Adapting a Basic Embroidery Design to Varying Types of Needlework

Jean Bowman © 2004

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Ever wondered how to adapt a basic embroidery pattern for different type needlework? In a recent issue of the CQMagOnline,, Dean Deerfield showed us how she designed a Silk Ribbon Embroidery motif that she stitched on her vest. She generously shared that design with our readers for their personal use. Expert stitchers on our staff have taken that design and reworked it for several other types of needlework. Using Dean’s basic design, you see it come alive as beading projects, thread painting, Brazilian Dimensional and combination embroidery.

Use these ideas to make your own unique masterpiece. Please share your project made from Dean’s design by posting them to our Reader’s Showcase.

Motif Pattern:


Rita Goff’s combination embroidery:

The three center flowers are spider web roses done with YLI ribbon; the centers are small pearl beads. The leaves around these flowers are also silk ribbon with the Side Ribbon Stitch. 

The lilac flower to the right is a Cast On BE flower stitched with Iris and the center is made of bullion stitches. The small gold flower to the left is a daisy and I used Belding Corticelli Silk Buttonhole Twist to form the petals of decorated lazy daisy stitches with a center of French knots. Just above this flower are three Fargo Roses using 2mm silk ribbon.

The hollyhocks were fashioned by first placing a stem stitch then using small cast on stitches to create the flowers. The floral spray at the top is combination of fly and lazy daisy stitches with Mill Hill beads on the tips.

The floral spray at the bottom left is a combination of stem stitch and lazy daisies using Edmar Iris thread, I then used 2mm silk ribbon French knots to fill in.

Belding Corticelli Silk Buttonhole Twist in size D was used for the featherstitch fill in. The heavier spray at the upper left is also fly s titches using 2mm silk ribbon. The orange-yellow floral spray at the middle of the design is a stem stitch using two strands of DMC floss and 2mm silk ribbon for ribbon stitch leaves. I also couched some organza ribbon and ribbon floss as background fill.

Nora Creeach used specialty beads and shapes:

The same day I saw Dean's design for the first time, I received a catalog from Fire Mountain Gems. Featured were these gorgeous carved roses. The design came alive in my mind with the roses, leaf beads, flower beads and pastel pearls all in that single catalog. I promise I did stitch the stems with silk perle from Hand-Dyed Fibers but the rest are harvested from the catalog.

Needlepainting by Peggy Crawford:

I used various kinds of silk, some from Vicky Clayton, I also used two strands DMC for the flower centers. If your silk thread stash is low, use DMC. You will still get a nice sheen. The background fabric is white moiré. The stitches that I used are:
Flower Petals: Long/Short Stitches
Purple Flowers: Satin Stitch
Flower Centers: French Knots
Stems: Stem Stitch

Read more about Needlepainting in this issue of CQ MagOnline.

Stephanie Novatski beads Dean Deerfield's design

Beads used:

11 seed beads
8 seed beads
leaf glass beads
pressed 15mm glass rose beads
bugle beads
8 mm drop beads
Pressed flower beads various sizes
Pears, natural and dyed, various sizes

I tried to stay true to the design. I started by sketching the large elements and the stems, for the design flow. Where there were large flowers, roses in the original SR design, I also tried to place large beaded flowers. Some of these were done in strands of overlapping sad beads to imitate rose petals, some were done in pearls in a simple daisy type design. Where there were clusters of French knot flowers, since the design is a bit larger in the beads than SRE and thread, I used clusters of different size pressed flower beads. Many of these beads are crystal and they didn't show up on the white fabric, so I placed a small colored sequin under them. All the small flowers throughout the design have yellow centers for consistency even though there is a large variety of sizes, shapes and colors. All the pearl flowers have the same colored pearl center, and all the roses have the same pressed glass rose bead center. To fill in greenery where a leaf bead would not fit, I simulated leaves using seed beads in colors matching the glass leaf beads.

I tried to stay true to the original design layout, but it wasn't easy! Hope you like it Dean. If I had time, I would like to do it also with "found objects" such as buttons, jewelry bits, beads, etc.

Peggy Crawford comes back with BDE for her second interpretation of the design  and provides us with a step by step lesson on how it was stitched.


Vicki Clayton Hand-dyed Fibers

Fire Mountain Gems

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