Embroider Tiny Hearts with Scroll Stitch

  • 01 of 05

    Turn Single Scroll Stitches into Hearts

    Stitching Tiny Scroll Hearts
    Stitching Tiny Scroll Hearts. © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    In February, we see lots of hearts around, but learning how to stitch a tiny heart is a skill you'll be glad to have year-round. These itty bitty hearts can be used on their own, or incorporated into another design, and they're just about 1/4" tall!

    Embroidering tiny things is fun, but it can also be tricky. Sometimes the best way to make something extra-small is to use a different stitch than you'd expect.

    One way to embroider tiny hearts is with two fly stitches, stitched as...MORE scallops. They are simple, but fun. 

    For this heart, which has a folk-art look to it, we'll use scroll stitch

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Stitch the Left Side of the Heart

    The First Scroll Stitch
    The First Scroll Stitch. © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    Scroll stitch is typically worked from left to right or right to left. To form a heart, it's good to work vertically, turning your work as it is helpful.

    Come up through the fabric, then take a small horizontal stitch from left to right. The needle point should come up a little less than 1/4" above where the thread comes through the fabric. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees clockwise as you take the stitch.

    Wrap the floss under the left side of the needle, then around the stitch...MORE and under the needle on the right. Pull the needle through and the first half of the heart will appear.

    Something to remember: when stitching each half of the heart, the needle should point toward the center, and the loop of thread should look a bit like half of a heart before you even pull the needle through. 

    If the stitch doesn't seem to have a little scroll shape, the stitch probably wasn't done correctly, and should be pulled out and stitched again.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Tack the Stitch in Place

    Tack Down the Stitch
    Tack Down the Stitch. © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    To hold the stitch in place, take the needle down just above and to the right of where the thread is coming up through the fabric. Don't pull it too tight or you may pull the stitch through.

    Now you're ready to continue with the right half of the heart.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Stitch the Right Side of the Heart

    Second Scroll Stitch Toward the Center
    Second Scroll Stitch Toward the Center. © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    Form the right half of the heart with a second scroll stitch worked in reverse. 

    Come up at the bottom of the heart and take a small horizontal stitch from right to left. The stitch should be parallel to the first stitch, which is lower than the top of the heart. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees counter-clockwise as you take the stitch.

    Wrap the thread under the right side of the needle, over the stitch and under the left side of the needle. Pull the needle through, and tack the scroll...MORE down as you did with the first half.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finish the Tiny Heart

    Finished Scroll Heart
    Finished Scroll Heart. © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    Your finished heart should look something like this. The heart halves may lift from the fabric some, and that's okay. They have a dimensional quality to them. You can also flatten them out a bit by pressing them down with your finger.

    To make the ring of hearts in the first page of this tutorial, trace two circles with a water-soluble pen. One circle should be about 1/4" larger than the other. Add hearts around the ring, using the traced circles as a guide for the top and bottom of your...MORE stitches.

    These hearts would also be perfect for filling in a heart silhouette!

    Learning to make consistent tiny hearts can take some practice, but they are so cute and versatile that you'll be glad you did!