How to stitch flowers


Kreinik Calling! Exclusive to Mr X Stitch!

Are you surrounded by colorful, cheerful, bright flowers today? I hope so; a spot of nature always refreshes, and even more so when it comes in the form of beautiful, aromatic flowers. Where I am on the east coast of the United States, spring has everything in bloom. It has me inspired to share four creative ideas for making stitched flowers—that is, for making stitched flowers that stand out. No need to be dull when it comes to this motif. Nature is dimensional, colorful, textural…carry these features along into your embroidery.

Metallic threads make any stitched flower stand out. Use them to add texture, dimension and light. These threads are from Kreinik, www.kreinik.com.
Metallic threads make any stitched flower stand out. Use them to add texture, dimension and light. These threads are from Kreinik, www.kreinik.com.

1. Outline them with metallic threads. This is the simplest way to make a flower stand out, no matter what you’ve used to stitch your flower. Simply work a backstitch in a metallic thread (to contrast with cotton, wool, or silk floss), or couch a decorative thread around the motif. You will be amazed at how it transforms your design.

Kreinik Japan thread (size #5) was couched around these satin-stitched roses to create a cloisonne effect. Outlining flowers with a metallic thread "lifts" the motif off your fabric, especially if you are using a contrasting silk, cotton or wool for the petals. Beautiful and easy. Kreinik Japan Thread: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Japan-Thread-5-5m-spools.html
Kreinik Japan thread (size #5) was couched around these satin-stitched roses to create a cloisonne effect. Outlining flowers with a metallic thread “lifts” the motif off your fabric, especially if you are using a contrasting silk, cotton or wool for the petals. Beautiful and easy. Kreinik Japan Thread: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Japan-Thread-5-5m-spools.html

2. Stitch the centers in metallic threads. Flower centers are usually totally different than the petal part of the plant. Use this contrast as a texture opportunity, with threads and stitches as your medium. I am a fan of making flower centers stand out by using a shimmery metallic thread. Again, the contrast with a silk, cotton, or wool petal will be eye-catching and refreshing.

Flower centers need to be different from the petal parts...so simply add a metallic thread for texture and visual effect. Kreinik Braid is used in the design on the top (from the book Metallic Thread Embroidery by Jacqueline Friedman Kreinik). Kreinik Micro Ice Chenille (a fly fishing thread!) is used in the design on the bottom by Rita Lynne of Almost Heaven Designs.
Flower centers need to be different from the petal parts…so simply add a metallic thread for texture and visual effect. Kreinik Braid is used in the design on the top (from the book Metallic Thread Embroidery by Jacqueline Friedman Kreinik). Kreinik Micro Ice Chenille (a fly fishing thread!) is used in the design on the bottom by Rita Lynne of Almost Heaven Designs.

3. Add beads. Generally, I’m not a big fan of beads because I seem to lose more than I actually stitch onto my work. However, they are beautiful additions to any embroidery, especially flowers. You are working on layers in a floral motif, so make one of them a beaded stitch. It’s an easy and effective technique.

Beads are an easy way to add texture and dimension to a flower motif. The design on the left is from a needlepoint canvas by Kelly Clark Designs. The design on the left was created by Carolyn Hedge Baird in her stitch guide for a Melissa Shirley needlepoint canvas. Both are beautiful examples of ways to add beads.
Beads are an easy way to add texture and dimension to a flower motif. The design on the left is from a needlepoint canvas by Kelly Clark Designs. The design on the left was created by Carolyn Hedge Baird in her stitch guide for a Melissa Shirley needlepoint canvas. Both are beautiful examples of ways to add beads.

4. Make them dimensional. While everything I’ve mentioned so far creates dimension in a stitched flower, here I am suggesting that you make the flower separate from your embroidery, then applique it onto your design. If you dabble in crochet, tatting, punchneedle, or other stitching areas, now is a great time to combine them with embroidery. It’s fun, creative, and makes a design into a handmade bouquet.

If you knit, crochet, do punchneedle, tatting, or any other technique, make some flowers (plenty of free patterns online) that you can attach to anything.
If you knit, crochet, do punchneedle, tatting, or any other technique, make some flowers (plenty of free patterns online) that you can attach to anything.

 

The notions company Clover Needlecraft has a flower maker tool that is just too fun. You can make flower appliques using any thread or ribbon. It's addictive; make a bouquet while watching tv, then add flowers to all your projects, cards, clothes, gifts...endless.
The notions company Clover Needlecraft has a flower maker tool that is just too fun. You can make flower appliques using any thread or ribbon. It’s addictive; make a bouquet while watching tv, then add flowers to all your projects, cards, clothes, gifts…endless.

KreinikGirl
Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing Company, a family-owned, USA-based business that manufactures high-quality yarns and threads made of metallics, silks and real metals from their West Virginia factory. Dena’s monthly column, Kreinik Calling, sheds light on the fascinating fibres that we all use and love.
KreinikGirl

@kreinikgirl

Official thread news, tips, ideas and answers from Dena Lenham, Creative Director at thread company Kreinik Mfg. Co., Inc.
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KreinikGirl
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