Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Bossa Nova Rose

This is the Bossa Nova Rose. It's one of the original Brazilian dimensional embroidery flowers -- a bullion rose.

I'm using EdMar's 100% rayon (Z-twist) floss. The leaves are stitched with Iris 215 (avocado green) and the buttonhole stitch leaf [corrected from earlier post in which I wrote alternating satin stitch leaf].
I edged the leaves with Glory 049 (light to pale avocado). These and the leaf veins are completed with the Brazilian outline stitch (floss held below the line of stitching for a smooth line that happens when you use Z-twist). 

Sometimes I have a helper close by, sleeping under my nice warm light:
Why!  Look!  It's Cuthbert. He watches for a while, gets bored, takes a nap, repeats. I have discovered the value of keeping a roll of scotch tape close by when the cats are near.
(Scotch tape shown above.)

This is the center of the Bossa Nova Rose. I started with a tiny square (about 1/8" or 2mm) drawn on the fabric with my wash-out Marvy Pen with the fine-point tip. I've stitched a size 8/o bead in the center, and I'm making my bullions with Lola 157 (burgundy) and 163 (antique rose). I use a #3 milliners needle to make these Lola bullions because I find they are much easier to work down to the proper bullion diameter.
You'll find instructions for stitching the Bossa Nova Rose in almost any embroidery book. Just look for "bullion rose", but remember that if you're stitching with 100% rayon Z-twist floss, you'll wrap your bullions clockwise around the needle. Some people stitch with Perle cotton which is S-twist and this makes the embroidery "dimensional embroidery". (The name "Brazilian" is added when you use Z-twist floss.)  Other fibers can be Z-twist or S-twist. Just remember that S-twist floss is wrapped counter-clockwise around the needle and Z-twist goes clockwise.

Working around the center, bullions are usually 10-wrap, 12-wrap, 14-wrap, etc., up to 20-wraps until your rose is the size you like.
Here a handy-dandy hint from the "What-Works-For-Me" department. Since I use a hoop when I embroider, whenever I make a really long bullion or cast-on stitch, I'll take my fabric bite and leave just the eye of the needle in the fabric. In the above photo I have 20 wraps on my needle (and lots of twists and kinks on the back side). So . . . .
I turn my embroidery over, pull ALL of the floss through the eye of the needle to straighten the thread and remove extra twists (shown above). Next, I back the thread out to a short floss tail again. On the right side of the fabric, you can now pull your needle through those wraps and settle the stitch in place without any kinky business going on at the fabric.
See how pretty those bullions are, one tucked beneath the other? 
     By the way, you can stitch this same flower with cast-on stitches and you'll have one of our Brazilian dimensional embroidery favorites -- Maria's Rose.

Here's another picture of the finished Bossa Nova Rose. Some day soon, I'll show you what I'm using all of these flowers for!


  1. What a beautiful rose, so pretty!

  2. Thanks, Susan. This flower has been around just forever. I really think it is pretty when stitched with rayon. Variegated threads are also nice.

  3. I was looking for some bullion rose designs and bumped into your blog..this is so beautiful and I am happy I saw your blog..can you tell me what stitch you used for the leaves?