Sweet Peas

Jenny Clark © 2004

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Sweet peas (lathyrus odoratus) are a lovely flower to add to your stitching if you want to express some of the emotions listed in the meaning of flowers. They represent delicate pleasures, good-bye, blissful pleasure, departure, and thank you for a lovely time. One of the delights of early spring is to walk past sweet pea vines in full bloom. The aroma is delightful and the colors are vivid and bright. Because sweet peas bloom in white, pink, lavender, blue, orange, and red, they offer a versatile way of adding variety to your stitching schemes. The colors listed below in the directions can be changed to fit your design. For the sweet peas shown in the accompanying picture, I used the following threads and colors.

Materials and supplies:

  • Caronís Soie Cristale 12-ply silk floss (2 strands used for all stitching)
  • Greens - #5015 and #5002
  • Purples - #0069, #0079, #1091, #1092 and #6042
  • Needle: No. 8 crewel needle for the embroidery work
  • Fabric of your choice (I used silver silk dupioni.)
  • Optional: Washable or air erasable marking pen to sketch in vines and stems
  • Optional: Embroidery hoop

Steps in Work

  1. Use an air erasable pen to mark the stem and vine placement on the fabric. I drew my flower shapes also. Draw the top of the flower in a bow shape and the bottom rounded at the center and tapering off at the ends. See the picture for the flower shape.
  2. Embroider the stems and curly vines in stem stitch using 2 strands of the darker green floss.
  3. Using satin stitch and 2 strands of floss, thread paint the flower blossoms and buds by starting in the center and working to one side. Return to the center and stitch the opposite side.
  4. Stitch the calyxes on the buds with 2 strands of the lighter green floss. Again, start in the center of each calyx and work to one side. Return to the center and stitch to the opposite side.

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