Embroidering a Picture with Satin Stitch

house embroidery with title.

This simple house drawing can be stitched in many different ways. The Relaxed option is to stitch the whole drawing in one colour with backstitch. The clean lines give a nice result and it’s quick and easy to work up.

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

The Intense option involves different stitches – chain stitch, straight stitch variations, and more. It is still done in a single colour. The stitches add a bit more texture and interest, but take more time to do.

The last option is the Insane option. This option is full of stitching and colour, but it is based on the same house sketch. The sketch is available free to newsletter subscribers, so sign up below so you can stitch along. See how to make your own drawing here.

One minor change that I made for the Insane option is to add some things around the house. When transferring the design, I added a border to the piece and roughly marked places for a tree on the left and a bush on the right. I will also add a flower garden along the front.

When the design is marked on the fabric, it’s time to start stitching. We will begin with satin stitch.

stitching bricks with satin stitch.

I am using satin stitch for the bricks, shutters and window sashing. I lightly marked the bricks onto the house to help keep them consistent in size. The satin stitches are horizontal with three strands of variegated floss. I love how the variegated floss added interest to the brickwork.

house embroidery in progress.

I deliberately left space between the bricks that I will go back and fill with backstitch mortar, but it would also look great if the bricks were stitched touching each other.

Satin stitch is trickier than it looks. It is made with straight parallel stitches that should lie flat next to each other, not overlapping. You can check out a tutorial here.

The biggest secret to getting satin stitch to look great is to strip the embroidery thread. That means that to get the three strands for stitching, you don’t just divide the six strands into two groups, but you pull one strand out at a time. Then you join three individual strands together. They will then be separate and lay flatter.

As you are stitching, watch the thread to see if it is getting twisted. Try to keep all the individual threads laying flat. For some projects, you can even use a laying tool to help everything stay flat and smooth.

close up of door embroidered with satin stitch.

For the door, I grouped satin stitches in different directions to add some interest. In the windows, I broke the sashing down into smaller pieces so the stitches wouldn’t be too long.

close up of window embroidered with satin stitch.

The rest of the trim on the roof, foundation and around the door and windows is stitched with long and short stitch. This is a variation on satin stitch where the stitches lie parallel, but are varying lengths. This is a great way to fill in a piece when satin stitches would be too long for the section.

long and short stitch embroidery close up.

Have fun with your own colours and stitches to finish the exterior of the house.

straight stitch embroidered house.

If you stitch along, I would love to see pictures of what you’ve made. Send them to me or tag #epidastudio on instagram.

[mailerlite_form form_id=3]

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.

Scroll to Top