar stitch with loads of personality! It stands free from the foundation fabric.  I have yet to show it to anyone without their reaction being one of first smiling then wanting to touch.

If using this stitch in Brazilian Embroidery you use rayon thread but you can work drizzle stitch in any thread and use it in any surface embroidery.

sample of drizzle stitch

When you first read the instructions, if you are kind, you will think there is an editing error. If you are not, you will think I am mad. Let me assure there is no error. In order to create this stitch you have to unthread and rethread the needle a number of times during the process of working. This feels counter intuitive particularly if you hate threading needles!

sample of drizzle stitch

This threading and unthreading does make it time consuming but Drizzle stitch it is worth the effort. It has a wonderfully organic feel to it which makes it ideal for the centre of flowers or situated in underwater scenes.

sample of drizzle stitch

Once again the challenge is:

For new hands to learn the stitch


If you are an experienced stitcher take the stitch and push it a little further in a creative manner or combine this stitch with one of the stitches already covered in TAST 2012. If you have worked a sample in a previous challenge feel free to post a link in comments as it will inspire people but if you have time do try another sample and do something different and new!

How to join in

Stitch a sample,  take a photograph of it, put in online in your blog, flickr site or on stitchin fingers page, swing by here and leave a comment with your full web address so people can visit and see your sample.

Any special rules?

There are no rules but I do have a request, please link back here.

Interesting work will be featured

Each week I will feature samples that participants have stitched order to draw attention to creative and interesting work. This means some work will be re-published. I will credit and link to the owners website but I assume that when you leave your link here, I have your permission to feature your work. If you do not want your work to be featured please say in the comment, you leave and I wont include it in the feature.

Further information

If you need further information on the challenge a list of stitches covered so far or directions on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page.

You can read back through TAST articles by browsing Challenges –  Take a Stitch Tuesday category

Other groups and networks

You can also share your explorations with other members on the social network site of your choice. There is a Facebook TAST 2012 page,   stitchin fingers group and the flickr TAST site. All these sub groups are set up at request of members