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Adding Felt to Make Stunning Embroidered Florals
If you are inspired by gorgeous floral embroideries, like those that Lolli & Grace makes, and are eager to try something similar, look no further. Anne's stunning flowers often start with a base of felt, creating a whole new look in stitched flora.
The benefits of this simple addition are beautiful layers and texture, more coverage with fewer stitches and of course, a faster finish. You'll also find that the technique is highly customizable, so you don't have to strictly follow a pattern.
If you are following a pattern, you can use this method to replace flowers, similar to using applique in your embroidery.
This tutorial will show you a few ways to combine felt and embroidery to make leaves and flowers. Use them as a starting point and then add your own embellishments!
The methods are based on Anne Oliver's style and are presented here with her permission. Please remember to respect her work by not selling embroideries that copy the style she has created.
For a basic felt floral embroidery, you will need fabric to stitch on, felt (wool or wool blend is recommended), embroidery floss or perle cotton, and the essential embroidery tools for getting started.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Cutting and Laying out the Pieces
For the base of the flowers, you will need to cut out some simple floral shapes. You can cut them freehand to create your own style or start with the shapes in the free template used for the sample. Not all of the template pieces were used in this sample.
Print the template to fit on US letter size paper or adjust the print size to customize your floral design. You may find it helpful to cut out the template pieces and arrange them before you cut out the felt. Choose which pieces you will use and how many of each you want.
You can also adjust the size of the pieces as you cut them from the felt, cutting outside the template for larger shapes or trimming them down after for smaller shapes.
The spiral cut into the flower in the photo is not marked on the pattern. You can transform any of the larger shapes by cutting a not-too-perfect spiral after you've cut the piece.
Place your fabric backing in a hoop and arrange the shapes however you like. The layout isn't permanent and you can adjust it as you work, but it's helpful to have an idea of what your finished design will look like.
Tip: Take a quick photo on your phone so you can reference the layout as you work.
Remove the top layers of felt so you can stitch them down from bottom to top, leaving the bottommost layer on the fabric.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Stitching the Leaves
There are several ways to embroider the leaves. You may choose to stitch all of them the same way or mix it up. Similarly, try changing up the color and type of thread for more or less contrast.
For the simplest of leaves, which is good for tiny shapes, use one stitch down the middle of the leaf. Extend that to a line of running stitch or back stitch for larger leaves.
For larger or more filled in leaves, start with a line of back stitch and add long straight stitches as veins. Each stitch should go from the outside of the felt leaf to the center line. Don't pull too much or the edge of the felt will bunch up.
Add as many or as few veins as you like. There's no need to be too symmetrical!Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Stitching Large Flowers
This method for stitching down large flowers works on smaller shapes as well.
Bring the needle up at the outside edge of the felt and then go down near the center of the flower. While you can go down right in the middle, leaving an open area will give you room for details.
Continue around the flower, stitching from the outside to the inside. As with the leaves, make sure that the needle isn't coming up under the edge of the felt, but next to it. This prevents pulling at the felt.
You can make the stitches evenly spaced or more random for a free-styled look.
When you have finished the main flower stitches, fill in the center with a few french knots in a contrasting color.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Stitching Spiraled Flowers
The process of stitching the spiral-cut shapes is essentially the same as the other flowers, but the result looks more detailed.
Start at the center of the spiral, but leave a small area for a few french knot details. Stitch from one side of the felt strip to the other, making lines across the felt.
Work around the spiral.
When flowers overlap leaves or other flowers, simply stitch through all of the layers.
Finish the flower with french knots in the middle.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
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Adding Smaller Flowers and Details
Finish your floral display with some smaller flowers and extra details.
The small round shapes work well with just a few stitches going from the outside to the center. Add a french knot center if desired.
For the tiniest flowers, a single french knot in the center will hold it in place.
Now that you've completed one floral design, try a few more. Just a few simple shapes and a variety of colors will produce so many unique projects. From there, cut out a few flower shapes of your own and watch the creativity flow!