To embroider curved lines, the stem stitch makes a fabulous choice. It turns along curved lines beautifully, and you can vary the thickness of your embroidered line by varying the angle of the needle as you make the stitch. These stitch diagrams illustrate the how-to, and I’ve posted a little hamsa for you to practice on.
Now, while the stem stitch turns curves elegantly, you’ll need to adjust the stitch when turning sharp corners. Take a look:
While attending the Association of Jewish Libraries conference earlier this year to spread the word about Sew Jewish, I gave quick little stem stitch lessons using this hamsa. I wish I had time to write up a blog post just about the conference. A number of attendees shared stories about learning to sew from their mothers and grandmothers, and I even met a few fellow members of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework.
Give the stem stitch a try, and embroider a little hamsa for yourself! Click on the image below to get the hamsa pattern to print:
Maria Bywater is the author of Sew Jewish: 18 Projects for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations, and Home. She teaches hands-on Judaica sewing workshops.