Embroidering a picture with French knots and backstitch

close up of embroidered garden with title.

French knots are a fun embellishment to add to your embroidery project. They do tend to draw attention to themselves, so choose their placement carefully.

If you are following along with the House Embroidery Project, you will know that there are three different embroidery options.

finished backstitch house embroidery.
Relaxed Option
final hand embroidered house picture.
Intense Option

The Relaxed option is a simple finish with the whole picture done in one colour of backstitch. The Intense option uses different stitches for interest and texture.

This embroidery design is available for newsletter subscribers in the resource library. Sign up at the bottom of the page to get access.

The Insane option uses many different colours and many different stitches, including French knots and backstitch.

French knots

French knots have a reputation for being difficult, but with practice they can be a lot of fun. Here is a tutorial for stitching French knots and ideas for other ways to use them in your embroidery pieces.

In the House Embroidery Project, French knots are used as the centres of the flowers in the garden. This is one of the most traditional uses of French knots.

stitching french knots as flower centres.
flower garden in house embroidery project.

Back Stitch

French knots are flashy attention seekers, but back stitch is a reliable utility stitch.

Backstitch could be used in a lot of places in this project. I considered using one strand of floss to stitch back stitch mortar between each of the bricks. In the end, I decided that it wouldn’t add anything to the piece, but you might want to try it.

backstitch window on house embroidery.

Backstitch could also be used in place of the couching, if you are not comfortable with working with two threads.

It would be a good choice if you want to add a border around the whole house or parts of the house.

close up of backstitch embroidery.

In the end, I only used backstitch for the window over the door. It seemed like the best way to finish that off.

Here is a tutorial for backstitch.

Share your house embroidery project on instagram and tag #epidastudio

close up of embroidered garden with title.
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Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

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