Embroidery Rose – 15 EASIEST Ways to Stitch Roses

The rose, a symbol of romance, is a popular choice of design for embroidery. There are many designs for an embroidery rose available. Once your design is chosen, and you have transferred it onto your fabric, the difficulty most people face is how to fill in this design with embroidery stitches. This tutorial will show you how to do an embroidery rose in 15 different ways.

Embroidery Rose, How to Sew Embroidery RosesPin
Embroidery Rose

Embroidery Rose Techniques

‘A rose by any name will smell as sweet.’ was the romantic sentiment penned by William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. The same sentiment applies to the embroidery rose as there are many different stitches to use. For rose embroidery, any stitch you choose will always make the rose look sweet.

Where to Find Embroidery Rose Designs

The internet is a wealth of clip art images of flowers that you can use for embroidery roses. Do a quick google search for rose clip art and you will find hundreds to choose from. For a paid option of stock photos of roses, Vector Stock is fairly cheap and has great images.

Search Results from Google for Rose Clip ArtPin
Search results from Google for Rose Clip Art

How to Draw an Embroidery Rose

Now I’m not great at fine art but here is how I drew my roses for the samples. For my abstract rose, I just started in the middle and drew a spiral that crossed over a few times.

For the rose with petals, I again started with a spiral in the middle and then added petals going outwards. You are welcome to copy these but there are also lots of how to draw rose tutorials on Google and YouTube.

    Embroidery Rose DrawingsPin
Embroidery Rose Drawings

Rose Embroidery Kits

Amazon and many craft stores sell embroidery kits with preprinted fabric to sew rose embroidery. If you don’t want to draw your own roses then these can be an easy option. Most have instructions for sewing certain stitches for the roses but you can change the original design to make it unique.

Colors for an Embroidery Rose

Roses come in red, pinks, purples, and everything in between. The trick to embroidery roses appearing realistic is to use several shades in complimentary colors. Even single-color roses have light and shaded areas. Unless you are looking to outline in black, monotone roses look a little flat and lacking in detail.

DMC is a popular embroidery floss brand that has a wide selection of colors and shades. You can use all 6 strands or divide embroidery floss into smaller sections for fine work. My main sampler used 6 strands.

  Embroidery Rose ColorsPin
Embroidery Rose Colors

How to Do Embroidery Rose Stitches

In my sample below I used a combination of chain stitch, satin stitch, split stitch, cross stitch, seed stitch, back stitch, and blanket stitch. You can mix and match stitches for something interesting and truly yours.

Embroidery RosePin
Embroidery Rose

Here are the top suggestions for stitches to use for an embroidered rose.

1. Embroidery Rose – Cross Stitch

Cross stitch is one of the most popular embroidery techniques and is perfect for sewing an embroidery rose. Sew cross stitch on Aida fabric or linen so you can count the stitches more easily.

Embroidery Rose with Cross StitchPin
Embroidery Rose with Cross Stitch

Here is how a cross stitch is done. The full article on cross stitch also has a quick method for filling larger areas. As you can see from the photos above, you will need at least two colors to define the roses.

Further reading: How to do Cross Stitch

Cross StitchPin
Cross Stitch

2. Embroidery Rose – Outline Stitches

The simplest way to embroider a rose is to use an outline stitch. Outline stitch gives a rope-like appearance to your roses and can be used to define the edge of the petals as well as the stem.

3. Embroidery Roses – Straight Stitch

Choose any straight stitch and outline the rose. You can combine this with a filling or leave the rose open like my samples below.

  Embroidery Rose with Backstitch, Chain Stitch and Split StitchPin
Embroidery Rose with Backstitch, Chain Stitch and Split Stitch

4. Embroidery Rose – Steam Stitch

Steam stitch is best for larger roses as it is harder to do on tight curves. It produces a thick twisted look which can be used for outlining the petals.

Steam StitchPin
Steam Stitch

5. Embroidery Rose – Running Stitch

Running stitch is a simple up and down stitch that is surprisingly effective for a larger embroidery rose. You can vary the spacing between the stitches to give different looks. Running stitch can also be done without an embroidery hoop and is very fast.

Running StitchPin
Running Stitch

6. Embroidery Rose -Back Stitch

Backstitch is one of my favorites for a simple outline. It can be used in conjunction with many other stitches like the satin stitch or seed stitch. You can see these examples further down the page.


7. Embroidery Rose – Chain Stitch

Chain stitch is a lovely stitch to create an outline and to use as a filler for any rose pattern. Once the outline is done the stitch can follow this line going closer and closer to the middle of the design.

Chain Stitch for Embroidery RosesPin
Chain Stitch for Embroidery Roses

8. Embroidery Rose – Split Stitch

Split stitch gives a nice thick rope-like outline. It is easy to do without much concentration and was one of my favorites when doing these samples.

