Needlepainted Flower

After I finished the teal rose, I was still in the stitching mood. I started looking through drawings online and ones saved on Pinterest and on my computer, including some tattoo designs I’ve been saving for ideas for future tattoos.

This one has really caught my eye a lot of times:


So, I had to stitch it! I did have to change it up a little bit to fit the piece of fabric that I had, hence the circle around the picture. Plus I ended up tweaking the design a little bit along the way.

I used a light blue background that has subtle clouds on it, which are hard to see in the pictures. After choosing my colors, I started working on the stitching. I had picked a range of blues for the outer petals, but quickly realized an issue after I started the first one. The colors were too light and blended with the background. I did some digging in my threads and redid the petal.

Then when I got to the purple petals, I ran into another issue (part of which is most of my purple threads appear to be lost in a tote somewhere…). The one thread I picked out which I thought would blend, didn’t. So I had to carefully rip it out and add in another purple.

This particular needlepainted project seemed to fly by and I finished it up rather quickly, then found a nice frame for it.

Once it was completely finished, I did a porch drop at my friend’s house. Surprise! 🙂

The original design may still end up as a tattoo somewhere on my body some day. We shall see.

Needlepainted Teal Rose

100 hours of hand stitching, one thread at a time, to create this Teal Rose that now hangs in my mom’s sewing hangout. The rose itself measures about 7″ in diameter.


This rose came about after a friend posted a picture of a beautiful “perfect rose” from her garden.


(photo credit V.L. 2020)

I saw the picture, downloaded it, and played around in a photo editor with inverting the color.

IMG_20200630_025655_060 (1)

I received permission from her to use it in an embroidery design. I had to make the photo black and white, print it out, then trace it to get the lines of the individual petals. I realized once I got ready to stitch that I missed a petal in the tracing and had to go back and add it. Oops! You can see that I have the petals numbered. This gives me a rough idea of which ones are stitched first. All the 1’s, then the 2’s, etc.  The numbering may change as I work inward as I may realize something overlaps different than I thought.

Once I had the drawing made, I had to then transfer it to fabric and stitch the outline. I decided to stitch the rose in teals because I absolutely LOVE how the inverted picture of the rose looks in teal.

I used 9 different threads in teals and very pale blue-teal in order to create this rose.

Needlepainting by hand involves taking one single thread at a time and stitching one petal or section at a time, moving from background to foreground. The stitches used are long and short stitches.  You need to look at the way the petals/sections lie, the direction of them, and think about light vs dark.  I could do this same design in other colors and the shading could turn out completely different based on where I put the lights and darks.  I could shade it as if the sun is shining from at angle and have one side darker than the other.

As you can see in the below pictures, I started from the outside and worked in, because the outside petals are “behind” the front/inner petals.  This is not always the case, so you have to study your design and pick out what would be the background. Stitching the petals like this help give the layered look and help the individual petals stand out more. It would suck to get all the way done and just have a teal blob as an end result.

If you love embroidery but haven’t tried needlepainting before, try it! Check out Trish Burr’s books and videos.  I started with her books and designs, then kind of adapted it a little to fit my style and started finding my own designs to use. Or I use photographs that I’ve taken or friends have taken and turned them into designs.

The possibilities are almost endless. If it can be drawn, it can probably be needlepainted. Although you may have to make minor adjustments to get ‘sections’ to stitch. In the above pictures you can see that the center of the rose originally was a larger piece that I later broke up into smaller sections to make it easier to stitch.

Rip, Rip, Rip it Out

Ever start a project, have high hopes for it, get going and realize something just isn’t right?

That’s how my needlepainted butterfly has been.

I think butterflies are one of nature’s most amazing creatures (after cats, of course!). They are delicate, graceful, and come in beautiful colors. So, I finally decided to try to needlepaint one.

My original plan was to make my butterfly in blues and purples. Somehow I ended up picking out pinks instead.

I didn’t get very far.

A month later and it still looked like this. I couldn’t work on it any more. Something just wasn’t right.

Then it dawned on me. The color! In the back of my mind I was still wanting the blues and purples.

So Sunday night I started the fun of rip, rip, ripping out the stitches.

I’ll leave the outline even though it’s pink because it won’t show once the butterfly is filled in. Next step, picking out the colors I really want to use!

The funny thing is I’m working on a different needlepainting project (a rose) that’s also in pinks and I’m loving it. I guess the subject of the work has more impact on color than I realized.

Have you ripped anything out lately? Why? What went wrong? How will you change it?

Blue Hibiscus 

It’s Monday! And it is somehow 2018. How’d that happen? I wasn’t done with 2017 goals yet.  I should have made a list of them I guess so I could keep track of them and mark things off. 

I’m working on 2018’s goal list, but in the meantime I thought I would share something I made for a Christmas gift for my mom-in-law. 

