Sweetheart Rose

Jean Bowman 2004

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The little Sweetheart French Knot Rose, also known as Aunt Charlotte's Floribunda Rose, is a favorite among needle artists. This little rose has several names, depending on the technique used to make it. Some make it using a Colonial knot and call it the Colonial Knot Running Stitch Rose. Others make it with just the running stitch and secure it by stitching a bead in the center to keep it from pulling through the fabric. Whatever technique used or name it is called, it is a wonderful little rose to enhance a bush, vine or as filler flowers.

It works well with 4mm to 7mm ribbon but wider ribbon may also be used. If using a fiber other than silk, increase the size of the needle to enable the ribbon to be pulled through itself. Experiment on a scrap of fabric before using ribbon other than silk on your project to get a feel for how the ribbon will work.

To make the rose, thread the needle with silk ribbon using no more than 12 to 14 inches (25 to 30 cm) of ribbon. Pull the ribbon through the fabric, start a 2 to 3 wrap French knot or Colonial knot on the needle.

Pull the needle up the ribbon so about 1 inch to 1 inches (25 to 38 mm) of ribbon is below your needle. Hold the knot in place on the needle and carefully take a running stitch back to the fabric, making evenly spaced stitches.

Insert the needle into the fabric near but not in the same hole where it came up through the fabric. Check the back of the fabric to make sure the needle is not into the knot in the back of the ribbon, then carefully pull the ribbon through.

With the eye end of the needle, adjust the folds made in the ribbon. Add your choice of leaves and stems.

You will soon learn other manipulations to vary the size and shape of the little rose:

  • Closer stitches makes smaller flowers, farther apart makes larger.
  • Using less ribbon makes more of a bud size flower.
  • Zigzagging the stitching from side to side makes more pointed petals.
  • Starting with shorter stitches and gradually increasing the length also gives a slight different look.

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