Discussing machine embroidery

A re-blog: Fields of Poppies

There have been lots of programmes on television and films made which catalogue the dreadful events and history of World War 1 which began over one hundred years ago. It was the war changed the world we live in. I am reminded of the poem that John McRae wrote:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row.”

Here in England and in other countries at this time of year, we wear poppies  to show we have not forgotten those who gave their lives in World War 1 and in all other wars.  Poppy seeds remain in the ground dormant for many years until they are disturbed and this happened on the battle fields of France and Belgium.

Find out more about the story of the Remembrance Poppy


Several years ago while on holiday in France I visited some of the war graves with my family. The impact of seeing all those lines of white crosses can never be forgotten. When I created this special collection of poppies I added the simple white scallops and crosses along with ears of wheat. I created three sets of these designs for 4″ by 4″, 5″ by 7″ and large 9.5″ x 6″ hoops.

Within the third set you will find an applique poppy to add to your embroidery or to make your own poppy to wear with pride. My first attempt worked out reasonably well but the original poppies were too small so I enlarged both the poppies and filled out their leaves.


I was still unhappy with the result as I had embroidered the petals on organza. I had to trim around the petals but this is not a full proof method as the odd stitch can get clipped, so I went back to edit the poppies so they can be stitched on wash away stabiliser so there is no trimming to do which keeps all your stitches safe.


Unfortunately the poppies were too dense and I like my petals and leaves to be light for a natural look, so I resorted back to the organza. I used Aqua Magic for my stitch out and it rinses out easily. It is best to use red thread in your bobbin for the petals and green for the leaves so they look good both sides and there is no show through of thread. As the black stamens did not show significantly enough for me, the stitches have been increased so they stand out.

Use these applique designs to create full looking dimensional poppies for an applique brooch or decorate other designs in the collection with them. After you have trimmed away the excess organza I suggest that you use a felt pen to colours in around the edges to cover up any of the organza which may be still showing.


Stitch the leaf and two layers together securely with double thread and attach a safety pin or brooch. I also added Fray Check on the edges of the back of the leaves and petals to make sure that none of my stitches would fray. Finally I added some on the stitching which secured the pin. You may want to add a button or some dark beads or crystals to the poppy centre.


Here is my completed poppy which I will wear with pride this week and until Remembrance Day which is on Sunday 9th November!

The poppies are stitched out in Sulky Rayon 40wt thread, 1037 Light red, 1147 Christmas red, 1263 Red jubilee, 1215 Blackberry and 1227 Green Gold. The leaves use 630 Moss green. It is important to use three shades of red which gradually get darker in the middle of the poppy.

See all the designs of Fields of Poppies at Graceful Embroidery

Happy embroidering from Hazel

“-we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”

2 thoughts on “A re-blog: Fields of Poppies

  1. What an appropriate and meaningful topic for the week. Here in the states, we celebrate Veterans Day on 11-11 no matter what day it falls on, as it is the date WWI ended. I’m a nurse, and old enough that when I was young I cared for elderly WW1 vets. Now nearly all the WWII vets are gone now too. The more I learn about WWI the more horrible and unnecessary I realize it was, especially for you in the UK who fought for so much longer. Thanks for such an appropriate choice.

Leave a Reply