How to Embroider Inchies

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What is an embroidered inchie, anyway? Simply a piece of fabric filled with 1 inch by 1 inch squares of embroidery. Inchies are great projects for everyone from beginners to advanced embroiderers because they can be as simple or complicated as you like. What a lovely way to practice those embroidery stitches you've been dying to try.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 2 of 13

Things You\’ll Need

5-inch embroidery hoop

10 inch by 10 inch piece of tightly woven cotton or linen fabric


Water-soluble marking pencil or pen

Embroidery needle

Embroidery floss in a variety of colors



Felt, 9 inches by 12 inches

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 3 of 13

Draw a Grid

Iron your fabric to release any wrinkles. Place the fabric on a clean, flat work surface. Using the pencil and ruler, draw a 1 inch by 1 inch square grid on the right side of the fabric. Depending on how many squares you plan to embroider, make the grid as large or small as you like.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 4 of 13

Embroidery Hoop

Unscrew the embroidery hoop and separate the two rings. With the grid facing up, center the fabric over the smaller inner ring. Fit the outer ring over the fabric and inner ring, pulling the fabric taught; tighten the screw to secure the fabric.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 5 of 13

Backstitch a Square

Cut 18 inches of embroidery floss and thread your needle. Using the basic backstitch, outline one of the squares close to the center of the grid. Choose your squares carefully to insure your design is centered within the fabric.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 6 of 13

Draw a Letter

Draw a simple letter "H" and embroider the outline using the backstitch.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 7 of 13

Seeding Stitch

Embroider the space surrounding the letter H with the Seeding stitch, changing the direction of the stitch for a scattered effect.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 8 of 13

Try Other Stitches

Repeat steps 4 to 6 to embroider the remaining letters in the word HOME. Use other stitches such as french knot or fly stitch to fill in around the letters. Embroider as many of the surrounding squares as you like with abstract patterns that combine two or even three different types of stitches.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 9 of 13

Iron Your Embroidery

Unscrew the embroidery hoop and remove your completed project. Tie off any loose thread in the back of your work. Place the fabric on an ironing board and use a clean iron to remove creases and wrinkles.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 10 of 13

Back into the Hoop

Place the embroidery back into the hoop with the design centered. Pull the fabric taught over the hoop before tightening the screw.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 11 of 13

Trim Excess Fabric

Cut away the excess embroidery fabric 1 ½" from the edge of the hoop. Press the fabric toward the center of the hoop.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 12 of 13

Felt Backing

Cut a circle of felt the same circumference as the embroidery hoop.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader ... 13 of 13


Hand stitch the felt backing to the embroidery fabric at the outer edge of the hoop, catch the felt and fabric with your needle as you sew.

Image Credit: Amelia Strader