Originally posted 13 July 2018
The first wisps of this embroidered wreath idea floated around in my mind in Spring when the temperatures finally started warming up and the blossom on the apple tree seemed to suddenly appear in an explosion of pink tinged, creamy wonder. I sketched the petals and leaves, prepared my hoop and threads and I started to stitch. What joy I have felt calmly sitting, listening to podcasts or stitching in silence! I talked about hand stitching in last week’s post and I do believe it is going to be a big part of my work going forwards.
Just before the apple tree blossomed, I entered and won a competition over on instagram! The lovely Ann-Marie of Papertree UK ran a competition to win one of her beautiful handmade paper roses, as part of a project created by Victoria of Feather and Wild called A Touch Of Kind. A Touch of Kind is a ‘pay it forward’ kindness project, where creatives and others on instagram offer a gift of something lovely to their followers with the proviso that the recipient then pays it forward by doing the same for theirs, thus spreading the love, kindness and good vibes! You can read more about it on Victoria’s blog here.
So, the talented Anne-Marie gifted me an exquisite handmade paper rose with the lyrics of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ printed on it! It was beautifully wrapped too and it brought a tear to my eye when I received it. I love my rose so much!
And now it is my turn to ‘pay it forward’, which brings me back to my embroidered blossom wreath! I was so pleased with the result of my first attempt…
I decided to make another with the intention of gifting it through A Touch of Kind and today is the day I make that happen! The little competition to win my blossom inspired embroidery wreath is taking place over on instagram but I didn’t want anyone to miss out, so I am giving the pattern away (you can download the pdf below) and providing the instructions in a tutorial all for free here on my blog!
So without further ado…
Embroidered Blossom Wreath Tutorial
1 x 18cm/7” wooden embroidery hoop
1 x 10cm/4” wooden embroidery hoop (for the wreath, I used only the outer ring of this hoop, which means that there is an inner hoop remaining to make another!)
Cream fabric – enough for main design and backing. I used Kona Cotton in ‘Natural’
2 skeins stranded embroidery thread in DMC 818 pink (I used just over 1 skein)
1 skein stranded embroidery thread in Anchor 243 green (I used under 1 skein)
1 skein stranded embroidery thread in DMC 727 yellow (I used under 1 skein)
1 skein stranded embroidery thread in DMC Ecru cream (I used under 1 skein)
Soft medium weight interfacing – I used this
Approx 90cm of 10mm wide cotton ribbon in cream
Double sided sticky tape
Additional ribbon for hanging the hoop (optional)
A note on the stitches and threads used in this project:
Thread: I have used 6 stranded cotton embroidery floss throughout this project. Split the 6 strands in half each time, so that the stitches are made using 3 strands of thread. When a length of thread is coming to an end, tie 2 knots on top of each other as close to your work as possible and then hide the end by placing the needle under and along your stitches. Trim the end.
Satin stitch: My favourite! This is like colouring in with thread! It produces a really lovely full and smooth effect. For this stitch, place your needle from the wrong side to the right side of the fabric at the bottom middle of a petal. Then place your needle from right side to wrong at the top middle of the petal. The next stitch should be made very close to the first and so on until you have filled the first half of the petal. Continue with the second half starting by stitching close to the very first stitch, filling up the whole petal, then moving onto the next in the same way. I start in the centre of each petal because it seems easier to get a nice, straight stitch. I find starting one side of a petal a little fiddly.
I have also used satin stitch for the leaves (although there are so many wonderful stitches you could use – just google ‘embroidery stitches for leaves!). Stitch from wrong side to the right starting about ½ way down the middle of the leaf. Place your needle from right to wrong side at the edge of the leaf creating a nice diagonal line. Continue downwards to the bottom of the leaf and then carry on upwards to the tip. Repeat on the other side of the leaf.
French Knots: My lovely friend Jenny, who I have written about before and who blogs here taught me this stitch. For the centre of the flowers and using 2 strands of thread rather than 3, place your needle from the wrong side to the right somewhere in the middle of the flower. Wrap the thread twice around the needle and holding the thread taut, place the needle back into the fabric from right to wrong side very close to the point at which the needle came up through the fabric. Repeat filling the whole space in the middle of each flower.
Back stitch: I have used this stitch to make a lovely line of stitching around the design, before cutting out. Pick a place to start approx 1mm from the edge of the flowers/leaves. Place your needle from wrong side to the right through the fabric layers (see below for adding interfacing and backing) and then right to wrong side about 3mm along from the start of the stitch. Next come back up through the fabric another 3mm along and then into the end of the first stitch (thus going backwards). Again, come back up through the fabric 3mm along from the second stitch and then down through the end of the second stitch and so on.
Print out the free template provided. If necessary, draw over the design with a black pen so it can be seen through the fabric.
Cut out a square of cream fabric measuring approximately 27 x 27cm (a circle of fabric will also do).
On a flat surface, place the template underneath the cream fabric, placing the embroidery hoop on top to ensure the design is well within the hoop.
Trace over the design onto the fabric with a pencil. You could also do this by taping the template against a window and tracing the design onto the fabric. The light helps to be able to see the design clearly.
Place the fabric into the embroidery hoop, pulling tightly so that the fabric is taut.
Taking the DMC 818 pink thread, cut approximately 85cm and split into 2 as above.
Thread a needle with the pink thread and knot the end.
Using satin stitch as detailed above, fill the first flower, petal by petal. Then stitch the remaining flowers in the same way.
Move on to the leaves, using Anchor 243 green thread and satin stitch as detailed above.
Finally fill the centre of each flower with French knots using DMC 727 yellow thread.
Cut out 2 rectangles measuring approximately 24 x 16cm each of interfacing and backing (cream cotton in Kona Natural).
Take the embroidered piece out of the hoop.
Place the inside hoop on a flat surface followed by the backing fabric and then the interfacing. Then place the embroidered piece on top ensuring that the both the interfacing and the backing fabric are underneath the embroidered flowers.
Place the outer hoop on top of all 3 layers and the inner hoop. Tighten to secure ensuring all layers are pulled taught.
Now using DMC Ecru cream thread, stitch around the floral design using back stitch as detailed above.
Having joined all 3 layers together by stitching around the floral design with that oh so delightful back stitch, take the fabric out of the hoop.
Using a small, sharp pair of scissors (I used embroidery scissors), cut around the design approx 2mm from the line of back stitching to make the wreath panel.
Taking the outer ring of the smaller 10cm/4” embroidery hoop, stick small bits of double sided sticky tape to the inside. Take off the upper strips of tape, exposing the sticky parts.
Wrap the ribbon around the hoop starting with the middle of the ribbon at the bottom middle of the hoop, winding it up and around the hoop on each side until the ends meet at the top. Wrap these ends over, hiding them at the back of the hoop and stitch in place.
Place the floral panel centrally along the hoop and pin in place at the back.
Using 2 strands of DMC Ecru cream thread, sew the wreath to the hoop by stitching from one side to the other catching the fabric and the ribbon as you go, making sure not to go through all 3 layers of fabric. Tie a knot as close to the hoop as you can and hide the end by stitching it into the fabric. Snip any remaining thread.
Tidy up any fraying fabric using embroidery scissors if necessary.
Add a ribbon to hang up your pretty floral wreath hoop if desired!
I’d love to see your pics if you do make your own wreath. Tag me on instagram or leave a comment below!
Have a wonderful weekend lovelies! Until next time!
Lots and lots of love