I'm sure every stitcher has a stitch they aren't crazy about, a stitch that they can never get quite right. Mine has always been stem stitch - in the past, I've avoided using it even when it's the obvious choice, just because I'm not happy with the quality of my stitch.
But I'm coming around! With some practice, my stem stitch is finally starting to look as neat as I'd like. Stem stitch works beautifully for nice fluid shapes; things like large script lettering, decorative swirls and, of course, flower stems are all great matches for stem stitch. Check out these three wonderful examples of stem stitch used to create a clean and perfectly flowing line:
Sunprinted Initial by Jackie K.
Pink Flower Close-Up by Jessica
Cherry Sue Blind Contour Details by Kara
Although these all technically use stem stitch as a simple outline, they are so lovely in their simplicity - they really inspire me to work at getting my stem stitch even better.
But that's not all! Stem stitch also has some interesting variations, which I'll show you later on this week!