Tuesday, April 25, 2017

satin stitch five-pointed stars

Hello, I know it's been awhile! I am back to share a bit of what I am working on now - lots of five-pointed stars.

I thought I would quickly show how I am satin stitching my stars. To make your own stars you will need:

• fabric and some scrap fabric behind it to stabilize the embroidery (I used a blue bit of fabric and a scrap of flannel behind as the stabilizer)
• embroidery floss, needle, and scissors
• a scrap of cardstock or thin cardboard to make a star stencil
• a permanent fabric safe marker to draw the stars on the fabric (I used a Pitt Pen with S tip)

1. Draw a five-pointed star on a piece of scrap cardstock or thin cardboard.

2. Carefully cut out the star with an exacto knife.

3. My supplies (probably could have been Step 1). Oh well.

4. Trace the star onto the fabric.

5. Place a dot in the center and connect to the inside corners of the star to divide into five segments.

6. Use 2 strands of embroidery floss (knot in the end) and start from the back of the fabric, pushing the needle through on an inside corner. Take the needle front to back on the opposite inside corner. Repeat moving towards the center to cover the segment with satin stitch. I try to hist center of the drawn line with my stitching.

7. Repeat the satin stitch moving towards the center of the star.

8. Once you have stitched to the center of the star move to another inside corner and repeat the satin stitch towards the center on the next segment.

9. Repeat the satin stitch moving towards the center of the star.

10. Fill the inside portion of each segment with satin stitch so that the center of the star is completed. This stabilizes the center and overall shape of the star. If there's a lot of fabric showing through in the center of the star, a small X stitched over that area seems to tidy it up.

11. Now begin on any segment and repeat the satin stitch working outward towards the point of that segment.12. Then go to the next segment and work towards that point.

13. This just shows the stitch pattern I have been using on the points - the last stitch on the tip is a vertical on top of the smallest horizontal. This makes a nice little point.

14. A finished five-point star, like the ones on a United States flag, except these are stitched by hand and each one is a little different.

I started stitching stars because I decided to make a United States flag with some of my grandmothers' fabrics and clothing that my boys have outgrown. I started with piecing the blue field and stitching the white stars, the white stars on the blue slowly blooming in a familiar a pattern. Working on that led to an idea for another project and so now I am stitching gold stars for a different kind of flag. The gold stars are about 1.25" point to point. I am almost halfway to 50 stars on the gold ones. Almost.

There's something very satisfying about working out the same shape over and over, all different and all the same, the soothing texture of repetition. There's a familiar rhythm to the star pattern, no matter the color of the stars.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi, Mo! Thank you. They are a nice repetitive and so meditative thing to work on.

  2. Lovely instructions, thank you! Also your last comment really spoke to me: the repetition but-not-quite-repetition of hand stitched motifs is very beautiful. It echoes the way nature works.

    1. I like the nod to nature very much. Thank you.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi, Jude! Thanks for the warm welcome. I finally found my way back.

  4. Oh, these are great, thank you for the inspiration! Love that you are working with your family's clothes.

    1. My boys are growing so fast, I seem to have an endless supply.

  5. Hurray, it's so good to see you again! This is a wonderful tutorial. Beautiful work.

    1. Hi, Stephanie! Thank you. It's good to be back.

  6. So glad you are back, I was worried about you. Lovely work by the way!

    1. Thank you! I have trouble keeping a schedule. Thankfully busy with all good things.