What Are You Stitching?

12th March 2021

Flowers are beautiful for so many reasons – colour, scent, shape and texture. Honouring the flower through needlework is something that has been done as long as thread has been put in a needle, but some embroiderers have even gone so far as to recreate the entire flower in all its three-dimensional glory. 

Here are a few examples of flowers worked in various 3D techniques, some of which are so realistic, it is difficult to distinguish them from the real thing.

Serena Turnbull

‘Our Embroiderers’ Guild annual meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19 last year, but it was decided that the embroidery competition could still go ahead. The theme for the competition was ‘Pretty Deadly’. We stitched our project and then posted a photograph online.’

‘I decided to stitch an oleander, as it is one of the most toxic plants growing. I didn’t win the competition, but I am still chuffed with how it turned out.’

It is so realistic, Serena, we’d be afraid to touch it! At least you can safely display it in your house without any risk – a perfect way to enjoy such a beautiful (even though deadly) flower.

Ann Alcorn

‘Last year, I enrolled with the School of Stitched Textiles for their online City & Guilds Hand Embroidery course. It’s been an amazing journey which has taken me far beyond what I thought I was going to learn.’

‘This piece is called Memory Keeper. I designed it to help me process issues regarding the passing of time and living far from my roots. In particular, it relates to autumn. There is lots to see and touch on the surface, but it also has an inner lining for storing letters, photos and memorabilia.’

‘Apart from machine stitching the front to the back, it is all hand sewn, including reverse appliqué, various surface stitches, buttons and beads, and a separate needlelace flower that can be picked up and held gently in the hand.’

How wonderful that you can capture so many memories and ideas into such an exquisitely stitched design, Ann. It was also interesting to hear yet another testimony about how needlework transcended the art form itself and became a form of therapy for you along the way.

Nina Burnsides

‘This is the first piece of embroidery I have done since March of 2020. Along with the pandemic, other problems popped up at the same time and I lost my mojo for stitching.’

‘As a gift for Christmas my husband gave me Stumpwork Embroidery by Helen Richman and a box of new silk threads. Working this design gave me a feeling of joy that I haven’t had in a long while.’

‘Of course, I added a few bugs because you can’t have a garden without them!’

We’re glad you’ve found your mojo again, Nina. Fortunately, no matter how long you go without stitching, you never forget and, whether days, months or years later, the passion and ensuing joy will eventually return.

Do you love creating stitched, 3-dimensional versions of things from real life? Or do you prefer to capture your subject in 2D? Do you get inspired by nature, memories or ideas and just stitch? Or does the sight of a well-designed project make your heart sing and your fingers itch to begin? 

Join our FREE weekly newsletter All Stitched Up!

Back to top