Flowers are by far, one of the most popular things to embroider. And rightfully so! There are so many different embroidery stitches for flowers that lend themselves well to the shapes and silhouettes of them. In this post, I’m sharing 16 different embroidery stitches with some examples of how you can use these stitches to create beautiful flowers. Some can be used for large flowers, some for small, and some for more simple or detailed versions of them. I hope you get inspired and try some of them in your next project!
P.S. If you’re brand new at embroidery and don’t know where to start, check out this post first to learn how to make the 5 easiest flowers.
Disclaimer: This post has some affiliate links in it. I receive a small commission from purchases at no additional cost to the buyer. I only recommend products I would use and love and that are of good quality. All opinions are my own!
For Flower Petals
The satin stitch is probably the simplest and most frequently used embroidery stitch for flowers. This stitch is smooth and is great to fill in smaller shapes, such as flower petals. The best way to fill them in is to make vertical stitches along the length of each petal.
The chain stitch is usually considered an outline stitch, but it looks interesting when used as a fill stitch, particularly for petals! Fill them in along the length of the petal, or work your way from the center out. You can create a lot of cool texture.
Long and Short Stitch
The long and short stitch, commonly used in thread painting, is a great stitch for blending colors together. Filling in petals with this stitch allows you to add more dimensional and realistic touch to any flower! You can start with a darker color at the base of the petal and gradually blend the colors out to a lighter shade.
The woven wheel stitch looks great for roses. It has a more 3-dimensional finished look and is great to put into any floral design.
Blanket stitch can be used to fill in flowers and creates a cool pattern and edge for petals.
Similar to the way you can fill in flower petals with chain stitches, the split stitch can be used the same way. This adds a bit more of a subtle texture and is a great choice for when you’re embroidering flowers where the satin stitch may not be as ideal to use for larger areas.
The lazy daisy, also known as a detached or single chain stitch, looks really great for simple flowers. Each stitch represents one petal. Simply make 5 stitches that meet in the middle and you’ve got yourself a little daisy!
For a flower that is 3-dimensional that pops off the fabric, woven picots are the way to go. The base of this stitch is attached the fabric and the rest of the stitch is detached.
Another interesting way to embroider a flower is using a couching stitch. There are many different variations of this stitch. You can use decorative ribbon or embroidery thread. This would look cool for a more abstract looking rose.
Turkey work is a fun stitch to use to make fluffy flowers such as dandelions. It turns out the best when used with stranded cotton so the threads can separate and fluff out when you trim them. You can trim this stitch as long or as short as you want, and it’s another way to add more dimension to any embroidery. You could also use this stitch in the center of a flower that has long stamens.
Cast On Stitch
The cast on stitch is another 3-dimensional stitch that can look like the petals of a rose when the stitches are grouped together. For flower buds, use a single stitch.
The ribbon stitch is a unique embroidery stitch that looks best with silk ribbon. These are great for small flower petals or for more elongated petals such as a chrysanthemum.
Another ribbon embroidery technique that looks just like a rose is the ribbon rose. You can learn how to do this stitch in this beginner ribbon tutorial.
Embroidery Stitches For Small Flowers
French knots are ideal to use for small flowers, berries, the center of flowers, or to fill in blank spaces between flowers. You can make them larger and more fluffy with more strands of thread or smaller with less thread.
The colonial knot is very similar to the French knot, but the knot is made using a figure eight and it’s a bit smaller and neater than a French knot.
Bullion knots are longer, twisted knots that are great for small flowers like clovers and flower buds. You can also use them similar to the way a cast on stitch is used to create a rose!
Want to learn even more?
Here are two great online embroidery classes I teach on Skillshare. Not a member? Get one month free when you signup through the linked classes below.