Stitch Directions
Silk Flower Conversion Technique
Stitchers' Comments
Shared Gardens

Before making a purchase, almost everyone likes to flip through a book to see what it contains.

That is a little difficult to do that with an "eBook", so below are some KEY pages you might like to view before you purchase a copy of
Stitching Idyllic : Hand Stitch Recognizable Summer Flowers.

Details on how to purchase - Click here, or on the book cover on this page.

Ann would like all readers to know that the concepts of Silk Flower Conversion and Funtasy Flowers are her own and did not originate from any other source (January, 2015).

I am including my email address to receive photos and to answer questions :


A Summary On Hand Stitching Recognizable Summer Flowers Using Creative Surface Stitchery      (Page 14)

The focus of the first section is the background for the flowers. Both the front fabric and the backing fabric are discussed. In Spring Flowers we used batik cotton but for Summer Flowers we have been more enterprising and there are several ways of creating interesting backgrounds.

As photo-printing on cotton, linen and silk is one of the methods used, the exact details on how to do this yourself are included. The commercial products proved more suitable for memory quilts. Other techniques are painting with acrylic paints, using silk or wool rovings, machine embossing with silk rovings and piece quilting.

water garden
The photo print fabric for this garden is Batiste Cotton which gives
a very quiet and indistinct print that does not detract from the stitched flowers.

Back-basting the front fabric to a backing fabric plus how to mount it in a frame are the crucial next stage. Stitching on fabric that is taut in the frame is vitally important and one of the absolute necessities to achieving the best stitching results of which you are capable. Small gardens, i.e .4" x 6" can be stitched in a hoop or ring frame provided that the fabric either remains taut or is retightened as necessary. There are other frames which are easy to use and you will hear more about the ones I am aware of at this time. This is called 'Dressing Your Frame'.

Threads, in the form of DMC Floss or, their equivalent in Clarks or Finca are universally available and are used for all the gardens except one where I used my inherited stash of silk threads. There is an app called XFloss which is an efficient and easy to use tool for converting DMC numbers to other makes.

The stitches used are Straight, Split, Seeding, Stem, Detached Chain, Fly, Feather, French Knots, Cretan, Herringbone and Woven Spider Wheels. Three extras, Bullion Knots, Raised Chain Band, and Distorted Straight stitch are used in only one flower each. Some, of the stitches, have been adapted to achieve a specific effect. None of this is difficult and it is fun to use stitches in different ways. A section on Stitch Directions is included.


Then come the Summer Flowers in all their variety and glory. Every flower has a real life photo, the instructions on how to hand stitch it, the colour numbers of the threads, stitching diagrams and a photos of the stitched flower. Many delightful stitched gardens are included in this section and I am indebted to the many stitchers who contributed their time and expertise.

The Cover Story - Come Stitch with Me follows with the planning and the stitching of the garden used for the front cover of this book. You will see how I plan a layout, stitch bits here and there, make marks with a thread and not a pencil, change my mind and gradually arrive at a conclusion.


And now for something completely different for us all. Silk Flower Conversion is a technique that allows one to create large petalled flowers without doing Long and Short stitch. We had some fun working with this one. Although this is not traditional embroidery, it might just squeeze into the description of Creative Surface Stitchery. This led to Funtasy Flowers which are another new concept. It does include some stitching and I think that it will be of interest to textile artists.

The final section will show you how to mount your embroidery on foam core board, mitre the corners and either frame it yourself or prepare it for professional framing. But no one will give it the care and attention that you will so if you are able to do this yourself, then do it. Cutting glass is a job for a professional.

You will find a lot of ideas in this book plus the directions on how to achieve them yourself. As always, I take the simplest and easiest approach to achieve 'recognizable summer flowers.'




