Long and Short Stitch Tutorial

Today I wanted to show you how to do a long and short stitch which you can use to shade in an area or “thread paint”.

The long and short stitch is an easy and fun embroidery stitch to do to blend colors together. It’s a series of long and short stitches that are similar to that of a satin stitch. It’s commonly used in silk shading or “thread painting”. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to blend three colors together.

long and short stitch tutorial
  1. Make a straight stitch.
  2. Come up through the fabric right next to the first stitch you made and make it longer or shorter than the other stitch.
  3. Repeat this process, varying your stitches in length.
  4. Using a lighter or darker shade of the same color, make a new layer of long and short stitches, blending together the stitches you made. (Don’t worry too much about layering these stitches over top of some of your previous stitches!)

I think it looks better to vary your stitches in length. Don’t follow a pattern of long, short, long, short too much. It seems to blend together more if you vary your long and short stitch lengths and mix it up a bit!

In this tutorial, I will be using all six strands of embroidery floss, but to make your blending more subtle, consider using only 1-3 strands of the cotton embroidery floss!

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