Dancing poppies: hand embroidery freebie!

I'm super excited to share this free hand embroidery design with you! Dancing poppies is one of my most favorite patterns that I developed myself. It was supposed to be matching with the Yellow poppies wreath, but somehow in the middle of stitching, it just got its own character and mood.
It is much more delicate and tender and fits perfectly for the spring stitching season!

As it often happens to me, I got fascinated with beautiful photographs of pink oriental poppies and my inspiration burst into this pattern. Drawing and stitching it was such a delight that I became completely engrossed into embroidering and forgot to take step-by-step pictures for instructions. That's why now it is not in the shop, but instead, I'm giving it as a freebie for everyone who wants to stitch it as well!

Hand embroidery freebie

Actually, if you've been sticking around in the blog, you might have noticed this piece of embroidery in some of the previous posts. Like where I showed its backside and how I washed it.

I used long and short stitch as a filler for the petals with satin stitch in some places. Three colors of DMC thread create a nice “blushing” pink color combination: 760, 3824 and 353. Stems are worked with stem stitch in DMC 3364.

Hand embroidery freebie

The flower centers are a bit more intricate. There is a padded satin stitch for the center, covered with few running stitches crossing at the top, and a number of tiny bullion knots which serve as stamens. Bullion knots are normally a bit larger, but I just made fewer loops around the needle to get the necessary look. You may also notice that the background behind the stamens is not stitched in the petals' colors, but in darker shades – this adds a bit of volume to the flowers.

Of course, you may use other stitches and materials to embroider the poppies the way you like. Feel free to play around and create something different and add more personal touches to this free embroidery design! Naturally, I would love to see the result though!

Hand embroidery freebie

You can download the freebie HERE.

These dancing buddies have a perfect size to be used as a hoop art, or could also be framed with a slightly larger matting. It would look amazing! Or maybe they could be the main characters for a book or notebook cover! I have so many ideas where to use it that it's terribly hard to make a decision. But I promise to show you the final look when it's ready!


  1. Superb hand embroidery. I am really amazed. You are so talented. Keep up the great work.
    Kristen from Embroidery Digitising Service

  2. Hello! I like your "dancing poppies" design very much and hope to use it for a center block in a baby quilt for our granddaughter Flora whose nickname is Poppy! I cannot find (easily) how many threads to use for the satin, long and short stitches. Please tell me where I can find this information. Thank you!

    1. Sorry for the late reply :(
      We already contacted through e-mail, so let me just wish for your baby blanket to come out great!

    2. I have a grandbaby on the way named Poppy too. I’m going to try to use it fir birth announcement walll hanging.

  3. Beautiful and nice looking embroidery design.

  4. I'm brand new to embroidery but I came across this and really wanted to give it a go! I had a question on how you do your petals, they seem to start in a lighter colour and just the tips have a darker hue? are you layering the stitches, or doing a variety of length of stitch to achieve this effect? thank you!

  5. I would please like to have a copy of the Dancing Poppy pattern for stitching. I cannot access the file
    Thank you



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