Turn Single Scroll Stitches Into Hearts
In February, you see lots of hearts around, but learning how to stitch a tiny heart is a skill you'll be glad to have year-round. These itty bitty hearts can be used on their own or incorporated into another design, and they're just about 1/4-inch tall.
Embroidering tiny things is fun, but it can also be tricky. Sometimes the best way to make something extra-small is to use a different stitch than you'd expect.
For this heart, which has a folk-art look to it, we'll use scroll stitch.
Stitch the Left Side of the Heart
Scroll stitch is typically worked from left to right or right to left. To form a heart, it's good to work vertically, turning your work as it is helpful.
Come up through the fabric, then take a small horizontal stitch from left to right. The needle's point should come up a little less than 1/4 inch above where the thread comes through the fabric. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees clockwise as you take the stitch.
Wrap the floss under the left side of the needle, then around the stitch and under the needle on the right. Pull the needle through and the first half of the heart will appear.
Note: When stitching each half of the heart, the needle should point toward the center, and the loop of thread should look a bit like half of a heart before you even pull the needle through.
If the stitch doesn't seem to have a little scroll shape, the stitch probably wasn't done correctly and should be pulled out and stitched again.
Tack the Stitch in Place
To hold the stitch in place, take the needle down just above and to the right of where the thread is coming up through the fabric. Don't pull it too tight or you may pull the stitch through.
Now you're ready to continue with the right half of the heart.
Stitch the Right Side of the Heart
Form the right half of the heart with a second scroll stitch worked in reverse.
Come up at the bottom of the heart and take a small horizontal stitch from right to left. The stitch should be parallel to the first stitch, which is lower than the top of the heart. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees counterclockwise as you take the stitch.
Wrap the thread under the right side of the needle, over the stitch, and under the left side of the needle. Pull the needle through, and tack the scroll down as you did with the first half.
Finish the Tiny Heart
Your finished heart should look something like this. The heart halves may lift from the fabric some, and that's okay. They have a dimensional quality to them. You can also flatten them out a bit by pressing them down with your finger.
To make a ring of hearts, trace two circles with a water-soluble pen. One circle should be about 1/4 inch larger than the other. Add hearts around the ring, using the traced circles as a guide for the top and bottom of your stitches.
These hearts would also be perfect for filling in a heart silhouette.
Learning to make consistent tiny hearts can take some practice, but they are so cute and versatile that you'll be glad you did!