Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern Embroidery Pattern - stitching tips and tricks

Making the Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern embroidery pattern

The Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern embroidery pattern is a mash up of all the things we love about the Halloween season. It features a sweet jack-o'-lantern pumpkin with a Fall floral crown and a colorful sugar skull face. A great design to stitch onto a tea towel for easy decor! In this blog post, we will review the basic embroidery stitches used in the Sugar Skull-'O-Lantern embroidery pattern as well as discuss the satin stitch a little more and how to stitch in different directions. 

hand stitching the halloween sugar skull jack-o'-lantern embroidery pattern

Want to stitch the Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern in real-time with Alyssa, owner of Penguin & Fish? Scroll to the end of this blog to watch the Livestream videos from September, 2020 and stitch along. Plus, pick up tips and tricks on how to get started, what order to stitch in, and more!

More info about the Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern pattern

Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern embroidery pattern

The Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern embroidery pattern is a Skill Level 1 - perfect for beginners! We like to call a design like this a "2-movie project" It will likely take 4-6 hours to complete (depending on your experience level). Not too long that it feels unattainable, but long enough to put your feet up for a bit after a long day. 

Finished pumpking embroidery with sugar skull face framed in a hoop

The finished size of the Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern pattern is 5 1/2" x 6" (approximately 14 cm x 15 cm) and frames nicely in an 8" embroidery hoop.

Stitches used in the Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern pattern

This pattern uses six basic embroidery stitches: backstitch, satin stitch, stem stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy stitch and French knot stitch. Let's review each one quickly as a refresher. Click on the stitch diagram to learn more about the stitch, including step-by-step instructions.


how to do a backstitch diagram

Bring needle UP at 1. Insert needle DOWN at 2 making a stitch backwards along the line to meet last stitch. Come UP at 3 a stitch length away from 1. Continue along line.

Stem Stitch

embroidery stem stitch diagram
Bring needle UP at 1. Insert needle DOWN a stitch length away at 2. In the same motion, keeping the excess floss below the line, come UP at 3 next to the last stitch. Continue along line.

Chain Stitch

embroidery chain stitch diagram

Bring needle UP at 1. Insert needle DOWN at 2 through same hold as 1. In the same motion, come UP at 3. Loop floss under needle and pull needle through the loop. Continue along line. To end a row, make a tiny stitch over loop, securing it in place (4).

Lazy Daisy Stitch

embroidery lazy daisy stitch diagram

Bring the needle UP at 1 near center point mark. Insert needle DOWN at 2 through same hole as 1. In the same motion, come UP at 3. Loop floss under needle and pull needle through the loop. Make a tiny stitch over loop, securing loop in place (4). Come UP at 5. Continue making stitches around center point.

French Knot Stitch

embroidery french knot stitch diagram

Bring needle UP at 1. Point needle away from fabric. Wrap floss around the needle twice. Now point the needle towards fabric and insert needle point at 2, a few fabric threads from 1. Pull floss snug against needle and fabric. Slowly pull needle DOWN to back of fabric until knot is secure.

Satin Stitch

embroidery satin stitch diagram

Bring needle UP at 1 on edge of shape. Insert needle DOWN directly across on opposite edge of shape at 2. Come UP at 3 on first edge of shape, one to three fabric threads away from 1. Continue filling in shape with stitches.

close up of yellow flower and orange satin stitched berries

Directional satin stitches

In the Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern pattern, there are a few "berries" at the top of the pumpkin that are stitched using satin stitch. Typically the satin stitch is always stitched in the same direction to give a uniformed look. However, by changing the directions that we stitched each berry brings new depth and movement. To do this, simply change the axis on which you stitch - so instead of vertical stitches, try horizontal or diagonal! 

Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern embroidery supplies laid out - hoop, needle, fabric, floss, instructions

Stitch along with Alyssa

There were actually two Halloween-themed patterns released in September 2020, the Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern and Batty Bat. We stitched both of these patterns togethers on the Craft Night with Friends Livestream. Below are the replay videos from this real-time stitching, from begininng to end. Watch them all in order, or skip ahead to where you might have questions. Either way, you're sure to gain some new tips and tricks to embroidery when you stitch with Alyssa. 

To learn more about the Batty Bat pattern, click here



Buy the pattern!

Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern embroidery supplies kit in a box

Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern Embroidery Kit

Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern PDF Pattern

Sugar Skull-O'-Lantern PDF Pattern

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