Flowers are one of the most appreciated aspects of nature, and it is no surprise that they are a perfect subject for delicate embroidery flowers. This article will show you how to embroider flowers and the different stitches you can use.
Wildflowers, garden flowers, a bouquet of flowers, or a little beauty picked especially for you can all be transferred onto an embroidery canvas of your choice. Place embroidered flowers on sleeves, neckline, and the bodices of dresses and tops.
Embroidery Flowers Tutorial for Beginners
How do you choose the perfect stitch to represent your embroidery flowers? There are so many creative flower stitches, but often, keeping it simple by choosing basic embroidery stitches can yield the best results. Embroidery flowers may be sewn with beads and ribbon to give a 3d effect.
If you are new to embroidery, read my article on how to embroider for tips on tools, basic stitches, and starting and ending.
Tools for Embroidery Flowers
When learning how to embroider flowers, you will need the following tools:
EMBROIDERY HOOP - Embroidery flowers are easiest to sew when the fabric is held tight in a hoop. This prevents pulling and puckering of the fabric. Hoops can be small or large and can be moved around on larger pieces of fabric.
THREAD - Embroidery flowers can be sewn with embroidery floss, which is normally divided into 1 to 6 strands. 1 strand will give really fine, delicate flowers, and 6 strands will give a slightly thicker, chunkier look. I always use 6 strands, but you may have more patience and prefer a finer look.
NEEDLE - Choose an embroidery needle suitable for the thickness of your thread and the type of fabric you are stitching. Embroidery needles have a large eye to make threading easier. A needle threader may also help you thread tricky needles.
EMBROIDERY PATTERNS - Flower designs can be hand-drawn on your fabric or traced using a lightbox or brightly lit window. Read how to transfer embroidery patterns.
FABRIC - Embroidery is often best done on fabric with an open weave so the needle and thread can easily pass through. Linen, calico, and Aida are commonly used fabrics for embroidery. For my samples, I used an unbleached calico.
Embroidery Stitches for Flowers
Here are 16 stitches you can use for embroidery flowers. Some can be used by themselves, and many can be combined to give unique looks. For more in-depth tutorials with step-by-step instructions, click the links to the different embroidery stitches.
1. Easy Flower Embroidery with Backstitch
Backstitch is an easy way to outline embroidery flowers and create simple designs. It can be combined with backstitched leaves and stems.
The back stitch is a strong stitch, and due to its short stitch length, the threads are unlikely to catch, making it more durable than some other stitches.
2. Blanket Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Blanket stitch will always be a hit for covering petals and, at the same time proving an edge or outline for the flower petal.
Stitch close together or far apart as you see what is going to produce the best effect for your embroidered flower.
3. Buttonhole Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Work the buttonhole stitch around a circle to make wheel flowers. This stitch gives flowers a very nice defined edge. The center can be closed up or left open to add French knots.
My sample flowers have a gap between each stitch, but you can join them together for a solid look. The difference between blanket stitch and buttonhole stitch is that the buttonhole gives a more defined and knotted edge.
Draw a donut shape and work your way around the edge. When wrapping the embroidery thread around the needle, remember to pull it outwards to form the knotted edge.
4. Chain Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Chain stitch can be used for easy embroidery flowers to outline designs or to create stems and long petals. You can use single chain stitches or rows of chains to outline the flower petals.
For a closed chain stitch, make points 1 and 2 as close together as you can. For a more open chain stitch, these points can be further apart.
5. Couching Embroidered Flowers
Couching is not a common stitch for embroidery flowers but can be used to sew chunky, textured outlines. Use several strands of embroidery floss or yarn for the surface thread. (green in the sample below)
6. Cross Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Cross stitch can be used to create embroidery flowers. It looks best when done in multiple thread colors rather than block colors. You can purchase floral cross-stitch patterns or create your own.
Open weave fabrics such as linen or Aida are used for cross stitch, making it easier to count the threads across. In my cross-stitch article, l also show you a quick method that can be used when larger areas need to be covered.
7. Lazy Daisy Flower Embroidery
Lazy daisy or detached chain stitch is an obvious choice for embroidery flowers. The name gives it a floral connection before you even start. This versatile stitch can be used to depict a round flower shape or spread along a stem for a spray of petals.
For fuller petals, don't pull the loop too tight. The length of the petal is determined by the length from point (2) to (3).
8. Long and Short Stitch
Long and short stitch (also called brick stitch) is done with alternating long and short stitches interlocked in the same way bricks are laid. The advantage of this stitch over satin stitch is that it produces fine-looking work with threads that are less likely to catch. The stitches look similar to those produced by an embroidery sewing machine.
