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Blog > How to fill in a monogram or initial in raised stem-stitch

How to fill in a monogram or initial in raised stem-stitch

Hello stitching world ♪♫
Today, I thought I would show you how to embroider a letter in raised stem-stitch — an ideal way to form a three-dimensional shape with a lovely texture.
The letter C is filled in with raised stem-stitch. Click on the image to enlarge

When you need a personalised gift for a special occasion or
when making a decorative piece for your home:
a distinguished initial can be very useful indeed.
This lesson is from my Embroidered Alphabets and Monograms and Words books: page 33 and 65.
Raised stem stitch

1. Make the foundation stitches:  work vertical rows of straight stitches as shown above.
Hint: The straight stitches should be evenly spaced and use the same tension throughout.
Don't make the stitches too loose, but also not too tight as you will need to get the needle under these in the next step.
An even tension will result in a good finish.

Work from left to right. Come up and catch the first stitch (or you could miss the first stitch and catch the second) and form rows of stem stitch by inserting the needle under the stitches as shown. See how the needle faces the emerging thread and the thread is looped below the needle? At the end of the row, take the needle to the back and run it under the threads at the back of your work. Come up on the left again to start the next row.
This is how I made the letter C...
1. Use perlé no. 12 thread for this letter and make the foundation rows of straight stitch...

 2. Make a row of stem stitches...  insert the needle under the foundation stitches.

3. At the end of the row, take your needle to the back and run it under the stitches at the back of your work
to reach the starting point again. Make another row of stem stitch...

4. Make four or five rows and then push them tightly against each other with your index finger. The tighter they are packed, the better the effect. 

Make more rows to fill the space. When you reach the end of the narrow section of the letter, take your needle to the back and come up along the wider section. Make more rows. Keep pushing the rows close together for a rounded effect.
5. The completed letter. 

Hint: To create a shadow (and to neaten the edge at the same time) use one strand of medium grey or purple thread. Choose from the six strand cotton or silk threads. Make small stem or back stitches inserting the needle into the fabric.
The letter C is then embellished with roses and leaves.... click on the image to enlarge.

In another example from page 86 of the same book,  I used two strands of silk thread and raised stem-stitch to form the letter N.
Click on the image to enlarge...

.... and for the letter V on page 102, I used one strand of silk thread. See how the finish is a little smoother than the letter C?

You can use the same stitch to form the letter B...

Close-up detail of letter B. See how the letter is raised off the surface of the fabric? This is the advantage of using raised stem-stitch.

...or you could use raised stem-stitch for any other letter in the alphabet.
Hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial.  
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Have a good week and happy stitching :)
~ ~
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