FLORAL STITCH SAMPLER
Introduction: Floral Stitch Sampler
Now that weve learned the basic stitches, lets move on to more advanced stitches that can be used to make beautiful floral elements!
In this floral sampler, youll use the following stitches:
- Petal stitch (also known as lazy daisy)
- Fly stitch (both open and closed)
- Woven spider wheel
- Stem stitch
- French knots
- Chain stitch
Ive included photos and video of each stitch well cover, so you should be able to easily pick them up. However, please reach out to me if anything is unclear and Ill explain it in a different way. 🙂
Tools + Materials
- 6 inch plastic embroidery hoop for stitching
- 6 inch wooden embroidery hoop for framing
- a water soluble marking pen
- Sewing pins
- Embroidery needle
- Pinking shears
- Fabri-Tac glue
- Iron + ironing board
- Printer for printing the pattern
To Print the Patterns
Download and open the PDF files. When selecting print options, make sure the print is scaled at “full size” or “100%” – this will ensure you print the pattern at the right size.
- Embroidery floss in your chosen colors (see below about how many youll need)
- A 9 x 9 inch piece of fabric
- The floral sampler embroidery pattern (included below)
Choosing Floss Colors
This is the way I did it, but feel free to do whatever you like, color-wise!
- 3 colors for the large flowers
- 2 colors for the large leaves
- 2 colors for the vines
- Yellow/orange floss for the flower centers
- 1 color for the tiny French knot flowers
Transferring the Pattern & Hooping
Cut out a piece of fabric and give it a nice press with the iron so its flat and unwrinkled. Let the fabric cool completely.
Transfer the pattern as we discussed in Lesson 4. Note that you do not need to transfer the tiny dots Ive made on the pattern – those will be French knots later and well fill them in as we go!
Once the pattern is on the fabric, place the fabric into the hoop with the design centered. Youll want the design facing up as shown, and not down inside the hoop.
To start, well stitch a border using the chain stitch. Because we already covered this in the mountain sampler, I wont cover it in depth here, but heres the stitch video for a quick refresher if you need it. 😀
Woven Spider Wheels (Flower) Stitch
Now Ill teach you how to make beautiful flowers! They may look complicated, but theyre not. To get the right look, were actually going to do a little bit of weaving.
These flowers are made by creating a spoked wheel on the fabric and then weaving your floss in and out of the spokes.
You can make these flowers any size you want, too! For small flowers, youll need 3 spokes. For larger ones, use 5 and 7 spokes or even more. As long as you use an odd number of spokes youll be fine.
Heres a video showing how I stitch these flowers:
Were going to tackle the big flower in the center first!
Thread two needles – one with the main flower color, and one with the center color. I like to do this just to speed up the process a little!
Start by bringing your floss to the front of the fabric through the very center of the flower. Then, insert your needle into the fabric at the end of one of the spokes and pull through. Thats your first spoke!
Work your way around the wheel, stitching each spoke and bringing the floss back up through the center of the flower for each new spoke.
Were coming back up in the center every time to limit the amount of stray floss on the back of the embroidery – the more wild strands you have back there, the more likely you are to snag them and ruin your flower!
When youre done, the front and back should look like this.
Now, bring the yellow floss through the center of the wheel. Pull it all the way through so its knot is flat against the back of the wheel.
And now we will start weaving! Beginning anywhere, start to move the needle over and under the spokes in a clockwise direction and pull the floss through. As you weave the yellow center, youll need to hold onto the floss tail thats still dangling from stitching the wheel spokes. Otherwise, the wheel spoke it is attached to will become loose.
I only weave one spoke at a time, pull the floss through, and then go on to the next. This will keep your floss from tangling as much!
As you weave, pull the floss tight. You need to compact the middle woven stitches to try to cover the floss color of the wheel so no pink shows through! In the last photo above, youll see some pink still peeking out. This tends to happen with the larger 7-spoke and above flowers, and its easy to fix. If peekage happens, heres how to cover it.
Stop weaving in a clockwise motion and instead move from one side of the center to the other, bringing the floss over the center of the flower. You can normally cover all the pink in a couple stitches.
When youre happy with the center, push the needle to the back of the fabric and knot off the yellow floss.
And heres how the front and back should look once youre done with the center!
Now, bring the spoke floss needle to the front of the fabric next to the center. Make sure youre not pulling the needle through any pieces of floss on the back.
Just like we did with the center, begin weaving the floss over and under the spokes, going around in a clockwise motion. If you push the needle through a spoke instead of under it, remove the needle and try again. You need to go cleanly under the spokes or you can ruin the flower.
When you start to run out of floss, push the needle to the back of the embroidery and tie off the floss. Thread another piece of floss and bring the needle to the front of the fabric right next to where you tied off, as shown above.
Keep weaving until you reach the ends of the spokes. There should be just a tiny amount of the spokes peeking out from under the flower. Now well do a little stitching to cover them.
Bring the needle to the front of the fabric near the outside edge of the flower and make a large stitch. Insert the needle at an angle under the flower edge.
Pull the floss through while holding it down with a finger so it doesnt twist and curl.
Continue taking these larger stitches all around the outside edge of the flower, slightly overlapping each stitch. Keep going until all the spokes are covered and then pass the floss to the back of the fabric and tie it off!
Heres how your flower should look at the end! See how the spokes are covered and there are smaller stitches going all around the outside of the flower on the back?
Once you have the first flower finished, start on the others! Just remember to be careful while weaving and not hit any of the other flowers – theyre easy to mess up if you zone out. 🙂
Closed Fly Stitch
Now well learn the closed fly stitch for the leaves. The fly stitch is my absolute favorite way to make leaves because they have so much texture. Its also super easy to do!
