Lazy daisy stitch, combined with couched lines and French knots, is great for creating simple flowers. Embroider ready-made napkins or make your own. The heavier weight fabric used for these napkins can support bold embroidery using all six strands of thread, but if you are stitching onto a finer linen use two or three strands and make the flowers slightly smaller.
- Fabric: heavy-weight, duck egg blue, 50cm x 1.4m
- Embroidery thread, stranded: deep pink; green; yellow; orange; white
- Each napkin: 35cm square
Cut a 40cm square of fabric for each napkin required. To position the first large flower, measure 5cm in from each edge near the corner of the napkin and mark with a pin. Insert a pin 4cm away from the first and 4cm from the edge of the fabric to mark the centre of the other two flowers.
Using six strands of deep pink, secure the cotton thread by stitching through the weave on the wrong side so that it doesn’t show on the front. You can use the same technique to secure the thread between each flower rather than taking long strands across the back of the fabric.
Bring the needle through near the pin then take the marker out. Work 13 petals 10mm - 15mm long in lazy daisy stitch, leaving a 6mm circle in the middle. Secure the thread on the reverse. Using the same deep pink stranded cotton stitch the smaller flowers at the pinned markers. Work 11 or 12 lazy daisy stitches to form the petals about 10-12mm long. Sew in the thread ends.
Sew a six strand length of green cotton through the large flower so that it goes down between two petals on one side and up between two petals on the other. Leave a long tail. Pivot the needle end of the thread to twist the strands then form a loop and hold in position with a pin.
Stitch the green stranded cotton through the next flower in the same way and make two or three further loops held in place with pins. Secure the end on the reverse of the fabric. Use a single strand of green to couch stitch, catching the thread with long diagonal stitches that follow the twist of the strands.
Create the scrolled line on the other side of the large flower, following a slightly different line for extra interest. Work French knots in different colours along the scroll line as shown. Work more French knots in alternative colours, adding only one main flower colour and white at each cluster.
Sew five French knots in the centre of the large flower using six strands of white cotton and four in the flowers on either side. For a second napkin, follow these intructions, working the flowers in orange thread. If you are short on time, embroider a single large flower in yellow, instead of three.
To make the napkins
Cut a 40cm square of cotton fabric for each napkin. Lay the cotton over the right side of the embroidered fabric. Machine stitch around the edge with a 1cm seam allowance and leaving a gap on one side for turning.
Trim diagonally across each corner. Turn the napkin through, ease out the corners and slip stitch the gap. Press the edge from the reverse side. Machine sew a line of top stitch around the napkin, 1cm from the edge using a matching sewing thread.