Embroidered portraits

Stitch by stitch, this relaxing form of textile art, has given many people mindful hours.

The art of embroidery is very broad.  The amount of various stitches as broad.  Normally every embroiderer picks his or her favorite ones.  So did I.  My king of embroidery stitches is the French knot, the queen, the running stitch.

I made several embroidery works.  The ones here displayed are my embroidered portraits.


French knot after French knot, this portrait is embroidered.  The most crucial part is to find the exact colors needed.  Once they are available, the stitching can begin.  Can you guess how long it took to make this portrait?  At least 40 hours.  Since this is such a relaxing activity, this time is mused away.


King French knot is overdone by queen running stitch in this portrait.  


This little girl was so happy to take her newborn twin brothers in her hands. Her image talked to me, I just wanted to make an embroidery work out of it. Do you notice her beautiful, curly hair?  It's a challenge to embroider.  Using tiny stitches gives the best result. 

Overall I am well pleased with the result.




This portrait is a combination of different techniques.  The face was machine embroidered, Derwent incense pencils were used for painting.  Machine and hand embroidery gave the hair its wavy look.  A new embroidery stitch is added here, the backstitch.  It is designated to embroider curved lines.


Creating a background for this portrait by embroidering French knots as the flowers, running stitch as the stems of the bushes.

His clothes and hair are stitched with the running stitch.

For his face, I just wanted to lay down some accents.


This hand embroidered portrait focuses on the main features of the face.  I gave a hint of the background, using colored pencils

In thought

Using a limited color scheme, I wanted to capture the gaze of the person.  This portrait is entirely embroidered in the running stitch.

Deep in thought

In this mixed media portrait, I combined machine thread painting, using free motion stitching with hand embroidery.  My favorite French knots were used for the hair.

Observing baby

This baby portrait is not hand stitched but thread painted with free motion stitching.  The face was quilted, using circular free motion filling stitch. Some hand embroidery is added in the hair.

Capturing a child discovering the beauty of nature. 

In this portrait French knots and the running stitch compete with each other.  As you can see, I embroider in a hoop.

embroidered portrait.  running stitch. toddler



A toddler, curious about everything in life, eyes wanting to know.


This portrait didn't have any French knots. Yes, really, for once I used only tiny running stitches.

Hand embroidered little girl.

 This time not a realistic image but an impression of a cute little girl, dressed for winter.  A variety of stitches is used in this project.  Do you see how the French knots make a perfect dotted coat?  The blanket and the running stitch help add layers to the embroidery.