How to make stumpwork Hydrangeas


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Would you like to add more dimension to your embroidery? This tutorial will help show you how easy it is

How to make Stumpwork Hydrangeas

I have some new photos of a favourite technique and for those who are learning for the first time or refreshing their skills, here they are…

For interesting dimensional flowers, stumpwork Hydrangeas are ideal.  The Hydrangeas are made separately and then attached to the main design. They are easy to make and I will show you how to make these with French knots.

Hint:  You could use beads instead of French knots to make beautiful berries.

1.Refer to the drawing below as a guide, trace circles (including the serrated lines) onto a separate piece of white, blue, pink or green fabric with a 2B pencil or blue water-soluble pen.

2. Insert the fabric into a hoop.


3. Stitch the circles

Use six-strand cotton or silk thread — blue, pink, violet and lavender are good shades to use.


  • Start with the blue thread and separate two strands from the six. Thread up on a 7 or 8 embroidery/ crewel needle and make a knot at the long end.
  • Form French knots close together, wrapping the thread two or three times around the needle. For an interesting effect, alternate the size of the knots: make some knots with two wraps and others with three wraps around the needle

Hint: for smaller flowers, use one strand of thread and wrap the thread twice around the needle.

  • Change to the pink and then the violet thread and fill in the circle as before, following the photos as a guide.

4. Outline the circles


  • With the same thread used for the last French knot, sew running stitches along the serrated line.
  • Don’t end off, remove the needle and leave the thread hanging — you will use this thread a little later to gather and secure the shape onto your design. Complete all the circles as you did above.

5. Cut out the Hydrangeas

Move the hanging threads out of the way. With small, sharp embroidery scissors cut out each circle along the outer lines.

6. Gather the circles

  • Pull the hanging thread of each circle, gathering the fabric into a ball.
  • Push the fabric seam to the back of the ball and secure thread at the back of the ball with two little stitches.
  • Leave the thread hanging to stitch the ball onto your design in step 7 below.
  • Repeat for all the other circles.

7. Stitch the flowers onto your design

  • Rethread the hanging thread and secure the ball onto your background with tiny stab stitches.
  • Allow some balls to lie on top of one another or to overlap for a realistic effect.


8. Make the leaves

Use 7mm silk ribbon and make leaves with detached chain stitch and or ribbon stitch. Make some stitches that are loose and puffed for an interesting effect. To do this:  use a very gentle tension as you form the stitch.


This  Hydrangea panel is from the flower sampler in my RES book — an ideal book for the beginner to silk ribbon embroidery or stumpwork. Here is the complete sampler:

Click on the image to enlarge

RES Embroidered.psd

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial… soon I will show you more little tricks. Subscribe and receive e-mail updates as soon as I post a new tutorial.

Enjoy the rest of your day. I am going to work on my new design and I will show you soon!

Happy stitching



21 thoughts on “How to make stumpwork Hydrangeas”

  1. just discovered your site;so awesome…i’m curious &so intrigued to learn more..you,re very generous to share your precious time

  2. Cada dia veo su pagina y siempre encuentro algo nuevo y maravilloso para aprender, los admiro de verdad y copio muchas ideas, aunque solo bordo cosas utilitarias como bolsas para pan, delantales o tops pero algun dia podre comprar uno de sus kit, lo intente una vez pero no se realizo la compra. Vivo en Venezuela y es muy dificil comprar con $
    Mi felicitaciones y un gran abrazo
    Ciudad Guayana

  3. Didn’t expect to find a tutorial. Thanks for the willingness to share your knowledge. The work is beautiful.

  4. This is so awesome and I love it so much. Wanted to learn ribbon embroidery long time ago but don’t have the chance. Are the ribbon you used different from the one we get from the market?

  5. Por acaso descobri estas maravilhas! Bordo alguma coisa, mas é uma pinta perto do que descobri.Nunca tinha visto igual.Parabéns! Lindo demais. Como faria para adquirir conhecimento. Sei que será muito difícil.Vivo em Sta vitoria do Palmar R. Grande do Sul Brasil. Mas quem sabe um dia….

  6. tôi rất rất thích và muốn mua sách học nhưng tại viet nam tôi không biết mua ở đâu, hy vọng khi bạn nhận được thông tin này.

    1. Thank you for your enquiry about stockist in Vietnam. Please contact my stockist, Mr Yee, in Malaysia and he will assist you with the details. Thank you!

      Craft World No. 33, Jalan SS 2/55, 47300 Petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan Malaysia Tel: 603-78770072 wcyee@craft-world.net

  7. magnifique, le panneau tout brodé est de toute beauté. Y a-t-il un tuto pour le réaliser ??? Bravo pour votre broderie et merci pour le point de broderie proposé.

  8. Votre blog est une splendeur ! Merci !
    Je voudrais m’inscrire à votre newsletter mais où ?

  9. Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing. Will be incorporating into new little project. Best wishes, Carina

  10. Just came across your site. Your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing

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