How to sew coral stitch

How to sew coral stitch web

Master coral stitch in time for Christmas with this quick-sew embroidery hoop DIY by Mollie Johanson.

Slow sewing is the perfect tonic to the hurried pace of the holiday season. If, like us, you’re in need of a little down time with a needle and thread, this quick-stitch project is the perfect evening make for you to curl up with over the Christmas holidays.

You will need

  • Linen fabric: 30x30cm (12x12in)
  • Cotton fabric: 25x30cm (10x12in)
  • Felt: 20x20cm (8x8in)
  • Stranded cotton
  • Embroidery hoop: 20cm (8in) diameter
  • Basic sewing kit


Tip: Coating your stranded cotton with thread conditioner when using all six strands will help with smoother stitching.

How to work Coral Stitch

Step one: Bring the needle up through the fabric. Hold the working thread along the pattern line. Go down just above the line, leaving a loop of thread on the surface.

How to sew coral stitch step 1

Step two: Bring the needle up just below the line, flipping the loop of thread down so it surrounds the needle. Pull the needle through so the loop tightens into a knot. Repeat, spacing the knots as close or as far apart as you prefer.

How to sew coral stitch step 2

How to stitch the design

Step one: Place the linen centrally over the embroidery template and trace over the lines. You need to trace both the upper and lower lines of the letters.

Step two: Embroider the ‘merry’ design following the traced lines. Use six strands of medium green stranded cotton and coral stitch for the main word. Use three strands of light green stranded cotton and backstitch for the small accent lines.

Joining the fabrics

Step one: Trim the embroidered linen to 12x28cm (434x11in) with the design placed centrally on the fabric.

Step two: Cut the cotton fabric into two pieces measuring 10x28cm (4x11in) each.

Step three: Place the long edge of one piece of cotton fabric right sides (RS) together across the top long edge of the linen. Stitch together then press the seams open.

Step four: Repeat to stitch the other piece of cotton fabric across the bottom of the linen.

How to sew coral stitch step 3

Embellishing the design

Step one: Mount the pieced fabric in the embroidery hoop, making sure that the design is central and the fabric is taut.

Step two: Embroider French knots and star stitches over the linen and cotton fabrics. Scatter and group them as you like.

How to sew coral stitch step 4


Finishing off

Step one: Trim the fabric 3cm (114in) outside the hoop all the way around.

Step two: Work a running stitch around the edge of the fabric and pull it to gather then secure with a few stitches.

How to sew coral stitch step 5

Step three: Cut a circle of felt that is slightly smaller than the back of the hoop.

Step four: Stitch the felt to the gathered fabric with matching thread and tiny whip stitches.

How to sew coral stitch step 6

Step five: Cut a 1x28cm (38x11in) strip of fabric and thread it through the hoop screw then tie the ends in a knot for hanging.