Seed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch) Easy Tutorial

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Learn how to do seed stitch embroidery. Embroidery stitches have such wonderful, picturesque names. Seed stitch, also known as rice stitch, is very aptly named. This stitch, when completed in a group, looks just as if a farmer had scattered some seed over your embroidery and you have captured the design in colored threads.

Seed Stitch Embroidery, Rice StitchPinSeed Stitch Embroidery, Rice Stitch


Seed Stitch EmbroideryHow to Do Seed Stitch EmbroideryStep 1: Insert NeedleStep 2: Needle Back DownStep 3: RepeatSeed Stitch Embroidery TIPSHow to Sew Double Seed Stitch EmbroideryStep 1: First StitchStep 2: Insert at Same PointStep 3: RepeatSingle Vs Double Seed Stitch EmbroiderySeed Stitch EmbroideryToolsMaterialsInstructionsMore Embroidery Articles

Seed Stitch Embroidery

The wonderful thing about this stitch is it is so simple and not dependent on great precision or accuracy. It is simply little straight stitches placed in different directions over a design in your embroidery.

Whether you choose to be symmetrical or random, the outcome will still be attractive and fill in the desired space. The secret lies in the spaces between the stitches if you are wanting a precise and uniform outcome.

Embroidery for Beginners

Learn how to embroider and the best embroidery stitches with this easy beginners guide.

How to Embroider

A variation can be achieved by changing the colors of the threads like my sampler.

Seed stitch embroidery can also be used underneath satin stitch to give a raised or padded effect to the design. This is often used underneath leaves and flowers where there are large dense areas.

seed stitch embroidery, rice stitch seed stitch embroidery, rice stitch PinSeed Stitch Embroidery with Different Threads

How to Do Seed Stitch Embroidery

Seed stitch is very simple as it is just a small version of straight stitch which is basically a straight up and down style of stitch. It is really easy for beginners.

If you are new to sewing embroidery, read my article on embroidery basics to get started. Like many embroidery stitches, it is easiest to sew this stitch using a hoop. These are relatively cheap to purchase and come in bamboo or plastic. You can just use a small one and move it as you embroider the different areas of your item.

Start by transferring the outline of your design to the fabric. I am using a leaf design to fill with the seed stitch. An easy way to transfer embroidery designs on to fabric is to print the design on your printer and then tape it to a window.

Hold the fabric over the paper and the light will let you see the design underneath. Trace over the outline with chalk or a removable pen. It is important that the markings can be removed, especially if you are not going to use an outline stitch.

Step 1: Insert Needle

Come up from underneath the fabric at the top of the design. Although this design is random it is easiest to start at the top so your threads underneath are not crossing over too much.

seed stitch step 1seed stitch step 1PinSeed Stitch Embroidery – Step 1

Step 2: Needle Back Down

Put the needle down a short distance from (1) at (2). This can be any distance but usually, ⅛ to ¼ inch looks best.

seed stitch step 2seed stitch step 2PinSeed Stitch Embroidery – Step 2seed stitch step 2seed stitch step 2PinSeed Stitch Embroidery – Step 2 Completed

Step 3: Repeat

Come up again and repeat with the stitch facing a random direction. If you find it hard to keep thinking about the directions, mark the little stitches.

seed stitch step 3seed stitch step 3PinSeed Stitch Embroidery – Step 3

Here I alternated with 4  different colors. I think it looks a little like the hundreds and thousands on top of a cake.

seed stitch, how to do rice stitch, Seed Stitch Embroideryseed stitch, how to do rice stitch, Seed Stitch EmbroideryPinSeed Stitch Embroidery

Seed Stitch Embroidery TIPS

MARKING – Drawing the outline with a disappearing pen helps to contain the stitches.DIRECTION OF STITCHING – The seeds are best begun at the top of the design and worked down to the end.RANDOM VS CONTROLLED – If you prefer something more controlled, look at how strawberry seeds are placed on the fruit.  They look like little downward seed stitches placed carefully on the strawberry.

How to Sew Double Seed Stitch Embroidery

If you need a heavier look, you can sew double seed stitchembroidery.

Step 1: First Stitch

This is the same as a single seed stitch. Bring the needle up from underneath at (1) and put it down at (2).

double seed stitch step 1double seed stitch step 1PinDouble Seed Stitch Embroidery – Step 1

Step 2: Insert at Same Point

Bring the needle up next to point (1) at (3) and then down next to point (2) at (4).

This gives the effect of two grains of rice sitting next to each other.

double seed stitch step 2double seed stitch step 2PinDouble Seed Stitch Embroidery – Step 2double seed stitch step 2double seed stitch step 2Pin Double Seed Stitch Embroidery – Step 2 Completed

Step 3: Repeat

Continue in the same random fashion.

Single Vs Double Seed Stitch Embroidery

See the difference between a single and double seed stitch. The single stitch looks neater and the double is better if you are using the seed stitch embroidery as the padding underneath satin stitching. Of course, this is just personal preference – you might like the look of the double stitch for your project.

double seed stitch, single seed stitchdouble seed stitch, single seed stitchPinSingle Vs Double Seed Stitch Embroidery

Sewing seeds or scattering grains of rice, this stitch is a perfectly simple way to fill in or add a bit of zest to any design. Seed stitch embroidery will have you sewing seeds not sowing them!!

seed stitch embroidery, rice stitchseed stitch embroidery, rice stitchPin

Seed Stitch Embroidery

Learn how to do seed stitch embroidery as a great filler or to add padding under other stitches.

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Difficulty: Easy Beginner

Keyword: Embroidery and Hand Sewing

Total Time: 5minutes


Embroidery NeedleEmbroidery HoopScissors


Embroidery Floss


Draw the outline of your embroidery design.Insert the needle at the edge of the design at (1)seed stitch step 1seed stitch step 1PinPut the needle down a short distance away at (2). The distance should be ⅛ inch if possible.seed stitch step 2seed stitch step 2PinRepeat to fill the area. double seed stitch step 1double seed stitch step 1Pin

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