One thing I find hard to do is small flowers. As I make lots of small cross stitch and embroidery pieces such as jewellery, I find it hard to stitch realistic flowers. Either they are very simple and too boring for the main work, or I struggle to create one that is detailed enough. I discovered this Rose stitch in The Encyclopedia of stitches, by Karen Hemingway, which I briefly reviewed in a previous post. It was exactly what I was looking for, and is the first new stitch I've tried from her book. The best bit? It's actually very simple to do and looks really pretty. But don't take my word for it, give it a go!
Rose Stitch can be used in many ways to add detail to many types of embroidery. Adjust the thread used depending on the fabric/ embroidery you are doing, for example if doing Crewel work use the same type of wool as you would for the rest of the embroidery. In the images below I have used 2 strands of DMC embroidery cotton on 28 count even weave.
Start with a French Knot to form the centre of the flower. You can either use the same or a different colour to the petals; I have used a yellow for the centre.
Using the coloured thread for the petals, bring the needle to the front of the work near to the french knot and make a single straight stitch, finishing with the French knot next to the centre of the straight stitch. Now bring the needle back through about halfway along the first stitch, on the 'outside' of the straight stitch. Take the needle to the reverse of the fabric over the end of the first stitch, keeping the second stitch next to the French knot. Begin a third stitch from about halfway along the second straight stitch, and again end the stitch at an angle to create a web of stitches around the French Knot. Continue doing this to form a flower head. It will look a bit messy at first but keep going until you have reached the size flower you want.
It is also possible to replace the French knot at the centre for a seed bead, and stitch the petals around it. This gives a more obvious centre, but it does protrude slightly from the rest of the flower. Be careful that the first petal stitches go around the bead and don't slip under it to prevent it from popping out further. The idea is to surround the bead with the stitches so the centre is nestled amongst the petal stitches. I've finished off this rose with a couple of leaves, using lazy daisy (detached chain) stitch.
It sounds a bit complicated, but is actually really easy, so have a couple of practises and give it a go!
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