What Is It
Stumpwork is an embroidery style that produces patterns raised from the base fabric surface to give a 3-dimensional or realistic effect to your needlework. Different techniques may be employed for doing this including padding, beadwork, goldwork, felting or any other imaginative way of uplifting.
How to Do Stumpwork Embroidery
Here we will be making stumpwork hydrangea flowers with a piece of fabric that will later be placed on a background fabric that contains the main design. You can have any embroidery pattern as the main design, or you can use the ones that come with the stumpwork kits. Ensure that it allows enough space for fitting the stumpwork blooms.
- 8-inch square fabric for the hydrangea
- 12-inch square background fabric
- Cotton or silk embroidery thread in at least 3 colors of choice
- Size 7 or 8 crewel needle
- Small, sharp pair of embroidery scissors
- Embroidery hoop
- Taking the below pattern as your guide, trace the circles onto the fabric with a pencil.
- Now fix the fabric in the embroidery hoop.
- Thread the crewel needle and start stitching French knots closely to fill the inner circles completely.
[N.B. It is a good idea to vary the sizes of the French knots. For example, you could alternate the knots made with 3 wraps with those made with 5. Make an interesting combination of the colors to make the flowers stand out]
- Choose the lightest colored thread among those used for the blossoms and do running stitch along dotted circles in the pattern.
- Do not end the stitch by knotting and cutting off excess. After the last stitch, just leave an excess tag end of about 10 cm on the right side of the fabric and remove the needle.
- With the scissors, cut out each circle along its outermost margin.
- Pull the loose thread mentioned in step 5 to gather the cut fabric into a ball-shaped
- Push the seam of the fabric circle to the back of the ball and secure the loose thread that is now at the back with two small stitches. Still, enough of its end should be left hanging to fix the flower ball to the main design.
- Repeat for all the other circles.
- With the aid of the hanging threads left at the back of each floral ball, stitch the flowers to the background fabric.
Ribbon embroidery leaf patterns in the base fabric look good with the stumpwork hydrangea.
Free Stumpwork Embroidery Patterns
Insects, especially those with tentacles, look prominent in this style. Examples are bumble bees, moths, dragonflies, bugs, ladybirds, snail, etc. The wings of the butterflies and birds bear testimony to the raised pattern.
The below pattern utilizes a wired needle lace technique for creating the stumpwork petals. You can use the sampler for making your own garden of roses, pansies, violets, strawberries, vegetables and acorns.
This cute bunny in the basket stumpwork instructions could pave the way for adorable animal art needlepoint involving sheep, cat, hedgehog, mouse or owl.
Play around with other ideas such as colorful mushrooms, Christmas trees, figures, faces, hands, castles, berries, mirrors, robes, seasons, etc. Quilts and fabric jewelry having stumpwork designs are great as gifts. Victorian stumpwork frames, panels and caskets are high on their historical value. Some sewing machines come with stumpwork facilities along with the directions.