Archive for the Category » A Bunch of Poppies Needlepainting «

A Bunch of Poppies – Finished

This piece was finished ages ago, and sent off to it’s recipient.

I forgot to take a photo before I sent it, and poor Kit has been in hospital.

Here it is now :

She’s going to get it framed when she can :-)

A Bunch of Poppies – Finished

I’ve finished!

I’ve removed it from the frame – it just needs washing and ironing. Little bits of frame-stringing thread everywhere.

I’ll put up a picture after it’s recipient, Kit, has received it – so she won’t have seen it in it’s entirety beforehand here.

Bunch of Poppies – The Scroll Frame

When I was lacing the scroll frame for the Poppies project, I used a single layer of bias binding as the material through which to insert the lacing.

I should have used a double layer. After all this time, and repeated tightenings, the bias binding is showing serious signs of wear.

I’ve had to re-lace two or three entire sections during the course of the project, starting new lacing holes because the old ones have started to tear and wouldn’t take being under tension anymore.



Bunch of Poppies – Second Red Poppy Finished


I think this is my favourite poppy.

It’s amazing how putting a little orange thread in changes the tone of the red appear to tend more towards orange/red range than the other red poppy.

This poppy also shows the importance of the order in which the petals are done – the ‘most behind’ petal is done first and then the petals worked in order until the ‘most forward’ petals are done last.

If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have the bottom threads of the two side petals sitting just over the top of the bottom petal, which is ‘behind’ them, which is important to the appearance of the flower.

This is in contrast to Japanese Embroidery, where frontmost elements are done first. Carol-Anne talks about this in

I’ve finished doing the green leaves too. My needlepainting style appears to have changed a little while I was doing the poppies, because the leaves look a little different to the rest.

Bunch of Poppies – Blue Poppy finished

It’s interesting to see what a difference the choice of threads makes.

With the blue and purple poppies the lightest shade was two shades lighter than the medium colour. It looks like a strong light is shining on them and they are reflecting it.

With the red poppy I used 3 contiguous colours and it is far more blended. It looks like a weak light is shining on it. You can still see the lighter parts.

(comment from Kit, the recipient)

I’ve started the second red poppy. It has some burnt orange in it. The combination of it with the dark red looks like fire – it’s lovely.

Bunch of Poppies – First Blue Poppy



I’m appreciating using a scroll frame rather than a hoop. I had tension problems on the linen when I did Rust Red Iris on the hoop.

The placing stitches are on the rightmost petal of the blue poppy, ready for the rest to go in.

I find putting placement stitches down first a huge help in guiding me as I do a shape.

Bunch of Poppies – Red Poppy


I ended up taking out all of the stitching and re-doing it.

I’m very pleased with the result. The large lower petal is still a bit V shaped at it’s apex, but oh well. I’m not doing it again.

I’ve even put in the chain stitching over the edge of the petals that require it.

Bunch of Poppies – Starting a Red Poppy



I’ve started on a poppy – to give me a break before finishing/fixing the leaves. (on the left there)

The photo shows the 3-Dness of the felt padding really well.

There isn’t any thread padding to be seen – I’ve already embroidered over it.

I found, embroidering on the felt

  • I needed to use a definite 90 degree stab method, otherwise the felt ‘pushed’ itself to bulk up to the unembroidered part
  • It needed a little haircut after I’d done each layer, as working with it made it a bit fuzzy, and I didn’t want bright red fuzzy bits sticking up through the stitches.

I’ve made two mistakes.

  • The first – the left most circle.

With the folding over petal and the dark part that shows of the inner fold  – the topmost *point* of the fold-over needs to meet up with the topmost part of the inner fold

  • The circle further down and to the right

I’ve mucked up the stitch direction on the upper part of the petal. It should have been vertical, not leaning into the centre.

It’s given me a ‘V” shape in the colouring of the petal.

(there was some kind of brain disconnect between me looking at the photo in the book, which shows stitch direction and me actually doing it. Blame it on the TV programme I was watching at the time. I’m not worried by the mistakes – it’s all in the learning :-)

I think that I can fix it by taking out the bottom of the V by adding some more of the medium colour there.

If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to re-do it.

Or I might just re-do it anyway – taking out the existing stitches, or it’ll be way too bulky.

  • I also think that the other darkest part (at the top left of the poppy, next to the inner fold-over) needs a few strokes of medium red. (It has the shape of a long ovoid, outside another another long ovoid (petal) that is colour blended, although it doesn’t show up very well in the photo)

At the moment it doesn’t look very separate to the inner fold-over, apart from the change in the stitch direction of the two, and its like “what is it, what’s it doing there?”

It needs to be clearer that it’s a petal in it’s own right, that’s really dark because it’s right at the back. Just a few stitches of the medium red, that’s all.

Bunch of Poppies – Padding

There are two types of padding used in this needlepainting -

felt, cut to be 1mm smaller than the petal to be padded,

and two layers of stitching.

The layers of stitching are done at angles diagonal to the direction of actual embroidering.




You can’t really see the dimensionality, although I did try to capture it with the camera by taking the pictures with the canvas at an angle.

Doing the felt was a lot easier that I thought.

I found Mary Corbet’s recent comments on directional satin stitching from her blog in her recent posts about monograms to be of help when doing the thread padding.

I found that putting down threads every couple of mm to act as guidelines was a great help too.