9. French Knots Embroidery Flowers
French knots are useful for filling in small spaces, creating rosebuds, or using them for the center of flowers, such as a daisy. They are often used for flowers with small petals or clusters of flowers like lavender.
The size of the knot is determined by the number of twists of the thread around the needle. Remember to always twist away from your body.
10. Bullion Knot Embroidery Flower Rose
The bullion knot stitch can be used to make pretty flowers. They look especially beautiful in variegated embroidery floss. Bullions are started at the center and then worked outward to make any size rose you like.
11. Outline Stitch
Outline Stitch has a rope-like appearance and can be used for the borders of embroidery flowers. It can be used much like the backstitch to highlight a border. Due to its overlapping threads, this produces a thicker border.
12. Running Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Running stitch is really effective for quick and easy flowers and suits larger less detailed designs.
Running stitch is done in a simple up-and-down motion, and for most people, it is stitched right to left. Embroidery flowers can be done in a running stitch with or without a hoop. For sewing without a hoop, it is possible to take several stitches at once, cutting down the time taken.
13. Satin Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Satin stitch is probably one of the most popular stitches for flower embroidery. It is a great filler stitch and will mold itself to the shape of the flower. A variation, padded satin stitch, will give more fullness to the flower. Here I used close satin stitches for the center of the flower, but you can use it for the petals of the flowers too.
Always start in the center and work out towards the edges. This makes it easier to maintain a nice shape. If you wish to have more definition to the edges, use a backstitch around the outline.
14. Seed Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Seed stitch flowers can be done in conjunction with a backstitch border. This simple up-and-down stitch is done in a random fashion and is used to fill larger areas. It can also be used underneath a satin stitch to create a padded or raised look.
Seed stitch is essentially a running stitch done in singular random positions.
15. Straight Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Straight stitch flowers are one of the easiest flowers you can do. Just start in the center and sew radiating spokes out. You can have as many or as few petals as you wish. In my sample here, I left a gap in the center, but you can close this up if you wish.
Full Article: How to do Straight Stitch
16. Web Stitch Embroidery Flowers
Whipped spider, wagon wheel or spider web stitch turns into beautiful flowers instantly. These delicate rounds make great fillers in a garden scene or bouquet of flowers.
To create pretty roses, weave the second color all the way to the edge and make sure the weaving is dense. These flowers look great in variegated thread colors to give a more realistic look. In my sample, I combined the web stitch rose with chain stitch embroidery leaves. Always make sure you have an odd number of spikes in your wheel.
One of the most popular types of flowers for embroidery is the rose. Read my full article on embroidery roses for some more specific techniques you can use. Many of the stitches listed above can be used for these beautiful flowers.
Embroidery Flower Pattern
Once you have mastered a number of stitches, you can use them to put together any picture you wish to make! Here is an example of a simple little sketched spray of flowers.
How to Embroider Flowers:
- Work blanket stitch across the bottom to represent grass.
- Start working the petals in buttonhole stitch; worked extremely close together. You will need to make some stitches shorter than others because you are working from a wide outside edge to a narrow middle. You just can’t fit all the stitches into that narrow middle if they are all full-length.
- You work all the flowers in the same way. You can choose to do them all in one color, different shades of color, or go really cheerful and do each flower in a different color!
- Your leaves can be worked in fly stitch. Again, keep the stitches close together for better coverage.
- Now finish off with French knots for the stamens of the flowers. This can be inserted into a pre-cut card or stitched onto a tray cloth, bag, shirt front, or anything you like!
Embroidery Flowers - In Conclusion
There is no end to the beautiful combinations you can create with embroidery flowers. With names like stem stitch, lazy daisy, spider web stitch, and fly stitch, you are bound to find something to suit your floral embroidered art.
Now you know how to stitch embroidery flowers, you will need some leaves to match. Read all about embroidery leaves.
More Embroidery Stitches
- Blanket Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
- Chain Stitch
- Chevron Stitch
- Couching Stitch
- Cross Stitch
- Double Herringbone Stitch
- How to Embroider
- Faggoting Embroidery
- Feather Stitch
- Fern Stitch
- Fishbone Stitch
- Fly Stitch
- French Knots
- Hand Embroidery Stitches
- Herringbone Stitch
- Lazy Daisy
- Running Stitch
- Sashiko Embroidery
- Satin Stitch
- Seed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch)
- Stem Stitch
- Straight Stitch
- Spider Web Stitch | Embroidery Tutorial
- Whip Stitch
- Embroidery Leaves
- Embroidery Flowers
- Whipped Backstitch