Monday, 14 May 2018


Previous parts of the tutorial can be found here:

WARNING: Some of the images in this tutorial might be a bit unpleasant. Be prepared for stumpwork 'eye surgery'!

Part 3 - Eyes

Here is the third part of a tutorial for stumpwork portraits, inspired by Fay Maxwell, whose excellent book Ladies with Hatitude I warmly recommend.


Take one strand of floss in a colour suitable for the outlines of the eyes.

Starting at the root of the nose, make a Lazy Daisy Stitch (Detached Chain Stitch). Anchor with a short Strait Stitch that will look like part of the eyelashes.

Make the rest of the eyelashes with Straight Stitch. Make sure to catch the eyelid (upper part of the Lazy Daisy Stitch).

The eyebrow is made up of Stem Stitch.

Make the other eye in the same way.

Pick the colour you want for the iris. Two strands of floss.

Make a French Knot and place it in the centre of the eye.

Fasten the thread on the back of the background fabric.

You need black sewing thread for the pupil, use a long thin needle and place a French Knot inside the iris.

Make sure to fasten this black thread on the back, too.

For a nice glint of light in the eye (which really brings the eyes to life), make a short Straight Stitch between the  iris and pupil.

Don't pull too hard, make sure you see just enough of a glint of white, but fasten the white thread on the back.

Make the other eye in the same way.

Next up, Part 4 - Lips, to be posted tomorrow.


Pamela said...

It's great to see the face come together step by step.

FlashinScissors said...

I think I’ve made my face too small! You know me, everything has to be small! Tee hee! But I’ll have a go! You make it look so easy.
Thank you again.
Barbara xx

Rachel said...

The white flash makes a surprising amount of difference, doesn't it!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Thanks for continuing to post your progress. I bought the book on your recommendation some time ago but where the heck is it? Hidden between larger books I fear.
xx, Carol

Tanya said...

I got my eyes in this afternoon. Not great but good! I was telling someone at the pool about stumpwork and was describing what you had taught. “I want to see! Bring it to the pool!” I promised if I ever got something made good enough to show then I would. If it doesn’t turn out so great I’m going to bring the card you gave me to show her. My goal is to be able to say “I made this!”

Queeniepatch said...

Yes, it is fascinating to see the face, and facial expression, grow. That little speck of white in the eye makes a huge difference.

Queeniepatch said...

Don't despair! I have made lots of portraits so it might look easy. After you have made two it will be so easy for your, too. If the face is too small, you can either remove the head, loosen the gather and stitch it back on the background. It will then be a bit flatter. Or you cut a larger circle/oval and start over again.
Good luck!

Queeniepatch said...

Yes, it is a key factor!

Queeniepatch said...

Ha, ha! Yes it is a thin book and could be hiding between thicker books. Still it is a GREAT book!
I hope you will give this freestyle stumpwork a try. More tomorrow!

Queeniepatch said...

Tanya, you are good at anything you put your hand to, so your goal will soon be reached. I usually make my portraits into cards but you can back the completed figure with felt, add a pin and make it into a brooch. That way everyone can see it!

Gaia said...

Thank you very much for step by step tutorial. I have started make one too.

Janie said...

What amazing work, Queenie, so beautiful.
I'm enjoying this, thanks for sharing.

Queeniepatch said...

I am glad to hear it. I hope you are having fun.

Queeniepatch said...

It is nice to see the features grow, isn't it?

Susan Hook said...

You have a real talent for stumpwork portraits!

Linda Calverley said...

It's a great tutorial.

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you. They are so fun to make, and if you are lucky they turn out well, if not, at least the portraits have character!

Queeniepatch said...

Thank you. I hope it is clear and inspirational.