9. Embroidery Rose – Satin stitch

Satin stitch is a beautiful stitch to use to fill in the petals of the rose. The area to fill in should be small or broken down into small sections. In larger areas, the stitch gets too long and does not lie evenly on the design. It is also prone to snagging if the stitches get too long. Create texture by breaking the rose into smaller parts and changing the direction of the satin stitches. Long and short stitch is a good alternative to satin stitch and has a similar look.

Further reading: How to do Satin Stitch

Embroidery RosesPin
Embroidery Roses

10. Embroidery Rose – Blanket stitch

The beauty of using this stitch is the natural edge or border that it makes. Once the outline of the design has been done in blanket stitch the remainder can be filled in with other stitches like the long and short stitch or satin stitch.

In the example above, I used the blanket stitch to fill in the rose petals. This works well for smaller roses. My sample was about 1.5 inches across (4cm).

Further reading: How to do Blanket Stitch

11. Embroidery Rose – Seed Stitch

Seed stitch can be used as a filling stitch that adds texture and interest. It will usually be used in conjunction with an outline stitch. In my sample above, I used a backstitch to outline the embroidery rose and then filled in the petals with seed stitch. Use different shades of color to create an interesting effect.

Further reading: How to do Seed Stitch

Seed StitchPin
Seed Stitch

12. Embroidery Rose – Web Stitch

Create the web part of the design with a full strand of floss using the six threads and doubling the strand. Place a knot at the end and then create a web with 9 outgoing spokes coming from a center point.

Web Stitch Embroidery RosesPin
Web Stitch Embroidery Roses

Bring a blunt needle with the thread up into the center of the spokes and then weave the needle and thread over and under the web of threads. This will create a rose bloom effect. When the web is filled in end with a stitch at the back. Web stitch is particularly useful for an embroidery rose when you use variegated thread colors. The leaves above were done with a chain stitch.

Further reading: Web Stitch

Web StitchesPin
Web Stitches

13. Embroidery Rose – French knot

The French knot looks like a tiny rose and when clustered together with other French knots, a beautifully textured rose bush can be created. It can also be used in the center of a rose sewn in other methods. Put French knots in the center of web stitch or satin stitch roses.

French KnotsPin
French Knots

14. Embroidery Rose – Long and Short

The needle painted rose is the artistic embroidered version of the rose. The stitching is done using long and short stitch which is also called a brick stitch. Added effects can be created with variegated threads and using complementary colors blended together.

Long and Short Embroidery RosesPin
Long and Short Embroidery Roses

See how you can create shading and texture by changing the thread colors. The example below has a backstitch around the outside and then has long and short stitches facing inwards. The trick is to carefully blend colors and to use thinner threads. The example above would have been done with a single thread, while my petal sample below was done with 3 strands.

Further reading: How to do Long and Short Stitch

Long and Short Stitch Used for Embroidery RosesPin
Long and Short Stitch Used for Embroidery Roses

15. Bullion Knot Roses

The bullion knot can also be used to make beautiful embroidery roses. Use variegated embroidery floss for realistic roses. Bullion knots are made by wrapping the thread around the tip of the needle numerous times.


Embroidery Rose – In Conclusion

Stitched or painted, modern or old-fashioned, the embroidery rose is one of the best-loved sewing projects. Variety of roses and their multitude of colors will always grace our gardens and our embroidery projects. The rose, a symbol of love and romance, can be found in the garden and as an embroidered icon.

More Embroidery Articles

  1. Backstitch
  2. Blanket Stitch
  3. Bullion Knots
  4. Buttonhole Stitch
  5. Chain Stitch
  6. Chevron Stitch
  7. Couching Embroidery Tutorial
  8. Cross Stitch
  9. Double Herringbone Stitch
  10. Embroidery Basics
  11. Embroidery Flowers
  12. Embroidery Leaves
  13. Embroidery Letters
  14. Embroidery Roses
  15. Embroidery Tools
  16. Fagoting Embroidery
  17. Feather Stitch
  18. Fern Stitch
  19. Fishbone Stitch
  20. Fly Stitch
  21. French Knots
  22. Hand Embroidery Stitches
  23. Herringbone Stitch
  24. Lazy Daisy
  25. Long and Short Stitch
  26. Outline Stitch
  27. Running Stitch
  28. Sashiko Embroidery
  29. Satin Stitch
  30. Seed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch)
  31. Split Stitch
  32. Steam Stitch
  33. Straight Stitch Embroidery
  34. Web Stitch | Embroidery Tutorial
  35. Whip Stitch
  36. Whipped Backstitch

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