flower embroidery

Stitching a motif with straight stitch

Straight stitch is a way to give a lot of texture and dimension to stitching. The method I have used in stitching this flower motif is sometimes called long and short stitch. Having stitches of different lengths allows the shades to blend into each other so it appears more natural than stripes.

In the sample, I used DMC#600, 602, 603, 604, 605. The darkest colour was in the centre of the flower, and the rest radiated out the petals from dark to light.


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Straight Stitch

long and short stitch in a flower embroidery

Using three strands of floss, take stitches of varying lengths close beside each other. Since I am using four colours in total in the petals, I went approximately 1/4 of the way up the petal. If you choose a different number of colours, you might want to adjust the length of stitches.

pink embroidery on white fabric

Continue around the flower, trying to keep the stitch lengths uniform, but not exact. Small varieties help give it an organic look.

straight stitch in a flower motif

The second colour is done with stitches at the end of the stitches from the first row.

embroidery with pink floss

Again, work all the way around the flower. Some of these stitches may be up to the place where the petals separate, so start to pay attention to the edges of the petals.

pink flower embroidery

Repeat again with the third colour.

shades of pink embroidery floss in a flower

For the final round, stitches will go right to the end of the petals, and end with a smooth edge.

floral motif embroidery

Once the petals are done, take some small straight stitches randomly in the flower centre to add a bit of colour and texture.

Catch up on the other stitching variations HERE. It’s interesting to see how different the same motif looks with different stitches.


elizabeth decroos

Elizabeth DeCroos

designer, teacher, speaker

Elizabeth enjoys doing all types of sewing and needlework and teaching others new techniques. For more information or to have her speak to your group click HERE.

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