Are you having trouble picturing how a stitch will look in a pattern or design?

Then draw it.

It’s the simplest way I know to get a a feel for how that stitch will work before you even thread a needle or take a stitch – plus it’s fun.

Several well-known embroidery artists draw their stitches – Jan Beaney, Jean Littlejohn, and Australia’s own Effie Mitrofanis have all published books with wonderful drawings of different stitches to create different effects.

It’s just another visual to confirm and consolidate thinking and options.

I don’t usually work with a variety of stitches, tending to keep to those that I know and can work well – yet I do find, when I’m designing, that it helps enormously to draw the stitch as I design.

I did just that for my Coral series- plus it allows me to begin to think about colour while I’m drawing.


Drawing the stitch as you design enriches the whole process, and jotting down ideas for colours and embellishments adds to your creative momentum.

Plus I think the whole idea of drawing a stitch, as it’s to be worked helps with the rhythm of actually performing and perfecting that stitch.

I’m not about perfect stitching, I admire spontaneity and freedom, but does that mean I promote sloppy and slipshod?


Drawing helps set that stitch in the mind so that the hands know where to go and what to do.

Does that make sense?

I hope so.

Enjoy your drawing.


All views and opinions expressed are my own, except where acknowledged information is included from other sources.