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Minerva CraftsThis is the first article in a series of projects and techniques on hand embroidery designed by Little Miss Fancy Frocks, the dynamic mother and daughter duo who lovingly create handcrafted clothing for adults and children. Visit their Facebook page here.

The series is sponsored by Minerva Crafts, suppliers of all your embroidery requirements.


Hand Embroidered Flowers in a Hoop

Simple hand embroidery

Stitch this delightful hand embroidered flowers project and present it to hang in an attractive embroidery hoop.


You will need...

Supplies for hand embroidery

14.5cm circular flexihoop

25cm x 25cm of cotton calico or similar weight fabric

60cm narrow ric rac

60cm x 6mm satin ribbon

4 skeins of Anchor Perle cotton No. 5 - colours 1304 (variegated lemon/green), 267 (green), 742 (orange), 1 (white)

Squared paper marked in centimetres (optional)

 You will also need a pair of scissors, tacking thread and an embroidery needle (a sharp point and an eye large enough to take the embroidery thread)



Designing a hand embroidery

This sketch has been produced using centimetre squared paper. Draw a circle 14.5cm diameter (same as the hoop) and draw your design within the circle - you can copy our idea or create your own.

Transfer embroidery design

Transfer the image onto the calico using a pen which is air or water based and can easily be removed afterwards. 

Place the calico in the flexi frame.

Daisy Stitch

Daisy stitch

Using the variegated perle cotton (1304), bring your needle onto the surface of the calico on the edge of the flower centre leaving approximately 8cm of thread underneath. Put your needle back into the calico alongside your first stitch and bring the needle out on the edge of the outer circle.

Wrap the thread around the needle and gently pull the thread to form the petal stitch. Hold the petal in place by inserting the needle onto the outer edge of the petal.  

Bring your needle back to the surface next to where you started the first stitch and repeat until you have filled the circle with petals. Tie the threads together on the wrong side of the hoop. Complete the large daisies before working the small ones in the white thread.

Daisy chain stitch


Stem Stitch 

Learn stem stitch

Starting at the base of the stem, bring the green thread (267) to the surface leaving approximately 8cm of thread on the underside of the hoop. Place the needle back into the fabric approximately 6mm away and slightly to the left of the stem and bring the needle to the surface slightly to the right of the stem half the length of the first stitch. Repeat the first stitch until each stem is complete.

French Knots

Tying a French Knot

In the centre circle of the flower and using the orange thread,  bring your needle onto the surface of the calico leaving 8cm below the surface. Place the needle back into the fabric to surface where the first thread came up. Wrap the thread around the needle a couple of times and return the needle to the underside producing a knot on the surface. Work several knots until the centre of the flower is covered. Tie the threads together on the wrong side of the hoop.


Ribbon Basket

Using ribbon in hand embroidery

Thread your needle with the ribbon and bring the ribbon onto the surface on the top left hand corner of the basket.

Take the ribbon across the basket to the top right hand corner, keeping the ribbon flat. Take the ribbon to the underside of the hoop and bring the ribbon to the surface just below the first row and work the second row and the remaining horizontal rows.


Laying ribbon for embroidery

Work the first vertical row by bringing your needle onto the surface on the bottom left hand corner of the basket and weave the ribbon through the four horizontal rows and take the ribbon under the surface on the top left hand corner of the basket.

Hand embroidery

Work the remaining vertical rows in the same way to achieve the woven basket effect. The ribbons can be stitched in place on the underside of the fabric.


Ric Rac Frame

Applying ric rac

Tack the ric rac around the edge of the frame.  Tacking the ric rac in place makes it much easier to embroider.


Securing ricrac

Using the green thread stitch the ric rac in place through every curve of the ric rac to give a decorative edge.


Finished ric rac


Cutting away excess calico

Cut away the excess calico but resist the temptation to cut too close to the frame.

Finished embroidery


Top Tip - When starting a new Anchor Perle thread

How to wind an embroidery thread

Take off the top and bottom labels. Untwist the skein and place on a flat surface. Untie the knot, usually located at one of the ends of the skein.


Winding a skein

Place the circular skein over the back of a chair or the hands of a willing volunteer.


Skeins of embroidery thread

Wind the thread around a small piece of card, inserting the number of the thread between the card and the thread. This will help when you need to replenish your stock so you will have the correct numbers. Trying to match up threads without the numbers can be a real challenge!


Hand embroidery series 

If you like hand embroidery, please follow our 10-part hand embroidery series.