How to Stitch Bold and Beautiful Florals

  • 01 of 04

    Stitching Modern Floral Motifs

    Embroidering Bold Flowers
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

    There's a bright, bold and beautiful trend in embroidery right now: fresh and modern florals. If you've wanted to learn how to stitch these full flowers, you can! They are easy and versatile, and you'll love adding them to your work.

    Even though these bold displays have made a stitching splash again in recent years, they aren't exactly a new thing. Embroidery artists have been stitching similar designs for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. 

    Be inspired by embroidery from other eras or cultures. Embroidery from Mexico is a great source of inspiration for these colorful and modern stitcheries, as is embroidery from the 1970s. 

    Look for patterns that feature large flowers, or create your own. Grab your fabric, needle and some brightly colored floss, and start stitching.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    How to Start Stitching Bold Flowers

    Stitch the Outside Ring
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

    Mark the Pattern

    If you're not working with a pattern, start by sketching out your flowers. You may want to practice on paper first, then trace the flowers you like. If you're confident, draw right on the fabric. The markings should end up covered, but you can use a water-soluble pen to be safe.

    To draw a flower like the one shown here, imagine drawing around a circle with wavy lines. It's a bit like an amoeba. Add another similar shape inside the first, then draw a small circle or oval in the middle. Don't worry about precision.

    Start Stitching

    Cut a length of embroidery floss and separate the strands. Try working with three strands, separating them each individually so none are twisted together before gathering them together again.

    Each section of the flower forms a ring, so choose one to start on. Although the sample shows working from the outside in, you can start in the center if you like.

    Work satin stitch perpendicular to the pattern lines, filling in the area. 

    Handling the Curves

    On the curves, you'll find that you won't be able to fill the area with only straight lines going across the ring. In these areas, you'll need to stitch a "fan" and fill in with satin stitches that are a little shorter or that overlap and/or hide under previous stitches. This is similar to the long & short stitch variation of satin stitch.

    Again, precision isn't necessary. If a stitch looks really off, pull it out, but when you look at the overall stitching, little mistakes won't be noticeable. 

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Stitching Flowers With Extra Details

    Stitch the Middle Ring
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

    Add the Next Ring

    When you've finished the first ring of stitching, it's time to add another. Follow the same process as for the first ring, but you can also add something extra.

    Connect the two rings with a bit of detail. As you stitch, every so often, make one of your satin stitches a little longer, extending into the first ring. This helps connect the sections of the flower, similar to how real flowers often look.

    If you want the sections to blend into each other even more, add more of these overlapping stitches. 

    For more definition between the sections, or if you want your flower to be especially bold, try outlining each section with backstitch in a dark color. 

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Finishing Your Bold Florals

    Add the Center and Leaf
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

    Stitch the Center

    For the middle of your flower, fill it in with more satin stitch, or try a bunch of french knots for a different texture. The knots in the sample are worked looser than usual so they have a slightly loopy look.

    Add a Leaf

    Draw a simple leaf shape to one side of the flower. It should just be a partial leaf as though it is poking out from behind the flower. Drawing a line down the center is helpful. Once again, use a satin stitch, working from the outside of the leaf to the centerline.

    Now that you've stitched one flower, you can try altering the shape some, adding more rings or rings of different sizes. Or even working with just one small ring and a large center.

    Mix in some lazy daisy flowers or other flower styles, and you'll be creating magnificently embroidered florals in no time.