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Lazy Daisy Embroidery Stitch
With Step-By-Step Photos by Sandi Marshall

Following are instructions, with step-by-step photos, to learn how to make the lazy daisy embroidery stitch. Making embroidered flowers and other embroidery designs on crocheted and knitted items has become a popular embellishment. I made these examples on a square that is made of rows of plain single crochet.

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Optional Added Beads: The photo on the right above shows an example of an idea I had for one way that you could add to the embroidery by sewing a few beads to the center of the daisy. In this example, I used 4mm size gold-colored pearl beads. The center of these beads is large enough for a regular hand sewing needle to fit through the center hole and I used regular sewing thread to sew the beads on. You can find these types of beads at craft stores like A.C. Moore, Michaels or Jo Ann's in the jewelry-making or beadwork section. There are many types of beads available. If you choose beads that have a narrower hole going through the center, be sure to also purchase a thin beading needle and beading thread to use to sew the beads in place.

I've known how to do the lazy daisy embroidery stitch since I was a kid (approximately 45 years ago) and these instructions are in my own words, from my own experience. I was curious as to how long this stitch has been around and looked through some of my oldest needlework books to see if I could find out. I found a diagram showing this stitch, with limited instructions, in a Corticelli Needlework book that was published in the year 1899 but in that book it was called "Bird's Eye Stitch" instead.

Step 1: Attach yarn or thread on the back of the piece, thread the strand on a large-eye needle. Draw the strand through to the front of the piece at the spot where you want to make the first daisy petal. Form the strand into a loop (as shown in the photo) and push the needle back down through the piece (from the front to the back) in the same spot as where the needle was brought up through the piece. Keep the loop shape as it is (don't pull it through to the back).

Step 2: Next, keeping the loop shape the size that you want it to be when finished, poke the needle back up through the piece at the loop end, on the inside of the loop (as shown in the photo).

Step 3: Crossing over the loop, push the needle back down through the piece close to the end of the loop (on the outside of the loop, so that the needle came up inside the loop and is pushed back down outside the loop to secure the loop in that spot).

Recap:
  • Needle is brought up from center
  • Needle goes back down same place in center
  • Yarn is pulled through just enough to leave a loop of the size that you want
  • Needle comes back up just inside loop (at other end of loop)
  • Cross over loop and push needle back down on outside of loop
  • This photo illustrates a faster way to move through the steps of making the petals. First, the needle can be pushed through from the back at the spot where you want the petal to start, pulled all the way through (step 1) and then, as you can see in the photo, poked back through the same spot to go back down through the piece but, before pulling the needle all the way through the piece, positioning the needle to come back up inside the end of the loop (step 2). Then pull the needle through and pull the yarn strand through as much as needed to form that petal loop shape and then do step 3. After you've practiced this a little, it can become a smooth motion, quickening the process of making the petals.

    Written Instructions copyright 2006 and the photos copyright 2006 by Sandi Marshall, licensed to About.com, Inc. Per copyright law, do not redistribute as reproduced copies, even for free. Instead, you may give the URL of this how-to page to anyone who wants the how-to. Thank you. I appreciate it.

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