How to make a Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
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Today I thought I would show you how to make a Corn Poppy with organza and silk ribbon. This tutorial is from page 138 in my Perfect World book. Enjoy ♥
A little info about the Corn Poppy…
Named after the famous poem of World War I: In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow, among the crosses row on row… The Flanders poppy is the Flower of Remembrance worn all over the world in honour of those who lost their lives in war.
Native to Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. Up to 90cm tall, the single scarlet flowers grow above branching stems that are slender and hairy.
The stigma is a flattened disk with 8 or more rays. Self-seeding, they are quick and easy to grow and they like loose, dry to moist, well-drained soil in full sun.
They make good cut flowers if cut early in the morning.
The seeds are safe for human consumption (the corn poppy does not contain any opium) and are used for baking, for making salads and cooking oils. The red petals are used for syrups and dyes.
Pure silk thread: Pine Needles no. 61, Granite no. 105, Ruby Red no. 65.
Stranded cotton thread: Baked Earth no. 7
25 Lagerfeld Ink or 29 Charcoal
Organza: 38mm no. 39
Small glass seed beads: black
Soldering Iron or stencil burner to seal the edges of organza ribbon.
Sharp HB and 2B or 3B pencil
White fabric: soft (not too thick) poly-cotton or cotton: 20x 20 cm or 8 x 8 inch
Anti-fray agent — a liquid that dries clear
Note: Use one strand of thread throughout unless specified otherwise.
Stitches used: straight/stab stitch, long and short buttonhole stitch, long and short stitch, ribbon stitch, loop stitch, running stitch, fly stitch, padded straight stitch, twisted straight stitch, padded satin stitch, satin stitch, back stitch and stem stitch.
Needle guide: Use size 9 or 10 crewel needle for the threads and a size 10 for beading.
Download the pattern sheet by clicking on the line below. On this sheet you will find the three poppy centres. You can use one centre if you are making one Poppy, or use all three if you are making three Poppies.
Print and trace from the pattern sheet supplied above.
The 3 poppy centres (stigma) are made separately then attached on top of the petals later. Trace the three shapes in the centre of the 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) fabric block. Use a sharp HB pencil and draw in the wedges of the stigma and the direction lines as neatly as possible. Number each shape and trace the dotted outside line on shapes 1 and 2. Insert in a 6 inch hoop.
Thread up with 2 strands of the green thread and use a long and short buttonhole stitch to form a neat edge. Start beneath the yellow wedges and work along the pencil line to reach the part where the yellow wedges will be on the opposite side.
Fill in the green base in long and short stitch. Hint: don’t be too concerned about the neatness of the edge underneath the yellow wedges as this section will be covered later with yellow ribbon. Do the same for the remaining two shapes.
Thread up with the yellow ribbon and make a knot at the long end. Insert the needle into the green thread on the wrong side so the knot lies under the green stitches. This knot will serve as padding later. Come up in the centre of the yellow wedges and form a ribbon stitch for each wedge, working from the centre outwards each time.
If necessary, make one ribbon stitch on top of the other to form a thicker wedge. End off by stitching the tail to the back of the shape with the brown thread. Use the same brown thread and make a straight stitch between each wedge to form the dark shadow between each shape. Do the same for the two other shapes. Set aside till later. Hint: it is better not to cut the centres out at this stage as they tend to get lost!
Form the stems of the poppies. Use the 4mm green ribbon and twisted straight stitch. Start at the base between the leaves and keep the tension quite loose so the ribbon will form a nice curve once stitched in place with thread. Stitch over the poppies and leaf as these will be added on top later.
Thread up with the green thread and use tiny stab stitches here and there to coax the ribbon stem into shape. Some of the stems will end in the centre of the poppies and the petals will be added on top of this stem. End off each time and start at the base of the stem and leaves again. To end off attach the tail of the ribbon at the back of the poppy with tiny stab stitches in the green thread.
Use the Granite thread and tiny stab stitches to form the hairs on the stem. Work from the stem outwards.
Form the leaves. Thread up with two strands of the green thread and use a padded satin stitch to form each leaf. Outline the edge of each leaf first in back stitch, taking care to keep the tooth like shape. Work from the centre vein outwards, and fill in the leaf in satin stitch. Stitch over the outline to form a raised edge. Hint: Remember to slant the stitch towards the base of the leaf each time for a natural finish. Change to the Granite thread and form the dark veins in stem stitch and straight stitch. Use tiny stab stitches along the edge of the leaf to form the sharp tips.
Form the little top bud next. Thread up with the 13mm silk ribbon and use a padded straight stitch to form the pink bud. Use the green silk ribbon and a fly stitch along the edge of the bud to form the calyx.
Hint: Make two fly stitches on top of each other to form a broader stitch. Thread up with the Granite thread and use tiny stab stitches to form the hairs along the edge.
