Most of the stitches in hand embroidery can be used for filling embroidery designs. These are my favourite filling stitches:
Satin stitch - bring the needle up through the fabric at your starting point. Insert the needle again across from your original entry point, on the opposite side of the shape you are filling. Bring the needle up on the side of the shape where you started and go back down on the opposite side. Repeat the process to make additional stitches.
Brick stitch - Begin by pulling the needle up through the fabric and do one stitch forward. From underneath, space the needle out the length of your desired stitch, pull up through the fabric, and bring the needle and floss back down through the end of the previous stitch.
Long and short stitch
Long and short stitch - Long and short stitches are the best filling stitches when you have a big design area to fill. First row is filled with alternating long and short stitches. The remaining rows are filled by piercing through the previous row, creating overlap.
Back split stitch
Back split stitch - the split stitch creates a solid line. Begin by pulling the needle up through the fabric and do one stitch forward. From underneath, space the needle out the length of your desired stitch, pull up through the fabric, and bring the needle and floss back down through the center of the previous stitch.
Fishbone stitch - the fishbone stitch is a great stitch to embroider leaves. Using two strands of floss gives a smooth, shiny effect, but if you want a quicker result you can use all 6 strands. Start with a vertical stitch, which is around 1/3rd to 1/2 the length of the leaf. Now bring the needle up again, but slightly to the left side of the center and make a diagonal straight stitch ending slightly to the right from the center. Now repeat the same thing on the other side. Bring the needle up on the outline slightly to the right of the center and insert the needle at a point to the left of the center. If you do it right you will notice that the stitches are crossing at the bottom. Continue working the fishbone stitch in the same manner. Your stitches will keep crossing at the bottom which will create a “spine” effect.
Stem stitch - This stitch creates a thin line and can be used to outline embroidered shapes, to form flower and plant stems and more. It's a nice option for anything that needs to curve. In stem stitch each stitch overlaps the previous stitch to one side, forming a twisted line of stitching, with the thread passing below the needle.
Happy stitching 🌸😊