The long and short stitch, also known as “thread-painting” or “needle-painting”, is a form of freestyle embroidery, often used for filling big areas and shading flower petals or bird feathers in needle painting. The characteristic feature of this stitch is that the stitches of the first row are worked in such a way that they are alternately long and short. For a smoother look, especially in color blending try to:
- Add variety to the stitch length. A blocky, perfectly measured long and short stitch can look nice and tidy, but alternating the length of the stitches will create a more natural and realistic look, especially when blending colors.
- Use fewer strands of the floss. Using all 6 strands con look very bulky. Thinner the thread, the smoother the transition between colors and glossier the surface.
- Change the stitching direction. Stitch direction can help add dimension to shapes and make them look more natural.
Want to learn more filling stitches? Read the article “Hand embroidery Filling stitches – part 1” in my blog.
Watch the video tutorial below to learn the Long and short stitch