Simple Stylised Roses

For the Garden Flowers 2020 blocks, I had intended to create a Bindweed block. After all, we do have it in our gardens …if we are not vigilant! But they have a pentagonal structure, and sadly, I am Mathematically challenged. They just don’t tesselate. So I went for simple and foolproof. Circles and lines, with a bit of zigzag stitch, satin stitch, or if you prefer, straight stitch. What could be simpler?

My rose design was very loosely based on the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. Although he is now better remembered, he said of her that he had talent, but “she has genius”, and much of their designing was done together.

Everyone loves roses; they symbolise Love, Valentine, weddings. But I turned my back on the traditional, though lovely, red rose, pink, yellow, purple, in favour of white. I felt that as I had lived in York for some years, I should show some support for the White Rose!

I thought a white rose on a green background would make a simple, fresh block.

1. I cut circles of white in several sizes, and arranged them on my green 12 1/2” block. I could see a scrappy green background would work too, provided it was a shade which would not to “lose” the stems. No leaves needed-unless you want to add them.

2. You could use a product to affix the circles, like Bondaweb or 606 spray, both fixed by pressing, if you wish. If you do not use an adhesive, you will need to sew or tack the circles down. (A simple straight stitch or small zigzag in a matching colour will do.) I satin stitched over the edges, with a Mackintosh-esque swirl. To support the embroidery, I pinned stabiliser behind the fabric. Interfacing or Vilene would do just as well. I find satin stitch can tend to crinkle slightly otherwise.

3. I drew decreasing circles or spirals inside the flowers. Then I chose a thread of a slightly different tone than the fabric and satin stitched over them. If you enjoyed my Stained Glass Poppy block from 6.9.2020, you could use that technique instead to accentuate the overlapping petal motif of the rose. Equally, you could use a braid or ribbon, or simply zigzag the design. A straight stitch in a contrasting topstitch thread to create a scribble effect could also look very up-to-date. *See the picture at the end for this.

4. Then I drew stems for the flower heads, and stitched them in a satin stitch. I used a dark green to accentuate the difference from the green background. I did not feel I needed to add leaves, as the background is green.

This is a very personalised design, and you could use whatever fabrics you like in whatever colours. A variety of coloured flowers, a variety if patterned flowers, anything works! I look forward to seeing what you create!  If you need a pattern its here