Embroidery stitches have such wonderful, picturesque names. Seed stitch embroidery, also known as rice stitch, is very aptly named. The seed stitch, when completed in a group, looks just as if a farmer had scattered some seed over your embroidery and you have captured the design in colored thread.
Seed Stitch Embroidery
The wonderful thing about this stitch is it is so simple and not dependent on great precision or accuracy. It is simply little straight stitches placed in different directions over a design in your embroidery.
Whether you choose to be symmetrical or random, the outcome will still be attractive and fill in the desired space. The secret lies in the spaces between the stitches if you are wanting a precise and uniform outcome.
A variation can be achieved by changing the colors of the threads like my sampler.
Seed stitch embroidery can also be used underneath satin stitch to give a raised or padded effect to the design. This is often used underneath leaves and flowers where there are large dense areas.
How to do Seed Stitch Embroidery
Seed stitch is very simple as it is just a small version of straight stitch which is basically a straight up and down style of stitch. It is really easy for beginners.
If you are new to sewing embroidery, read my article on embroidery basics to get started. Like many embroidery stitches, it is easiest to sew this stitch using a hoop. These are relatively cheap to purchase and come in bamboo or plastic. You can just use a small one and move it as you embroider the different areas of your item.
Start by transferring the outline of your design on the fabric. I am using a leaf design to fill with the seed stitch. An easy way to transfer a design on to fabric is to print the design on your printer and then tape it to a window. Hold the fabric over the paper and the light will let you see the design underneath. Trace over the outline with chalk or a removeable pen. It is important that the markings can be removed, especially if you are not going to use an outline stitch.
Step 1: Insert Needle
Come up from underneath the fabric at the top of the design. Although this design is random it is easiest to start at the top so your threads underneath are not crossing over too much.
Step 2: Needle Back Down
Put the needle down a short distance from (1) at (2). This can be any distance but usually 1/8 to 1/4 inch looks best.
Step 3: Repeat
Come up again and repeat with the stitch facing a random direction. If you find it hard to keep thinking about the directions, mark the little stitches.
Here I alternated with 4 different colors. I think it looks a little like the hundreds and thousands on top of a cake.
Seed Stitch Embroidery TIPS
- MARKING – Drawing the outline with a disappearing pen helps to contain the stitches.
- DIRECTION OF STITCHING – The seeds are best begun at the top of the design and worked down to the end.
- RANDOM VS CONTROLLED – If you prefer something more controlled, look at how strawberry seeds are placed on the fruit. They look like little downward seed stitches placed carefully on the strawberry.
How to Sew Double Seed Stitch Embroidery
If you need a heavier look, you can sew double seed stitch embroidery.
Step 1: First Stitch
This is the same as a single seed stitch. Bring the needle up from underneath at (1) and put it down at (2).
Step 2: Insert at Same Point
Bring the needle up next to point (1) at (3) and then down next to point (2) at (4).
This gives the effect of two grains of rice sitting next to each other.
Step 3: Repeat
Continue in the same random fashion.
Single Vs Double Seed Stitch Embroidery
See the difference between a single and double seed stitch. The single stitch looks neater and the double is better if you are using the seed stitch embroidery as padding underneath satin stitching. Of course, this is just personal preference – you might like the look of the double stitch for your project.
Sewing seeds or scattering grains of rice, this stitch is a perfectly simple way to fill in or add a bit of zest to any design. Seed stitch embroidery will have you sewing seeds not sowing them!!
More Embroidery Articles
- Blanket Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
- Chain Stitch
- Chevron Stitch
- Couching Embroidery Tutorial
- Cross Stitch
- Double Herringbone Stitch
- Embroidery Basics
- Faggoting Embroidery
- Feather Stitch
- Fern Stitch
- Fishbone Stitch
- Fly Stitch
- French Knots
- Hand Embroidery Stitches
- Herringbone Stitch
- Lazy Daisy
- Running Stitch
- Sashiko Embroidery
- Satin Stitch
- Seed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch)
- Stem Stitch
- Straight Stitch
- Web Stitch | Embroidery Tutorial
- Whip Stitch