Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 11 – It’s finished!!

After attaching the pansies last time, I was getting impatient to finish this project. I have to be careful I don’t spoil things with my impatience, at this stage!

All the embroidery  is finished, including the sequins all over the background
All the embroidery is finished, including the sequins all over the background

The sequins needed to be applied last – tiny purply blue sequins with purple metal wire coil chips all over the painted gold areas, and gold 2mm sequins with gold chips all over the black satin areas. That only took about an hour, so now THE STITCHING IS FINISHED!!!


I was most pleased with the strawberry flower, out of all the flowers in this project. I love stitching strawberries and their flowers anyway, but I’d never done a stumpwork one with detached petals before, and this one was tiny – just three quarters of an inch across altogether. The three gold loops in the centre are what makes it so lovely, I think.

Floral 24

Scarily large image of a stumpwork strawberry flower that's only really 3/4 of an inch across
Scarily large image of a stumpwork strawberry flower that’s only really 3/4 of an inch across

The starflowers came out OK in the end – very pretty, but not very ‘star-like’, as I found it too difficult to crimp the ends of each petal’s wire to a point with my tweezers.


The blackberries are so realistic, I just love these!


I’ve mounted the finished stitching in a black satin five inch square box, and it just fits nicely in the lid. I added an extra layer of wadding under the fabric, as I felt that all the wires and gold thread ends on the back might make the surface look puckered, otherwise. I haven’t decided yet what to do with the box, but then embroiderers don’t usually think rationally like that  🙂


For those of you interested in how long this took, I did count the length of my stitching sessions, and they totalled 45 hours for the stitching, plus an hour to mount it in the box.

As I’ve mentioned in each of this series of posts, this design is available as a kit pack from Alison Cole, in Australia. I’d not done any of her kits before, and I really enjoyed doing this one. She has a large range on her website, so it’s well worth a look. I’m quite tempted to try one or two of her other designs, now….  🙂


Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 10

I’ve been leaving the pansy stumpwork petals till I’ve stitched almost everything else on my panel – partly because that’s the order they are listed on the instructions, but also because they looked the most complicated to make, as they have shading on them. The instructions by Alison Cole said to work the petals using long and short buttonhole stitch around the edge (thereby covering the edges and filling in the petals in one go, as I did for the strawberry flower). However, I decided that buttonholing the wire first, then working satin stitch for the background shade, and then doing straight stitch highlights would work better, and I was pleased with how these came out.

The stitched petals for one pansy flower, ready to be cut from the hoop
The stitched petals for one pansy flower, ready to be cut from the hoop

The upper petals had lilac backgrounds with Madeira #3 highlights, and the lower petals had lemon backgrounds with lilac highlights. I loved using these colours!

This was how much I’d done *before* attaching the pansy petals and leaves – quite a lot is already finished, so I’m getting to my ‘impatient to be done with it’ stage!

Only the two pansy flowers need to be attached now, and then sequins sewn all over the background fabric
Only the two pansy flowers need to be attached now, and then sequins sewn all over the background fabric

All five petals needed to be attached by sinking the wires down the same hole, which was easier than I’d been anticipating. Then I worked a small gold coil loop in the centre. Here’s one of the finished pansies, after I’d attached it:

A completed stumpwork pansy, about an inch across
A completed stumpwork pansy, about an inch across

As you can see, I couldn’t resist adding a few sequins ‘just to see how they look’! More about that next week!

Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 9

This image below shows, on the left, the three leaves that go at the base of the stumpwork pinks on the gold diamond of the Illuminated Floral panel that I am making (a kit by Alison Cole). The three smaller leaves on the right are the leaves of the strawberries that will be attached on the bottom right hand corner of the panel. The filling stitch for the larger leaves is stem stitch, worked in a continuous spiral from the outside of each leaf, in to the centre. The strawberries are filled in with long and short buttonhole stitch, worked over the wire edging, so that the wire is covered and the centre of the leaf filled in in one go. These differences are what makes this kit very interesting to do – if all the fillings were the same, it would be boring to stitch!

Floral 18

The next piece of quilter’s muslin was used to make the star flower petals – all 15 of them. Each one was a slightly different shape.


I couldn’t manage to get them pointed enough at the ends for my liking, even with tweezers to pinch the wire at the tips of each petal, so my star flowers will look more like daisies! You can just see, in the picture, that the bottom three petals have a chip of Bright Check Purl added to the base of each petal, as accents. When Chris, my husband, saw this ring of little petals, he said it looked as if I was ‘making little sperms’. I suppose they do look a bit like that, with their little wiry tails!

Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 8

Having finished making all of the detached petals for the pinks on the gold diamond on Alison Cole’s design ‘Illuminated Floral’, I now needed to attach them to the main fabric. I have been putting off this bit, in case I ruin it!


I decided to shape each petal with tweezers a little *before* attaching them to the fabric, as I felt that they might get loosened again from the gold fabric diamond if I tried to manipulate them after attaching them. Even then, sometimes I squashed one while I was trying to attach the next one! All the wires for one flower need to go down the same hole, so things get a bit fraught at this stage. A number 18 chenille needle is used like an awl, to poke a large hole in the fabric, and while the needle is still part-way through the fabric, holding open the hole, the wire of the petal is poked through. Then, the wire needs to be securely attached at the back – folding back the wire on itself helps here, to prevent the petal from wiggling about.


This view of the back of the stitching shows the wires (in white) once tacked in place with tan coloured cotton thread, doubled back for each petal.

Finally, a tiny gold bead is sewn in the centre of each flower, to finish it off, and to hide any untidiness caused by attaching several things in one place! I used the tweezers again a little, to arrange the petals again at this stage, and nothing fell off, so it must have worked  🙂