How to Embroider Flowers

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Whether or not you have ever tried embroidery before, if you can sew, you can create these decorative flowers. This stitch really only does one thing, which is create flower petals, but it does it well. Once you get started, you can decorate any item of clothing (or housewares like tablecloths) with attractive flowers in a range of sizes and colors.

Things You'll Need

  • medium to large needle
  • embroidery floss
  • fabric
  • embroidery hoop (optional)
  • Experiment with an embroidery hoop. This is an adjustable double ring of wood or plastic that comes in a variety of sizes. Stretch the area of fabric you will be working on through the hoop, which keeps the surface flat and tight. It is totally possible to embroider without an embroidery hoop, but some people find using one much easier.

  • Thread your needle and make a knot in the end of the thread. A regular weight embroidery floss is great for embroidering because it's thick enough to show up clearly, but if your needle is too small you can separate the strands of floss and use only two or three at a time.

  • Sew up through the fabric, and back down as close as possible to where you sewed up (even using the same hole), but don't pull this stitch all the way through, or your thread might disappear.

  • Pull the thread through until you're left with a small loop. Hold this loop down on top of your fabric. It will be one of the petals of your embroidered flower.

  • Sew up just inside the furthest point of this loop. Sew down just outside the loop, resulting a very small stitch that pins the loop in place.

  • Sew up very close to where you started. Repeat the same process to make another petal next to the one your already have. Repeat all the way around a circle until you have a complete set of petals.

  • Add a center to the flower, if you like, by using a different color of thread to sew up in the middle and make a few stitches, or sew up, make a large knot, and then sew back down.

  • Finish all your threads off invisibly by making several stitches through another stitch on the back of your piece. Wrap and tie the thread off using the thread behind the fabric, but don't actually sew through the fabric itself unless you want to embroider more flowers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try making a lot of these flowers, in a variety of colors. They look simple, but a large assortment can be very impressive if done neatly.
  • When you tighten the stitch that holds each petal in place, don't pull too hard. You want to make sure to keep the loop that is the petal a little bit loose, so that the petal will be slightly rounded instead of just a pointy line.

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