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Ray stitch

Ray stitch for hand embroidery is a simple way to fill in a shape using a series of straight stitches that radiate out from the same spot. This is a fun alternative to satin stitch, even if it takes a bit longer to execute!

Photo of an embroidery hoop with teal, pink, green, and blue squares stitched onto mustard fabric.
Ray stitch produces a really interesting effect for such a simple stitch!

I've provided written and photo instructions for ray stitch in this post; should a video tutorial be easier for you to follow, I've provided one at the end (feel free to jump ahead!).

Step 1: Draw guidelines before you start stitching.

For this example, I've chosen to stitch very simple squares, but you can fill in almost any shape (in any size) with this technique. I do recommend drawing yourself guidelines within your shape before you get started; these guidelines will help keep your stitching more consistent and make the process a bit less confusing. In the photo below, you can see that I've already drawn myself guidelines in the shape I'll be stitching (on the bottom right).

Step 2: Place a single straight stitch diagonally across your shape.

Step 3: Place your outermost stitches on either side of your first stitch.

Step 4: Fill in the gaps with additional straight stitches.

For these squares, I used a total of seven straight stitches (my three original stitches + the stitches I add in the photos below). Although this is the technically "correct" number of stitches to use for this stitch, you should feel free to adjust this based on the size of your particular shape and your own preferences.

And that's it!

You can use this stitch as an isolated stitch, or continue using it to fill in the rest of your shape.

Video tutorial for ray stitch

In this very short video tutorial, I demonstrate how to do the ray stitch to fill in a shape. I hope it's helpful!

I hope this was helpful! Happy stitching!


Your new favorite hobby awaits with these beginner-friendly embroidery kits!

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