Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Knapweed Petals

First of all, thanks to all of you who commented on my Completed Bud Post of the Persian Peony Tile. It was a difficult decision to redo the bud and to differ from the teacher's instructions, but it did turn out fairly decently so I'm glad I made the switch. After all that agonizing I decided to take a little break before forging on with the two remaining buds.  I promised some time ago to show you how to precisely stitch the knapweed petals so that's what I'll do today.  I thought I explained how we transferred the design onto the silk, but I can't find it in my posts, so I'll explain it again: I traced the design onto a piece of transfer paper using a soft pencil, then turned the tracing paper so the lead faced the silk, pinned the paper to the silk, and rubbed the design onto the silk using a manicure stick. It worked wonderfully well! However, I did not trace the dots that showed where to stitch the knapweed petals, as the thread used for stitching the petals wouldn't cover the markings.

When I was ready to stitch the knapweed petals, I took the tracing paper, which I had carefully saved, and placed it over the design that came with our kits. I then marked dots where the petals would be placed around the knapweed base.  The photo above shows the wax paper outline placed over the embroidery. I placed No. 10 embroidery needles through the paper and into the underlying fabric to mark the position of the stitches. You can see the holes on the tracing paper from the flower that I worked in class on the left.

After carefully lifting off the tracing paper, I was left with needles sticking into the fabric. Notice the hole? It's just large enough to see to bring the needle with the purple thread through.  By the way, the thread is Cifonda Art Silk No 754, which is the most beautiful shade of purple I've ever seen! I just love the color.

After stitching the nine petals marked by the needles, I then stitched a petal in between each of the first round of petals. Then, after that was finished, I stitched another petal in between the existing petals but about 1 mm longer, to give an impression of "fluff" to the flower. Finally, I stitched a couple of short petals on either side of the outermost petals, pointing a bit downwards towards the base. 

And here is the piece with all of the petals finished. All that's left to do are the two buds on each side and then the whole piece is complete.


  1. Cynthia, that is just stunning! Every part of this design is gorgeous! You did a lovely job on it. I hope you have a great frame shop for needlework and a place of honor for this to hang in your home!


  2. Beautiful work. I would love to take a class from Jane Nicholas. Not enough hours in a day or $$ in the bank is there?

  3. Thank you for showing us that great method. I really like the knapweeds.

    The whole piece is stunning, you must be delighted with it.

  4. Thanks for the post. I was really interested to read how you did that. I love the knapweeds. I'm also so impressed how you are finishing something taught in a class. I've often fallen victim to letting these class projects slide once I'm back home.

  5. Hii.. Please can u let me know wher to buy Cifonda embroidery thread?

    1. You can buy them at Embroidery Den, in Australia, at I've purchased from them before and they are very good to work with.


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