Introduction to Stitching Recognizable Summer Flowers
A Summary On Hand Stitching Recognizable Summer Flowers Using
Creative Surface Stitchery


Batik dyed cotton:


Paint a background on fabric using acrylic paint:
Silk fusion:
Machine embellished:
Machine pieced quilting:


Dressing Your Frame, or, Mounting Your Fabric Onto a Frame Prior to Stitching


Stranding, Stripping, Mixing and Saving


TOOLS that are useful and help achieve improved stitching Stitch Directions

Split stitch
Stem stitch
Detached Chain stitch or lazy daisy stitch
Enhanced Chain stitch
Fly stitch
Feather stitch
Cretan stitch
Herringbone stitch
Woven spider web stitch
French knots


Water Garden, stitched by Ann Bernard
Neighbour's Garden, stitched by Ann Bernard
Lily of the Valley
Portulaca Pathway, stitched by Clara Drysdale

Stitch Directions

Mary Replanted Her Garden, stitched by Ann Bernard
Black Eyed Susans or Rudbekia
Cat Among the Cosmos, stitched by Clara Drysdale
English Daisies
English Daisies in a Field, stitched by Clara Drysdale
Purple Coneflower
Briarwood Garden, stitched by Janet Sunderani
Pyrethrums (Painted Daisies)
Shasta Daisies


Gerbera Daisies
Dressed with Daisies stitched by Maureen McIntyre
South African Rock Garden, stitched by Ann Bernard


Blue and White Garden, stitched by Linda Rickert
Sampler for the Blue and White Garden, stitched by Linda Rickert


Water Garden, stitched by Ann Bernard
Liatris or Gayfeather


Roses: Stitched with Bullion Knots
Upper Canada Roses, stitched by Mary Pipher
Roses, Stitched with Spider Web Wheels
If Wishes were Roses, stitched by Ann Bernard
Roses: Stitched with Stem stitch


Double Hollyhocks
Dreamscape, stitched by Clara Drysdale
My Neighbours Garden, stitched by Ann Bernard
Peonies Like Their Privacy, stitched by Dana Trimble
Country Garden: acrylic on fabric, stitched by Marsha Fontes


English Daisy Coaster, stitched by Clara Drysdale
Under a Birch Tree, stitched by Ann Bernard
Sunflower Card, stitched by Ann Bernard


Audition time: Choosing the thread colours
Stages of growth
Completed: The garden now includes a Blue Jay


Silk Flower Conversion Technique
Clematis on the Wall, created by Ann Bernard
Hibiscus - Tropical Topiary Tree, created by Pat Harwood
The Old Homestead, created by Mary Pipher
High Eye Appeal, created by Ann Bernard
Hot Hibiscus, created by Ann Bernard


Passion for Poppies, created by Diana Bennet
Up the Garden Path, created by Pat Harwood
Organza Extravaganza, created by Ann Bernard


With Heartfelt Thanks


Stitch Directions (excerpt)     Page 33

The stitches used for Summer Flowers are for the most part the basic stitches with which most stitchers are familiar. But they are often used in ways that are different and as such, it is helpful to try them out before stitching them in your garden. If you are not familiar with a stitch, practise the pure form of it on another piece of fabric before using it in your garden. If the directions included here are inadequate, there are many sites on line and books that will be helpful.

Even if you are an experienced stitcher and know all the stitches, experiment by stitching the basics of that plant on another piece of fabric or in the spare fabric outside your garden. Become acquainted with that plant and then become friends. It is always easier to know how something will work for you before you stitch it on a project. This does save both reverse stitching and, in the long run, time and frustration.

A couple of stitch directions are listed below -

Seeding Seeding is used for texture and for adding emphasis to small straight stitches. A small straight stitch is overstitched with a small diagonal straight stitch. These can be reversed with the diagonal stitch first.

Detached Chain stitch or lazy daisy stitch
With its loop and catch stitch this is a favourite stitch for flowers and petals. It will provide the stitcher with a variety of effects from just this one technique. The following diagrams show the results of changing the structure. This makes it a very useful stitch for creative purposes.

Bring the thread to the front of the fabric  a:  Let the thread form a loop and take the needle back through the fabric adjacent to  a:    This is  b:  Bring the needle through to the front of the fabric again at  c:  Pull the thread to form a loop on the surface of the fabric. Secure the loop with a catch stitch  d:  Here are some of the possible variations of this stitch.


