How to make stumpwork Hydrangeas
For interesting dimensional flowers, stumpwork Hydrangeas are ideal. The Hydrangeas are made separately and then attached onto the main design. They are easy to make and I will show you how to make these with French knots.
Hint: You could use beads instead of French knots to make beautiful berries :))
1.Refer to the drawing below as a guide, trace round circles (including the serrated lines) onto a separate piece of white, blue, pink or green fabric with a 2B pencil or blue water-soluble pen.
2. Insert the fabric into a hoop.
3. Stitch the circles
Use six-strand cotton or silk thread — blue, pink, violet and lavender are good shades to use.
- Start with the blue thread and separate two strands from the six. Thread up on a 7 or 8 embroidery/ crewel needle and make a knot at the long end.
- Form French knots close together, wrapping the thread two or three times around the needle. For an interesting effect, alternate the size of the knots: make some knots with two wraps and others with three wraps around the needle
Hint: for smaller flowers, use one strand of thread and wrap the thread twice around the needle.
- Change to the pink and then the violet thread and fill in the circle as before, following the photos as a guide.
4. Outline the circles
- With the same thread used for the last French knot, sew running stitches along the serrated line.
- Don’t end off, remove the needle and leave the thread hanging — you will use this thread a little later to gather and secure the shape onto your design. Complete all the circles as you did above.
5. Cut out the Hydrangeas
Move the hanging threads out of the way. With small, sharp embroidery scissors cut out each circle along the outer lines.
6. Gather the circles
- Pull the hanging thread of each circle, gathering the fabric into a ball.
- Push the fabric seam to the back of the ball and secure thread at the back of the ball with two little stitches.
- Leave the thread hanging to stitch the ball onto your design in step 7 below.
- Repeat for all the other circles.
7. Stitch the flowers onto your design
- Rethread the hanging thread and secure the ball onto your background with tiny stab stitches.
- Allow some balls to lie on top of one another or to overlap for a realistic effect.
8. Make the leaves
Use 7mm silk ribbon and make leaves with detached chain stitch and or ribbon stitch. Make some stitches loose and puffed for an interesting effect. To do this: use a very gentle tension as you form the stitch.
This Hydrangea panel is from the flower sampler in my RES book — an ideal book for the beginner to silk ribbon embroidery or stumpwork. Here is the complete sampler:
Click on the image to enlarge
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial… soon I will show you more little tricks. Subscribe to Di van Niekerk and receive e-mail updates as soon as I post a new tutorial.
Enjoy the rest of your day. I am going to work on my new design!