how to embroider: the back stitch

As some of you know, I am a needlework contributor over at 30 Handmade Days. This is one of the posts I have written for her blog, brought home to share with all of my readers.

Today I am going to go over the back stitch (my favorite!) and then share how to make this:

Let's start with how to make a back stitch. 

A back stitch is pretty self explanatory - a line of stitches made by stitching, well, back. I know, I am a true wordsmith, so bear with me. Start by inserting your needle up through (a) and back down through (b). That will make one stitch. To keep going, bring your needle up through (c) and repeat the whole process. It is really a simple stitch, but I love the look. It is my favorite stitch and I find myself going back to this over and over.

But what fun is it to teach you how to do something without having a cute project to go along with it?

Cut a piece of cardboard the same size as the glass from your frame. Also cut a piece of fabric one inch bigger around than the glass in the frame. (I had a 5" x 7" frame so I cut my fabric to 7" x 9").

My "pattern" is a heart cut out of card stock. Fancy, huh? I just free handed the arrow and the initials. I used mine and my husband's initials from before we got married. I could have used our initials now, but we have the same exact initials, even down to the middle name. I am pretty happy with myself, but I suppose "adm" + "adm" seems a bit self obsessed. ha!

I stitched on top of the pattern, only using the back stitch. Proof that a simple stitch can make a pretty impact.

I wrapped the fabric around the cut piece of cardboard using hot glue. I started with the sides, pulling tight as I glued.

Glue down your corners and place it in the frame.

I think this would be great stitched up with bright, modern colors. I am more of a neutral gal, so whites and browns it is for me.

You can always find me on facebook, twitter, or pinterest. I would love to hear from you!

Happy stitching!



  1. LOVE this! So cute. It would make a really cute Valentine's Day card too!

  2. This is adorable! I am in the middle of stitching some flowers on a canvas. But I love the wood like fabric it's just so cute. I would love for you to share this at my link party!

  3. So cute! Where did you get the fun "wood" fabric?

  4. That is so cute! The fabric looks so right and natural with this project!

  5. This is so cute! I love the "wood" fabric. I have never seen that before. :)

  6. This is such a cute little project!Where did you get that "tree" fabric? Absolutely gorgeous! I love what can be done with backstitch and a little inspiration.

  7. I just started embroidering and the backstitch is my favorite too.

  8. Fabulous! I love the fabric too!

  9. Very cute! I seriously am loving these posts- thanks for taking the time to teach all of us! I am DEFINITELY going to try out this project asap!

  10. I just have to tell you Allison, that I think you are super talented and your blog is definitely one of my favorites to look at! Thank you for sharing your talents and being so inspiring!

  11. I'm so excited. I got the materials to make this project yesterday. I'm getting married in June so I'm going to do my fiance and I's initials and then our wedding date. Thanks for sharing all the projects. I'm really excited about trying out a new hobby.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten


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