Stitch Directions for Lavender (excerpt)     Page 82


Lavender is a bushy plant with long, delicate stems and leaves. The blue/mauve flowers form long spikes with a knobby texture. It looks to be related to Veronica but the structure and colour of the leaves are different.

Stalks and Leaves :     Green 988 (2).

Flowers :     Blue/Mauve 340 (1) + 210 (1) = 2.


Stalks :     Stitch some stalks in Straight Stitch adding a few shorter straight stitches as leaves to fill out the base of the plant.
Add some flowers to the stalks.
Create bends or curves in the stalks by displacing the stalk to one side with the point of an awl or with another needle. This is done while the flower spikes are being stitched. Add until a lavender bush of the size and shape you wish is achieved.


Flowers :     Use one thread each of the blue and light mauve. Stitch with Open Herringbone stitch.
Start at the upper end of the stalk and cover the desired length of the stem.
Note that the stitching is narrow in width and that the stem forms padding for the flower spike.
Start stitching just above the tip of the stem, or start slightly below the tip for a flower spike that is not yet fully open.


SILK FLOWER CONVERSION : (excerpt)     Page 127

Silk Flower Conversion Technique

Several summer flowers are difficult to portray in a recognizable manner with the stitching techniques in this book. They are the flowers with large, flat or curved petals, such as Clematis, Single Hollyhocks, Hibiscus and Petunias. True, if they are portrayed as almost life size blooms they can be successfully stitched in Long and Short, Thread Painting or Satin stitch. But the blooms in these gardens are much smaller and should still be recognizable.

But there is a solution for this problem, one of those middle of the night solutions! Make them with the petals of silk flowers! There are no fraying of edges, no turning under edges and, provided you are able to obtain the correct shade for that particular flower, you are in business with very few problems in the execution. The resulting blooms can be fragile and laundering the finished piece is out of the question. Framing and glass are necessary for protection.

Yes, by definition, silk flowers are textiles. Look at them and you will note that they are woven and are, therefore, fabric.

silk flowers

This fabric has been treated in a way that fraying edges are negligible and there is an adequate variety of colours to suit our purpose. True, it does not come by the yard or the Fat Quarter and it comes in odd shapes and sizes, but it is a textile and will remain so after you have converted it to your own purpose.

First, you need appropriate silk flowers. These are available at craft stores, dollar stores or from a discarded silk flower arrangement. You will find that you will use only a few petals or flower heads and the rest of the bunch is surplus. Look for flowers with large flat petals anyway such as Tulips or Roses but also feel them before purchasing. The petals need to have some body to them. Some silk flower petals are too flimsy to be suitable for this technique. Tulips can have two colours in a spray which is helpful. Remember that the colour has to be correct.

To store them before using them, and afterwards, place the flower heads in a plastic bag large enough to not let them be crumpled or damaged. Lay the package on an empty shelf, place it in a laundry basket or, standing the stalks in a pot are ways of keeping them undamaged. The large plastic bag prevents them from becoming dusty and from deteriorating.

Lots more detailed advice on this subject . . . . but it is in the book . . . . .


FUNTASY FLOWERS : (excerpt)     Page 139

Funtasy Flowers was another new concept for us all. Basically, there are no rules and no advice I can offer to be helpful. Take the flowers - any flowers that are available to you and do your own thing with them. Though we have not tried to do so, it would be possible to paint the flowers with acrylic paint either in their entirety or to add detail. Acrylic staining is possible too. For this, add plenty of water to the paint so that the result is more of a colour wash.

This was fun time. Diana, Pat and I let our imaginations rip.


We pooled our silk flower resources and, having made some tentative selections "we literally tore the flowers apart" is how Diana accurately described the process. The flowers were dismantled to the point of getting rid of the central stamens which are what keeps the flower heads together. The petals have a small hole in the centre of them which we used to attach them to their new environment. We mixed the petals from one flower with other petals from one or more of other silk flowers.

We experimented and here are the results. . . . . .

The HOW TO is all in the book which contains the interesting results - awaiting you . . . .