When you think about hand embroidery, it’s likely that pictures of pretty flowers pop into your head. This project has loads of 'em, created with a gorgeous variety of stitches that really bring on the texture. Best part: both beginners and experienced stitchers will love making it!
Tropical Floral Wreath
What You Need
- Embroidery floss as listed for each design ( or use any colors you want! )
- Embroidery hoops
- Embroidery needles in assorted sizes
- 100% cotton quilting fabric (we like Boundless Solids ) or linen
- Fabric glue
- Fabric shears
- Embroidery scissors
- Fabric marker
Shop the Kit
1. Get Ready to Stitch
First, you need to hoop up! Sandwich your fabric between the inner and outer hoops, then tighten the screw. Pull the fabric taut all the way around the hoop. Tighten the screw again; pull the fabric until it’s drum-tight.
Hooping up before transferring a design helps you avoid any distortion that can happen from moving your fabric back and forth. Plus, it's a lot easier to draw on your fabric once it's nice and tight in your hoop.
Print your pattern and tape to the back of the hoop. Use a lightbox or a window so you can see the design through your fabric; trace onto the fabric with a fabric pen.
Cut about 18” of floss in your first color. Pull apart your strands; thread your needle.
Consider working with variegated floss for some of your colors. It combines multiple shades, building an ombré effect into parts of your design.
2. Start With Your Leaves
Anchor your thread and follow the pattern guide to add backstitch, satin stitch, fishbone stitch and stem stitch to create the leaves and stems in your wreath.
It’s up to you how big you want your stitches to be. Just remember, the bigger they are, the harder it will be to move around tight curves.
3. Create the Plumeria Flowers
Move on to a split stitch, which you’ll use to outline the flower petals.
Use long and short stitch to fill in the petals. (This variation in stitch length will help create smooth transitions between colors.) Start with the darkest color at the center; gradually work your way to lighter shades as you move to the outside of the petal.
Within the petals, mark where you want your different colors to be so you have a guide to follow. Be sure to use fewer strands for a smoother overall look.
4. Fill in the Other Flowers
Now on to the woven wheel roses! Here you'll weave around the fabric (instead of poking through it) to create a the swirled, 3D effect that makes these flowers pop off the hoop.
Use detached chain stitch for the loopy vines that branch off of the roses. French knots go in between the rose clusters.
If you want a bigger French knot, wrap your floss around your needle more than three times. Smaller, more dainty knots only need one or two wraps.
5. Add the Finishing Touches
Add on any additional touches you like to make this design completely your own. A few suggestions: more flowers, darker veins in your leaves (for lots of contrast!), or a fun monogram in the center of your wreath.
Adapted from Startup Project: Modern Hand Embroidery.