Stitch a Lemon  

By Jennie Lennick

Embroidery from a Pattern 


I've been teaching embroidery to beginners for many years.  One of the most commonly asked questions after students learn a variety of stitches is, “How do I decide what to stitch?” 

When you don’t already have an established art practice, it can be challenging to develop unique imagery to stitch on your projects. One suggestion is to purchase a pattern or a kit from an artist that you admire. There are lots of kits available on our site that are a great starting place! 

You can also use other sources for inspiration, like magazine cut-outs, vintage clip art, or a good old Google image search.  

This tutorial will show you how to transfer an original Jenny Lemons pattern to fabric using a water erasable marker. I will also teach you two different stitches: the backstitch and the lazy daisy.  The backstitch is one of the most commonly used stitches for outlines, while lazy daisies are an adorable stitch used to make a quick flower. These two easy stitches will help take your projects to the next level! 


Here is the original painting I created for the embroidery pattern- it's fun to see works on paper translated in thread!

Gather Your Materials









Step 1: Trace Your Pattern

Print out our free downloadable Lemon and Flowers .pdf pattern. This pattern is designed for a 5" hoop, so if you want to make it at that size, make sure to print it at 100%. You will need a water erasable marker, a piece of white cotton fabric, and a smooth surface (like a table) to transfer your pattern. 

Lay your paper pattern down on your surface and carefully trace with your water erasable marker. 

Once all elements of the pattern are traced, you're done! You do not need to trace the outer circle. 

Step 2: Stitch the Lemon with a Backstitch

Backstitch is one of the most commonly used embroidery stitches. People tend to utilize it for outlines or their entire piece if they’re doing a more contour line drawing. Get used to doing lots of back stitches; you will encounter them often in embroidery!

Let's get stitching! To begin, stretch your fabric on your hoop, thread your needle with 3 strands of yellow embroidery floss, and knot the end of your thread. For more information about getting started on an embroidery project, check out our blog here! In that blog, I cover how to stretch fabric, threading a needle, knotting, and more. 

Bring your needle from the back of the fabric and pierce it through at the beginning of your shape.

Flip your project over and make sure the knot is snug against the back of your fabric.

Go forward one stitch length. While working from the top push your needle forward so that it comes out another stitch length.

Take your needle and pierce it back to the end of your very first stitch. Pull it through all the way and stab forward, leaving a new stitch space. 

Continue this pattern until your design is complete.

Try to keep your stitches as even as possible as you work. 

Step 3: Stitch the Stem and Leaf

Next, let's stitch your stem and leaf! 

With three strands of green embroidery floss, stitch your lemon leaf. 

If it is more comfortable to rotate your piece while you work, do so! I stitched my leaf upside down.

Make sure to always knot off your work on the back of your piece. 

Step 4: Learn the Lazy Daisy!

Lazy daisy stitch is an easy way to sew cute petaled flowers quickly on any embroidered piece. Lazy daisy is a variation on the chain stitch. Essentially all it is is a disconnected chain stitch arranged in a circle. 

Begin by piercing your needle from the back of your fabric through your marked dot.

Make a stitch right next to where you came out and poke your needle forward to the edge of your circle.

Slide the excess thread underneath your needle.

Pull the needle gently through the circle you just formed. 

Once tight, you will have a little loop.

Do one stitch outside of the loop to hold the petal down.

You have one petal! 

For the next stitch, come out the center, and pierce through right next to where you began. 

Continue this pattern in a circle until the petals of the flower form. 

Once your flower is complete, make sure to knot it off on the back of your fabric and trim your tails. For detailed instructions on knotting off your embroidery projects, check out this blog!

Step 5: Finishing

Ready for magic!? Let's erase that marker! I love using a water erasable marker when working on embroidery projects because every mark you make disappears with just a spritz of water. 

With a spray bottle, spritz your fabric all over. 

The blue marker lines will disappear before you eyes! 

Allow your piece to dry completely and you're done! You can frame your lemon in it's hoop, or stitch it onto another project! 



Designer, entrepreneur, and lover of crafts! Boss Lady at Jenny Lemons in San Francisco



Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.