Rhodes Stitch

This is a very interesting stitch that leaves scope for some experimentation. A series of straight stitches are used to overlap each other to develop symmetric shape like a square, circle, heart, etc… This stitch can be worked nicely over even weaved fabric, but this tutorial will illustrate it over a normal fabric. Rhodes stitch can make great filling textures.

I will demonstrate a square shape using this stitch. So, I will work inside a square drawn on the fabric. The outline of the square will be the stitch line for the Rhodes stitch.

Fig 1: Start by coming out from one corner of the square shape, the point A. Take the needle in at the opposite end, point B. Fig 2: Now, come out from C, a point near point A. Go in through D, a point opposite to C. Then, again come out through E, and continue with this process.
Fig 3: A finished square looks like this. Since the straight stitches run from one end to the other, overlapping each other at the center, it gives a ‘spinning’ appearance.
This technique can be used to make any shape, especially symmetric ones. So, try circle, triangle, and heart shapes too.
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14 Responses

  1. Hi! I found you through Pinterest, on one of the chain like tutorials. I love your site, full of great tutorials. I don’t embroider, but I really want to try my hand at it now that I’ve seen your site!

    I’m an artist, and I’m always looking for different creative outlets!

  2. Pushpa India Safari iPad says:

    I love your website.i take maximum help from here.i love hand embroidery.i want to do hardanger embroidery.can you tell me which fabric should I use and is available in Delhi. I got a small piece from London 22 count evenweave and I want more like this type. I would be very grateful if you help me. Thanks

  3. Hi – I wanted to talk to you about an embroidery website project I am starting.

    Please could you contact me at futurewasp77@me.com

    Many thanks & Kind regards,
    Darren Butler

  4. Trupti India Safari iPad says:

    I love ur blog. I am teaching my children and her friends. V v helpful

  5. I want to know where I will get Learning Books Embroidery

    • Sarah United States Google Chrome  Redmi 5 Plus) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Mobile Safari/537.36 says:

      Hi Mani Kumar,
      You can buy our ebook which will be available in a few months. It will have all the details that a beginner will require to do hand embroidery.

  6. mist India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Dear sarah…
    Everything about your blog captures my interest. there is something really beautiful with how you do things, be it embroidery, photography or anything. The way u have represented everything in your blog makes me feel that you are a warm, loving woman who is absolutely optimistic about everything in life. kudos to that!

  7. Basdai Premchandsingh United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I discovered Sarah’s hand embroidery tutorial only last evening. I am 71 and gave up hand sewing many many years ago because of ‘carpal tunnel’ in my right hand. Now, after surgery a few months ago, I find that I can use a needle proficiently once more. This website is a ‘God sent’. Thank you. I am going to enjoy the days ahead

    • Sarah United States Google Chrome  Redmi 5 Plus) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Mobile Safari/537.36 says:

      Hello Basdai ji
      How are you? Yes, it is an awfully late response, and I am so sorry about the delay. How is your hand embroidery hobby going on? I am eager to hear about it. ☺️

  8. Viv Netherlands Google Chrome Windows says:


    you are just fabulous. This is such a good stitch to know & I will use it for my project.

  9. cloudblues United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    The last photo sort of looks like there’s something more than just a straight across stitch going on there … is the thread twisting on itself? My eyes can’t seem to make the photo be just a straight stitch across. It kind of looks like you went under another stitch? Or down into the center? Ack. 🙂 Help my aging eyes please! 🙂

    • sarah India Internet Explorer Windows says:

      Dear cloudblues,

      Since you are working around the shape with straight stitches overlapping each other, it will give a final ‘twisted’ effect in the center.
      I must have finished the very last straight stich in the middle (since my thread was finishing), instead of taking it all the way across to the other end, which probably might be causing you to think that there is more to this stitch! I must say, aging though, you have keen eyes. 🙂

  10. Padma India Google Chrome Windows says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I’ve just fallen in love with your website. I am going to start trying out your stitches. I would like to know what fabric you are using for your embroidery as well as cross stitch as it seems thicker than simple cotton fabric.

    I’ve already got my needle and threads and waiting to start stitching.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Sarah United States Google Chrome  Redmi 5 Plus) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Mobile Safari/537.36 says:

      Hi Padma, long time. How is your embroidery hobby going on?
      I always use simple white cotton fabric for my stitching.☺️

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