TAST Week 4

TAST Week 4

Fun with Stem Stitch

The stitch for TAST Week 4 is to learn and experiment with Stem Stitch.

stem stitch sample 2

Stem Stitch is a basic quick and easy linear stitch, which I personally think is one of the most useful stitches there are. You can use this stitch to outline just about anything, and it is great for lettering as it will hold a curve well. If you find it looks a bit baggy, or loose make smaller stitches as you move around the curve.

The above sample is actually quite small – as each stitch is just a bit bigger than a seed bead. You can see how the stitches define a tight curve without getting too messy. It’s a stitch that beginners will find useful and yet it is not a huge challenge to learn. As always, follow the link to a step-by-step tutorial for stem stitch and eye candy, and have fun!

Beyond TAST week 4


The stitch this week for the Beyond TAST challenge is Portuguese Stem stitch. This is a textured linear stitch that is best worked in a thread with a firm twist. It needs a bit of body to sit proud against the foundation fabric.

Portuguese Stem stitch is an interesting stitch that follows a curve well. I think experienced stitchers will enjoy it. I am looking forward to seeing what people do. As usual, you can find a tutorial for stitch  Portuguese Stem Stitch in my Stitch Dictionary.

How to join and where to share

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch and share what you have learnt. If you are an experienced embroiderer, enjoy Beyond TAST and give your work a modern twist and share it online so beginners can see what can be done with a little imagination.

Stitch a sample, photograph it, put it online on your blog, or share it in the Take a Stitch Tuesday Flickr group, or in the TAST facebook group or wherever you hang out online. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.

If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.

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 and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, and totally clear so you can position them easily. Oh, and they are compact so they fit neatly in your sewing box. Designed by a stitcher for stitchers.

To see what they look like, find out about the free ebook of patterns that come with them visit the information pages. You can find out more about both sets by simply going to our Pintangle shop.


  1. Thankyou for your brilliant diagrams. I’m loving exploring some new stitches. I see on the fb page a few people are doing bonus stitches – please can you tell me where these are listed? I can’t find any mention of them.

    1. HI Chris – if you look on the front page of the site they are usually there. This is a very casual part of the challenge for those who are quick! At the moment there are only 2 “extras” Ghiorde knot and whipped wheatear both posts are currently displayed on the home page. Hope this helps


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