social spark Aisling Beatha: Machine Embroidered Flowers


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Machine Embroidered Flowers

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If you were around yesterday you will have seen the post I did about the acrylic canvas I did in a workshop at the big craft show at the NEC in Birmingham (England).  Today I'll share the machine embroidered flowers I made.  We learnt and made all 3 flowers in less than an hour.

First we did the felt flowers.  Because this was the thinner felt, that might tear when you sew, we used tear off stabiliser on the back.  You can see there is a pencil dot on my flower.  There is a good reason for this.  When drawing a circle and marking the centre, it makes sense to draw the circle first and then mark the centre rather than mark the centre and try to draw the circle around it.  We chose the thread we wanted to use.  I chose one of the variegated threads from Madeira.

Starting in the middle and using a machine embroidery foot with the feed dogs down we outlined each petal, coming back into the centre all the time.  I went over my outlines twice.  Then we went a little way from the centre into each petal, before finishing up with some tight circle stippling in the centre.  Finally we cut them out with small embroidery scissors as close to the stitching line as we dare.

Here you can see the back.

You can tear the stabiliser off the back as well, as it is only there for the stitching really, rather than for the finished product.

If you want to bend the petals up at all, this makes sense as it is easier to get it to stay in shape without the stabiliser.  Here you can clearly see which petal has had the stabiliser removed from the back

Secondly we worked on organza.  This can also be done with other sheer man made fabrics.
We put two layers of fabric together and fitted them into an embroidery hoop.  Then we did the exact same process of sewing as on the felt flowers, BUT we did not cut them out.

If you cut these out the fabric will fray, so you use a soldering iron.  You can sue an ordinary household one BUT it needs to have a super fine tip.   If you have soldering iron at home you can usually buy extra tips for them.  Place the fabric down on a tile or glass surface and keeping the soldering iron vertical, use just the tip to go around the edge of the flower.  It will felt the fabric, sealing the edges and effectively cutting out the shape.

These flowers can be viewed from either side.  This is the reverse side.

Finally we worked on flowers made of nothing but thread.  You wrap thread around a plastic plumbing washer, then machine a centre circle, before finally cutting the edges to release the thread from the washer.  I know that's not very clear.  If anyone wants, I can make a separate post with photos or even maybe a video.

And there you have it, three different flowers which you can use to decorate whatever you like.

You could even layer them up and attach them together, like this.

You could even cover the centres with beads or other embellishments.

You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Note added on 28th March - I wonder if anyone noticed the spelling mistake in the photo at the top.  I only just noticed it, ooops!


  1. These are gorgeous! You've earned another feature I do believe! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  2. Your flowers turned out really nice. They would look adorable on a pillow or a headband. I've been having a lot fun lately with felt flowers. I need to invest in an embroidery machine. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Fabulous! what great techniques.

  4. The machine embroidered flowers are beautiful. Good post


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