Cheer Up! Making Flowers on Silk #8

silkflowers17This grouping of flowers for your garden looks rather forlorn, don’t you think? Just a plain set of Lazy Daisy Stitches surrounding a lonely French Knot in the center. 

Let’s cheer them up!

silkflowers9Adding even more Lazy Daisy Stitches in a different thread color (with a Straight Stitch or two) makes them bloom. Run a quick row of Blanket Stitches along the edge of the Stem Stitches for the stem and you’re done. No more wall flowers here!


Making Robust Flowers on Silk #7

silkflowers19I know you are enamored with the Stem Stitch, but here’s another linear stitch you may enjoy. It’s called the Cable Stitch. It’s like the Stem Stitch but you alternate drawing the needle and thread above and below the stitch line. It gives you a bulky thread line on the fabric.

And that’s how the stems are made for this group of flowers placed on the far left of my flower design on silk. Rather than stems, I like to think of them as stalks, a robust name that suggests strong, hearty flowers. Add a few Bullion Knots to your robust stalks and a Straight Stitch for the flower base and you are good to go.

Moving On: Making Flowers on Silk #6


While binge watching a really awful TV show, why not add a leaf to the gianormous flower? The stem and inside of the leaf are made with the famous Stem Stitch. But the outside of the leaf is formed with the even more famous Blanket Stitch filled in with the renowned French Knots.

More rows of grasses (using a Size 8 pearl cotton in the Lime Frappe colorway) continue to grow beneath the flower. (It’s summer time so I expect even more grass to grow.)

Note to self: You can always stop watching that awful TV show. And maybe it’s time to move on to another flower.

Like this one:


We’ll work on this one soon.

Stylized? Making Flowers on Silk #5


Making those enormous petals on the flower was so much fun wasn’t it? So why not add more? This time slip in some free-form petals between the large petals. (No need to draw on the silk. Just wing it.)

Feeling even more daring? Make the new petals with Lazy Daisy Stitches but use the opposite thread colorways from the big petals. You are such a wild thing!


Time to anchor that behemoth of a flower to the ground before it falls over. Place a set of Straight Stitches along a ground line. (In this case, the stitches go up from a line I’ve drawn on the fabric.) If you angle the Straight Stitches, making them short and long, it sort of looks like tufts of grass.

Note: I’ve decided to call this a “stylized” embroidery. That means I’m not replicating nature. Which gives me a license to improvise and play with the stitches. And, lets face it, I couldn’t replicate nature even if I wanted to.

Making Flowers on Silk #4

silkflowers29Sometimes hand embroidery is, dare I say it, boring. Each and every petal of the giant flower in our free-stitched embroidery has to be filled in with Lazy Daisy Stitches. And knowing that can kill the joy of stitching.

So why not break it up with a sneaky Straight Stitch popped inside each Lazy Daisy stitch? The filler thread is my favorite Size 8 pearl cotton in the Aquamarine colorway.

silkflowers30After finishing all those hefty petals, work the flower stem in the aptly named Stem Stitch. The lines of stitching are placed closely together to make a solid shape. You’re going to need several rows of stitching to support that huge flower.

Note: it is at this point that I realize I have made one colossus of a flower that will dominate the design. It’s likely that I will spend the rest of my stitching life on this project trying to balance out the design. Stay tuned to see if I can.

Making Flowers on Silk #3

silkflowers27Hand embroidery is a slow process. So it gives you plenty of time to plan your next move. The focal point of my design is a giant flower and I’m having a great time imagining a stitch plan.

The Blanket Stitches (placed row next to row to create a grid) make up the flower center and the next step is to fill in the boxes with healthy French Knots. To make this sunny flower on the blue silk fabric, I’m using a Size 8 pearl cotton thread in the Sunflowers colorway.

silkflowers28Using that same Size 8 thread, Lazy Daisy Stitches fill in the petal areas. Note how the loops of the stitch drape over the drawn lines to conceal the ink.

Did you know that the Lazy Daisy Stitch is also known as the Detached Chain Stitch? I much prefer the term “Lazy Daisy” as it suggests a no-account-disinclined-to-exertion stitch that resembles a flower.