This one was a bit different in how I had to do it because it didn’t have one petal that had the edges behind two other petals as a starting point.  Each petal has an overlap with another petal. 

I picked out my background, traced out my flower on sulky, and put it in a frame. 

Then I stitched my outline and removed the sulky. 

Next I filled in the leaves and stem with needlepainting. 

 At this point I had to decide how I was going to fill in the petals. I decided the easiest way was going to be circular, paying attention to the overlaps. 

For it being challenging, I’m very happy  with how it turned out. 

I think my favorite part is the French knots in the middle. 


Needlepainting: Iris and Rose

The iris I mentioned in my last post is finished! And I’m extremely happy with it.  It now hangs on the wall in our main bathroom.

After it was finished I was still in the mood to stitch, so I turned my attention to another flower that had been on my mind. A rainbow rose.  

I traced it onto sulky then stitched it on a black background. 

I did make some changes to the colors to go with what I had, but the rainbow rose worked up quickly. 

My next project was going to be needlepainting a small waterfall landscape. After studying some drawings I drew up a design, transferred, and outlined. And after a little bit of stitching realized it’s not the right project to hold my attention right now. 

What to do. What to do. 

Out came the hexies to play. 

150 basted. 10 stitched into twos. 71 to still baste. Then I’ll need to drag out some more fabric to cut up. 

Needle Painting – Iris

Now that this semester of work has calmed down and I’ve settled into my routine,  my creative mood has kicked in again. I’ve been wanting to do another needle painting project. 

But what? A bird? A deer? Another rose? 

Well,  last month with the way our weather has been we ended up with some surprise blooms in the flowerbed. 

I looked online and found a drawing that was similar to this and used it to do an outline on fabric.  

A big decision was colors.  Purple? Blue? Pink? White alone doesn’t have enough variety to create one like the one in our flowerbed.  So I grabbed my big box of threads,  dug through,  and picked out the following: 

Feels good to be needle painting again! 

Rose Trio – DONE

2 years of on and off stitching on this,  thousands upon thousands of stiches,  probably 100+ hours total hand work, and my Rose Trio is finally done! 

It turned out mostly as I imagined it.  I did make a few changes along the way,  adding in a couple more greens and a brown to the stems, and adding some extra stitches at the end to the pink rose to get it more in line with what I wanted. It’s amazing how a few stitches (or 20) can slightly change the look. 



There are a few wrinkles I need to steam out then get it framed,  but it is DONE! FINALLY! 

Am I excited? You bet! Now to pick my next needlepainting project.  

My current thoughts are drawing this out and needlepainting it: 

Or doing this one as needlepainting:

Or a  few other ideas that I have pictures of buried deep in the almost 3,000 pictures on my phone. Decisions.  

Rose Trio – Update

After working my butt off the last few months or so, I finally have some good downtime to craft! I’ve made a quilt top (will appear in another post some day), finished another chemo hat, planted flowers, beaded a butterfly or two (another future post.  No real butterflies were harmed), and finally got back to work on my needlepainting embroidery. 

If you know me, you know I love needlepainting. Especially roses. 

At last update, I think we were about here on the Trio of Roses: 

The color part of each flower is now complete! I’m not happy with the red/pink one still, but I’ll worry about tinkering with that one once everything is done. 

Now on to filling in the leaves and stems! 

Yes,  I Knot

I debated whether or not to post this as this is a topic that has people in both camps and they don’t always agree.  But normally it’s not nasty disagreements.  It’s just “I do it this way. You do it your way. Both ways work.” 

But judging by the nasty look and venom-dipped comment I received yesterday,  I have committed a horendous sin in the world of embroidery.  The look told me I should be tarred and feathered,  burned at the stake,  buried ten feet under.  

At least that’s how the tone of voice in the comment and the look made me feel. 

Honestly,  I think that whether you knot or not should be your own personal preference. You knot?  Great for you. You do not knot?  Also great for you.  Does your end result make you happy whether you knot or not?  That’s what matters,  right?  

So,  why do I knot?  Well, for me I just feel more secure about my embroidery when I knot my threads.  I’ve pulled my threads out accidently a few times when I’ve tried not knotting. 

I also park my threads to the side of my work instead of ending the thread if I know I’ll use the color again in the same area.  That helps result in less knots on the back.  

In needle painting,  since I’m using only one single thread at a time the resulting knots are small and do not result in a lump.  

And the front isn’t lumpy either.  🙂 This is my current progress on the trio of roses.  

So,  knot or not,  which do you prefer?  Either way you go,  I’m sure your work is beautiful.  

Trio of Roses – Progress

Last night I was able to do a little more work on my needle painting trio of roses.  I’m not real happy with how the red/pink rose is turning out.  But I’ll see what I can do to fix it once it’s done and I see the overall effect. 

Yellow rose:


Red/pink rose:


The third rose is going to be in orange tones:


And the current full picture:


About to start working on the red/pink rose some more now.