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Choosing Colors for Seed Stitch

Three Is the Magic Number - choosing colors for seed stitch

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I love using seed stitch for fill stitching.

It just has so much texture!

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!

You can watch the video showing the basics of how to do the seed stitch here. In this post I’m going to show you some seed stitch-in-progress so you can see what adding the additional colors does. (You can click on any of these photos to see them bigger.)

Seed Stitch step 1 - the darkest colorI 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 shadeOooh! 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 shadeWow! 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!

That's me!

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  1. Lacey SAYS...

    Wendi, thanks for this tutorial! I never thought about using three threads and it makes such a difference!

    Love your blog, website and Facebook page!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I’m a little surprised every single time by what a difference it makes. 🙂

    • Shelley SAYS...

      What a great tutorial. I am not good at filling in embroidery work and this tutorial is inspirational! Thanks for sharing.

      • wendigratz SAYS...

        I’m glad it was helpful! 🙂

  2. Christa SAYS...

    Wow! I had never thought to use three stitches before. It fills so nicely, and you’re right, the texture is great! Thanks for sharing.

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I’m glad it was helpful. 🙂