From time to time I have people asking technique questions about my stitching. People want to know how my satin stitch circles were so circular and neat.
So here is a little guide to how I do my satin stitching! Some of this is personal taste, some of this is proper technique, but hopefully something in here will help you.
For starters I like to use 2 strands of floss as much as possible. Of course in some of my patterns it may call for 1 thread or 3 threads at times, but my preference is to use 2. I find that this is the easiest way to work to achieve a neat finish, less tangles and generally a better stitching experience. The second starter tip is to use a good quality embroidery floss. I have not tried every floss on the market but my definite preference is the Comso threads by Lecien.
In my travels I have found that there are quite a few people out there who have never been taught the correct way to satin stitch, and are therefore never achieving the desired result. It is very important to do this in the right way to get that neat and raised look. I think the second step may be what a lot of people are missing.
First you mark the shape that you want to satin stitch. In this case I have drawn a very rough circle.
The next step which seems to be missed a lot, but is crucial, is to backstitch the outline of your shape with 2 strands of floss.
Once you have fully backstitched your outline, this then becomes your stitching guide. Starting at the top, side most point (sorry for the angled pictures, but you can see the grain of the linen to see which way is straight). Take your needle through just outside your backstitches.
Now take the thread straight down and thread it back through just outside your back stitches at the bottom.
Now bring the needle back through at the top, right next to your previous stitch, still coming through just outside the backstitches so that you are maintaining the circle shape.
Again bring the stitch straight down, in line with your first satin stitch, and thread it through to the back just outside the backstitches.
Continue on in the same way along your circle. Please ensure that you never pull the threads too tight and warp your circle and that you continue to stitch outside your back stitches.
Once you have completed you should have a neat circle/shape that looks something like this.
Your satin stitch shape should always have the same shape as your backstitched outline. Another benefit to the backstitches is that they raise your satin stitches to give them that extra definition.