Heres a video of me stitching a leaf using this stitch:
Now Ill cover it in photos, too!
First, thread a needle with with whatever color floss youd like your leaves to be and knot the end.
Bring your needle up at the end of the leaf, and make a small stitch down the centerline of the leaf, about 1/4 inch.
Then, bring the needle back up to the right side of the middle stitch on the pattern line.
For the next stitch, push the needle through to the back of the fabric on the pattern line to the left of the middle stitch. Dont pull this stitch tight.
Instead, bring the needle back to the front of the fabric at the bottom of the middle stitch.
Now, pull the floss tight! The stitch coming out of the bottom will keep the loop of floss from the two side stitches held down.
Make a tiny stitch at the very bottom over the floss to secure it into place as shown in the last photo.
Keep repeating the motions to make new stitches! Right, left, and then the middle which is secured with a tiny stitch.
You can also make right and bottom stitches in one movement if you like. Just make sure the loop that forms is under the needle so you can secure the loop with a stitch.
When you run out of floss, just stop stitching at the bottom of one of the loops – secure it with a small stitch and youre done! Knot the floss on the back and start stitching again on the right side as normal.
When you get to the bottom of the leaf, youll want to fill in the bottom sides more, so the leaf butts up against the flowers better.
Its pretty much impossible to keep doing the fly stitch near the flowers, so just use straight stitches to add more to the leaf!
And heres what it will look like when youre done with the leaves! As you can see, I used two colors just to add a little depth.
Heres the back of the leaves.
See that dark green leaf on the far right? My knot untied itself and popped right out, so I secured the floss tail with some of the Fabri-Tac glue. Dont be afraid to add a little glue if things arent looking secure!
Open Fly Stitch (for Vines)
Now well do an open variation of the fly stitch to create some fast vines. 🙂
This stitch works exactly like the closed fly stitch, but you dont butt the stitches up against each other.
Heres a video showing the open fly stitch in action:
And now Ill show you in photos, too!
First, youll want to thread a needle with 12-18 inches of floss.
First, make a stitch from the end of the vine down to the first set of branches. Then, bring the needle up at the top of the right branch, and down at the top of the left branch.
Now bring the needle back up at the very bottom of the first stitch, making sure your needle is inside the loop that forms between the branches. Pull the thread through and tack the loop down by making the next straight stitch.
Heres what each section will look like!
When you get to the bottom of the vines, make sure the last stitch connects to the rest of the embroidery!
Knot off between each vine and continue working your way around. This is what the embroidery should look like when youre done.
Now well start the other set of vines using the stem stitch. Well stitch the stems of the vines using the stem stitch, and then add the leaves in the next step!
Heres a quick video showing how to work the stem stitch:
Now that youve seen it in the video version, lets break it down in pictures.
Thread a needle with 12-18 inches of floss.
Start right at the edge of the main embroidery and take a 1/4 inch or so stitch. Bring the needle up for the next stitch to the left or right side of the first one, right in the middle. Continue stitching, starting every new stitch to the side of the previous one.
Heres what the front and back of the stitches will look like. Now well add some leaves to these vines!
Petal (Lazy Daisy) Stitch
While this is called the petal stitch, I hardly ever use it for flowers! I always use it for leaves on vines.
Now lets walk through this stitch in photos! Im using the same floss color as I did for the stem stitch base, but feel free to use a different color for the leaves.
Bring the needle to the front of the fabric right at the end of the stem stitch. Now, insert your needle a couple threads above where you came out of the fabric, and glide the tip of the needle to the end of the leaf.
Loop the end of the floss around the end of the needle and begin to pull it through. Youll see a knot start forming!
Keep pulling and the floss will form a cute little loop. Now, much like the fly stitches, were going to tack down the end. Make a tiny stitch over it to the other side of the loop.
Heres what a finished petal stitch should look like when its done! Move down to the next set of leaves and stitch them the same way.
When you start moving between the sets of leaves on the vines, use the weaving method to get your floss back into the middle of the vine to move down cleanly.
And heres what the finished stem and petal stitches should look like together.
Now were nearly to the end – the last thing left to learn is French knots!
Your floral sampler is almost completed! Now were going to fill in the spaces around the flowers with French knots. Theres no right amount of filling here – what Ive done is just what looked nice to me!
Heres a video showing how to do the French knots:
The most important thing when making French knots: make sure your fabric is CRAZY TIGHT in your hoop. If the fabric is loose, it will stretch and warp the weave of the fabric, making it harder for the floss and needle to go through.
Also: you can wrap the needle one, two, three, I dont know how many times! Dont feel limited to wrapping the needle once. The more you wrap the floss, the larger the knot will be. I want tiny ones here, so thats why Im wrapping once.
Bring the needle to the front of the fabric right near one of the flowers and pull the floss through. Loop it over the needle once from the front and around the back.
Hold the floss tail to keep the loop tight on the needle.
Push the needle back into the fabric right near where you exited. Hold the floss tail tight in one hand and pull the needle through with the other.
If the needle does not want to pull through, you may be hitting a knot or other obstruction on the back of the fabric, so check that and try again.
Once the needle goes through the fabric, you can let go of the floss tail. (Though some people prefer to hold it the whole time.)
Pull the floss tight and youll end up with a little knot!
Work your way around the flowers, filling in the empty spaces between the flowers and foliage.
When youre done, the back may be pretty messy, but thats okay. You dont have to worry too much about carrying the floss all over here, since its hidden by the flowers and leaves!
The Completed Sampler
Awwwww yeah! Were done.
Now that you have two completed samplers, well move into finishing your embroideries so you can hang them up! 😀