Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Doodle Stitching - Padded Satin Stitch dots

I have finally finished the satin stitch dots on my little square piece doodle stitching. You might notice there is still a dot to be stitched here and there among the finished ones, but I have plans for those… any guesses?

BEFORE DAWN - work in progress
I am filling the spaces between the dots with French knots - close together around each dot and  spilling over the background stitching. It is my hope that the texture of the knots will make the smooth dots look like colourful bubbles floating across the background. Time will tell if it works, but so far I am happy with how it is looking.

I have tried to make my dots as raised as I could, firstly because I just love the smooth domed shape of satin stitch dots but also so that the dome of the dots is higher than the the French knots.

I very, very rarely use multiple strands for satin stitch but instead stitch layer upon layer with a single strand so it is not a quick job, but I find it results in a more smooth and firm domed shape than if I stitched just a single layer of padding with a much thicker thread.
If you are not familiar with padded satin stitch dots, this is how I do it:

Outline the circle with split stitch (or split back stitch). This will help you get a nice, firm and smooth outline on your shape.
Straight stitch padding
1. Start the padding with a few straight stitch in the middle of the circle. You can work these back and forth instead of having long stitches on the back.
2. Place the next layer of straight stitches in the opposite direction to the first. These stitches are only slightly bigger than before.

3. Continue to add layers, each at a right angle and slightly bigger than the previous.
It is not super important that these stitches are perfect since they will be covered.
4. The final layer of padding is placed just inside the split stitch outline. The needle should skim the outline as it passes through the fabric - this will help stabilize the edges of the shape.
TIP: The final layer of padding should always be at a right angle to finishing layer of satin stitch. If you know what direction your satin stitch should be, you will need to keep that in mind when placing your padding.

Satin stitch
To get a nice shine on your final layer, always start a new thread for your satin stitch. You would normally use the same thread for the padding and top layer, I just changed colour so it is easier to see what is going on.
5. Place the first stitch across the middle (or widest point) of your shape. It is so much easier to get the right stitch direction across a wide section than it is at the very end of a shape.
6. Stitching to one side, cover one half of the circle with satin stitch. It is important to work systematically across the shape - if you try and go back to fill tiny gaps, you are likely to get a lumpy and uneven looking result.
TIP: I use the tip of my needle to feel for where it needs to go - it should touch both the outline and previous stitch.

7. Return to the middle and cover the second half of the dot the same way.
TIP: You kind of need to be 'a stitch short' at the end to avoid your circle turning into an egg.
If you look closely at the last picture, you can just see the outline stitches underneath. If I went to cover it up with one more stitch - it would turn oval.

As much as enjoy doing dots, I am pleased they are done. I am almost halfway through the background stitching now and just want to finish that, so I can finish the French knots, so I can finish the piece and move on to something else. I really do get rather impatient once I am well into a project - patience may be a virtue, but it is not really one of mine LOL.
I am hoping to get a bit more work done on the doodle stitching background over the next few days and hope to show you a bit of progress next week.

Talking about being patient - do you remember this one??

STRAWBERRY FEAST, Raised embroidery kit
I cannot believe it is months since I finished it and I have only now managed to get the kits for my Strawberry Feast in the SHOP this week. A few of you had contacted me for the kit, and I truly appreciate your patience.

Best Stitches,
Anna x


  1. Parts of it (esp. the circles across the purple wave) look to me like stepping stones across a stream, so the French knots make sense as bubbles as the water goes around the stones, anyway!

    1. Oh, I had not looked at the dots as stepping stones across water... I like it!

  2. Very nice - thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Very useful tips. Thank you!
    And your work is so pretty. I am very curious what do you plan for those blank dots. :)