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How to Seed Stitch – embroidery video

How to Seed Stitch - embroidery video

Want to learn the basics of hand embroidery with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Embroidery 101 here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, the four most basic stitches, how to transfer your pattern and how to display your work.

If you already know the basics – sign up for Embroidery 201. It’s also free! You’ll learn how to stitch on specialty fabrics like felt and stretchy T-shirts. Plus you’ll learn lots and lots and LOTS more stitches – all my favorites!

Seed stitch is one of my favorite fill stitches. It’s really easy to do and it makes a great texture – perfect for grassy fields and shaggy critters.

But there’s a trick to getting all the texture – and that trick is in choosing the right colors – and choosing enough of them.

Everyone who’s ever read a fairy tale – or listened to Schoolhouse Rock – already knows the secret. . .

Three is a magic number.

It’s that simple!

Here I’m going to show you some seed stitch-in-progress so you can see what adding the additional colors does.

Seed Stitch step 1 - the darkest color

I always start with the darkest shade and lay down a nice, dense bunch of stitching. The background fabric isn’t completely covered – but it’s pretty close.

It’s not bad. Kind of shaggy and pebbly looking – fun.

But look what happens when I layer a lighter shade over the dark one.

Seed Stitch step 2 - the medium shade

Oooh! Depth!

Note that the stitching with the second layer of color isn’t nearly as dense. Lots of the dark is showing through, and the background fabric is now almost completely covered.

I’m always kind of tempted to stop with the second color – because at this point I’m always really happy with how it’s looking. But I know from experience that THREE is the magic number. Not two.

Seed Stitch step 3 - the lightest shade

Wow! Look at those highlights!

I shot this photo after HURRIER had gotten its third color, but before BEHINDER got it so you could really see the difference in them.

If you look closely you can see that there are actually very few of the lightest stitches, but they make the whole thing look so much fuller and more textured.

You can see more seed stitching in grass in the corner of the free Feast embroidery pattern.

Enough Is as Good As a Feast - free embroidery pattern from Shiny Happy World

And here’s a handy dandy link list. . .

Happy stitching!

Try my new embroidery book! Over 500 fun motifs – all embroidered using the easiest, most basic stitches. Get the book here.


  1. Barb Moser SAYS...

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and helpful videos. My 6th grade art students have learned 5 different stitches by watching your videos. We hope that you will continue to make videos and help us.

  2. em SAYS...

    Dear wendi,great stuff,thank you for the free patterns I will be back to order a kit. Do you have premade kits I like the dog and cat. And redwork ideas would be nice.thank you lots

    • I do have several premade kits – mostly for stuffed animals. You can find all of them in the Kits section of the shop, and also as an option under each pattern.

      • Chris SAYS...

        Thank you so much for your super helpful videos!