These Breathtaking Stumpwork Embroidery Projects Are a Ton of Fun to Learn

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It's time to take your embroidery to a whole new dimension — literally. Stumpwork embroidery (also called raised embroidery) is any dimensional embroidery piece. It originated in mid-1600s England, and is most commonly used in nature scenes — for example, the leaves and petals on a flower, or the wings of pretty dragonflies.

To create stumpwork, it's common to layer stitching, add beads or needle paint shapes around wires and then attach them to the fabric base. While that may seem daunting if you've never done it before, stumpwork is actually a lot of fun to learn — especially when you have one of these projects to teach you.

1. Basics in Botany

These botanical pieces may look simple, but guess what? They're a great crash-course for tons of basic stumpwork techniques. You'll learn to pad your stitches with felt for a raised 3D effect, make the petals pop off the fabric with wired slips and use simple stitching tricks to give your linework more texture.

Meet Celeste Chalasani and learn about the history of raised embroidery, then choose backing and background fabrics for the class project. You'll transfer the design from the included template and learn how to prepare your hoop or frame. Choose your threads and you're ready to go!

2. 3D Flower Crown

Add an extra layer of texture around woven wheel roses with wired slip leaves, giving the overall design of this flower crown a little more oomph. Basically, you'll bend a wire to the shape you need and stitch it onto a spare piece of fabric, then needle paint the design, cut it out and secure to your WIP portrait. It may take some practice (and time), but the payoff is so worth the finished result.

Jessica reviews the Modern Cameo design, including options for stumpwork or surface embroidery only, and stitching on cotton or linen fabric. Then she goes over the supplies you'll need and how to transfer the design to the background fabric.

3. Embroidery, But Make It Fashion

Turkey work might have an odd name, but the result is gorgeous — especially on the 3D skirt and shawl this fashion model is rocking. Using a full strand of floss, you go down through the top of your embroidery. (We know, it might feel totally wrong to do this, but trust us!) Keep working up and down until you've created the beautiful raised result. (Psst: Can you tell this technique is traditionally used to make rugs? Hence the name Turkey work; it's after the region, not the bird.)

Embroiderer Jessica Long creates a fashion-forward embroidery design with 3D embellishments such as hair, fringe and beads. Using the pattern template in the class materials, discover the secrets of bead embroidery along with two popular stitches: woven-wheel roses and Turkey work.

4. Beaded Beauty

Bead embroidery isn't usually called stumpwork, but it's a textured, dimensional technique just the same. Attaching single beads is simple — just sew them on with a single strand of floss using basic embroidery stitches . Once you master this method, you'll be able to practice the running stitch with beads on the floss as you create the stems and outlines on these pretty leaves.

Meet your instructor, artist and author Myra Wood, and get a sneak peek at the embroidered stitches you'll learn and the drawstring bag you'll make in this class. Find out the best types of beads, needles and fabrics to use for your embroidery. Myra also demonstrates the correct way to hoop your fabric and simple techniques for transferring designs onto fabric.

5. Good as Gold(work)

Goldwork is really its own category of embroidery, but this project combines the signature metallic threads with padding and other raised effects, placing it solidly in the stumpwork world. In this pattern, you'll learn to use felt padding, hard string padding, soft string padding and high-relief padding. Each really shows off the fine details of this project, and helps create a gorgeous texture.

Lucy Barter, an instructor certified by the Royal School of Needlework, begins class by showing stunning examples of the effects you can achieve with the classic art of goldwork embroidery. With a few simple tools and materials, plus the included design template, you can be ready to start stitching your own work of art.

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These Breathtaking Stumpwork Embroidery Projects Are a Ton of Fun to Learn