Form the poppy petals next. Trace the shapes supplied on the pattern sheet (which you downloaded earlier) on the 38mm organza ribbon. Use a soft 2B or 3B pencil so the lines will be visible. Draw the dotted lines (these will be the lines that will be gathered later) and number each shape exactly as shown on pattern. This way the numbers won’t be visible once the poppy is made.
Cut out each shape along the pencil line. Hold the petal in your free hand pinching the edge with the marked dotted line and number between your thumb and forefinger, Use a heated soldering iron or stencil burner. Hint: refer to the heating tool manufacturer’s instructions. Be very careful not to burn yourself. Use scrap pieces of ribbon first to become accustomed to the gentle contact necessary for this step. Too heavy a touch and the organza petal will melt and the shape becomes too small. If this does happen extra petals can be added to enlarge the poppy.
Move the heated tool around the edges of the petal to seal the raw ends and prevent fraying. It is not necessary to seal the edge that you are holding as this side is gathered in the next step and attached to the fabric. Do the same for all 10 petals. Hint: this heat sealing method is ideal for neatening edges of organza stumpwork wings (or any organza shape) in future projects.
Thread up with the ruby red thread and make a knot at the long end. Start with petal 1. Work each petal in numerical order from 1 to 4 or 5. Use short running stitches along the dotted line on the unsealed edge. Pull to gather slightly and use the same thread to attach the petal on top of the poppy centre on the design with tiny stab stitches. Refer to the placement picture below.
Repeat for petal 2. Align the outer edges of the petals with those on the design; allow the petals to overlap in the centre.
Repeat for the remaining petals, layering and overlapping until all the petals are anchored to the design.
Note: the yellow and green centres embroidered earlier and the black beads (to be attached later) will cover the stitches and neaten the petals.
Do the same for the other Poppy, working from petal 1 to 4 or 5, layering and overlapping the petals as before.
The petal of the open poppy on the far left is also gathered slightly and anchored as above just beneath the yellow and green centre. Hint: for a darker texture lay 2 organza petals one on top of each other. Use the same ruby red thread and tiny stab stitches to neaten the petal along the outer edge. Secure every centimetre (3/8 inch) or so.
Thread up with the 13mm silk ribbon and form a few smaller petals under the organza petals of the large Poppies for an interesting texture. Lift the organza petals and use a loop stitch to form loose, looped petals. Hint: the ribbon loops will help to raise the organza petals off the design for a life-like effect.
You could also use the same ribbon and loop stitch and add a few smaller petals on top of the organza petals of the Poppies.
Cut out the yellow and green stigma along the outer dotted line. Use sharp embroidery scissors to cut a few slits on the seam of the embroidered shape. Fold the seam to the back and attach the seam at the back of the shape with the green thread and tiny stab stitches.
Use the same green thread and tiny stab stitches to attach this shape in the centre of the Poppy. Note how the seams at the back help to pad and raise the shape.
Do the same for the other Poppy.
Apply anti-fray agent along the edge of stigma 3 and cut along the edge of the embroidered shape. Note: there is no seam for this shape. Attach the shape as before. Use the green silk ribbon and twisted straight stitch to form the green stem on top of the red petal. Lift the petals of the adjoining Poppy and start under them. Take the needle to the back just beneath the green part of the stigma.
Thread up with the black thread and attach a circle of black beads around the stigma of poppies 1 and 2. Use three or four anchoring stitches for each bead. Do the same for poppy 3 and add a few straight stitches between the beads to create the shadows.
Hint: Use this interesting technique for beautiful scrapbook pages, for card making and to decorate trinket boxes, jackets and handbags. Make a single poppy as shown below but leave out the green stems and leaves. Use the same technique below but attach the petals onto a matching organza fabric stretched taut in a hoop. Once the petals, and centre have been stitched onto the organza, cut out the flower, leaving a small seam. Fold and stitch the seam to the back of the flower then glue or stitch the poppy onto your project. For jackets and jerseys, add a press stud or safety pin so the flower can be removed before washing.
Here is a photo of my completed perfect World design. It is a wonderful project… You will learn many new and interesting technique to use in your creations 🙂
Perfect World book is out of print but we still have stock in South Africa. You could also contact your nearest stockist to ask if they still have a copy for you. We have many dedicated, talented stockists and teachers throughout the world and they will happily assist you with the printed panel, ribbons and threads for A perfect World and do ask about classes for this lovely sampler.
For the French Embroiderers, you are welcome to order the French copy from my fabulous publisher, Alexis Faja of Editions Tutti Frutti (don’t you just love the name?) Here is their website address. I just love all their books ♥
GOOD NEWS! My new Roses book will be available in French very soon… I will show you the cover as soon as Alexis sends it to me :)))
…. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial ♥
I have some beautiful masterpieces to share with you in the weeks to come.
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