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How to make stumpwork Hydrangeas


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How to make stumpwork Hydrangeas




For interesting dimensional flowers, stumpwork Hydrangeas are ideal.  The Hydrangeas are made separately and then attached onto 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 round 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 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!


Happy stitching





27 Responses to How to make stumpwork Hydrangeas

  1. Wavatar Selma McClarigan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this work with us. I can hardly wait to try this!

  2. Wavatar Selma McClarigan says:

    Your work is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.I can hardly wait to try this!

  3. Wavatar meri says:

    خیلی زیبا هستندو آفرین

  4. Wavatar chathuri hansani says:

    Thank you Di..I love your tutorials..its very useful me…and they are very beautiful…love all your works…<3 <3 <3

  5. Wavatar Silvia says:

    Lindo trabalho.
    Obrigada por compartilhar.

  6. Wavatar Janet says:

    I admire your skill. Truly lovely.

  7. Wavatar sam malone says:

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

  8. Wavatar kevin says:

    Lovely Explanation.
    Its really work well for me.
    Thanks for this post.

  9. Wavatar Carina says:

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

  10. Wavatar VALIE says:

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

  11. Wavatar annick says:

    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.

  12. Wavatar ANH TUYẾT says:

    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.

  13. Wavatar Carmem says:

    Maravilhoso,de muito bom gosto.

  14. Wavatar Mairlha says:

    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….

  15. Wavatar Felicia Wong says:

    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?

  16. Wavatar Ann says:

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

  17. Wavatar Mariel de Llach says:

    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

  18. Pingback: A Tutorial on how to make stumpwork Hydrangeas | pintangle.com

  19. Wavatar carrierenancy says:

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

  20. Pingback: Stumpwork Hydrangeas / Di van Niekerk | External Brain

  21. Pingback: How-To: Stumpwork Hydrangeas | My Blog

  22. Wavatar KathfromOz says:

    Just like that, and yummy enough to drool over. Thanks.

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