Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Stitch Play: Chain Stitch Spider Daisy


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When you combine hand embroidery stitches in different ways, you never know what you’ll come up with! And sometimes, you won’t even know how to name the result.

I’m calling this the Chain Stitch Spider Daisy, or the Ribbed Spider Daisy, for two reasons: It’s a daisy created with the detached chain stitch and the ribbed spider web stitch, and when you look at it from the side, the petals are a bit too reminiscent of spider legs!

If you don’t particularly like spiders, I hope you’ll forgive me for the name.

This is a neat little flower technique, if you want to add simple flowers with a bit of texture and color contrast on them to your embroidery projects. Top it with a bead for extra sparkle and bling!

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

This is the little embroidered daisy that we’re going to create. It’s quite simple. It’s a combination of daisy stitch (or detached chain stitch) and ribbed spider web stitch, both of which can be found in my How-To Videos here on Needle ‘n Thread. If you need to see how the stitches are worked out, just check out the videos!

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

The flower starts with a basic daisy stitched with detached chain stitch. I used 8 petals because it’s easy to space an even number of petals! You can use as many or as few petals as you wish. I’m using an overdyed perle cotton #12 for the flower petals.

If you need to, use a circle template and mark a dot at the center of the circle and then a series of evenly spaced dots around the outside perimeter of the circle, to mark where to start and end your daisy stitches. This helps keep your petals evenly spaced.

Or – you can just eyeball it!

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

I worked the ribbed spider web in a contrasting color, so after finishing the daisy, I threaded my needle with the new color, and began the stitch between two petals, right near the center of the flower. Mind you, you aren’t coming up in the center, but just between the two petals, where they start to separate from each other as they fan out.

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

The thread I’m using for this part of the flower is a silk buttonhole twist. Work the ribbed spider web around the petals, gently pushing each stitch towards the center of the flower, and keeping an even tension on your thread. Be careful of pulling your thread too tightly, though – you don’t want to pull the petals out of shape.

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

As you continue around the flower, use your needle to nudge the stitches in to keep them close to each other. A tapestry needle works well for the spider web stitch, because it’s blunt on the tip and won’t pierce the petal threads.

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

Around and around you go, filling in as much of the flower as you want!

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

I went around my flower five times. In the photo above, I’m on the last petal on the fifth round. You can see that I have only four wraps at this point on the last petal, where the arrow is pointing.

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

To end the ribbed spider web, take your working thread over the last petal to form the last wrap, and then enter the fabric, angling your needle underneath the petal.

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

You’ll end up with a really cute flower, with lots of possibilities for further embellishment!

Chain Stitch Spider Daisy

For example, you can plop a nice fat bead right in the middle.

You can also add beads to the outside of the tips of the petals, if you want – probably not as large as the bead I used for the center, though, or your flower might look a bit whacky!

New Series

To help out beginners and to inspire you with some new ideas for your stitches, I’ve started two new series here on Needle ‘n Thread.

Stitch Play will focus on different approaches to embroidery stitches – altering them, combining them, and just playing around with them.

Stitch Glitch will look at how to solve certain stitch difficulties.

So every now and then, I’ll be writing articles that fall under either category, in the hopes of providing you with help or inspiration for your stitching.

If you want to search for other posts in either series, just look under Categories for Stitch Play or Stitch Glitch. The categories are available in the lower right column here on Needle ‘n Thread. You can also find the category link below each post in the category. For example, if you look beneath this article on the website, you’ll see Stitch Play listed in the categories there, too.

If you’d like to see some Stitch Play with particular stitches, or if you’d like to see a certain Stitch Glitch (a stitch difficulty) solved, just leave a comment below and put in your request! What stitches do you want to play with? What techniques do you want to see explained? Have your say below!


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(53) Comments

  1. I really appreciate your ideas. I think this one here is great. You challenge me to be more experimental with the stitches.

  2. Thank you so much for this really cute flower, Mary! So simple, so pretty, with a lovely texture – yet it would never have occured to me to combine these two stitches.

  3. beautiful flower…it also looks elegant…am going to use it…very practical way of stitching…as the flower will not change its shape for along time

  4. Hi Mary
    It is always really wonderful to learn new things from your your innovative
    Ideas make my work more neat and beautiful.

  5. Stitch Play is a FABULOUS idea! and I ordered my Crewel Twist from The Book Depository yesterday. I’ve been watching for this book to come out. Janet.

  6. I’m going to call this a “charming stitch” because it works up so beautifully, and yet it is relatively simple to do. Never would have thought of combining lazy daisy with spider stitch, but they are just perfect together!

  7. Mary, Mary, Mary – I love your new ‘Stitch Play’ series! I’ve already used your whipped double chain stitch on a piece, and can’t wait to try this new flower! I will look forward to each and every installment of both your new series – you rock!

    Tomi Jane

  8. G’day Mary,
    This ‘spider’ would sure trick Garfield. He’d need something more damaging than a rolled up newspaper to get the results he’d be wanting!
    Nice one it is too, Mary. I like the idea of the new categories. Too late at night (after 2 a.m. although it hasn’t caught it yet! duh) to look for my thinking cap but will keep it in mind for some stitches.
    Cheers, Kath

  9. Such a simple idea that I have never seen before, thanks! I like the idea of stitch play and stitch glitch.
    One stitch I have great trouble with is the simple french knot. Mine seems to often self-destruct.
    Diane in Ontario

  10. Hi Mary!

    Oh, Mary – this is adorable. I love the silk ribbon spider web roses – This is a great one to use instead. Again, I love incorporating these 3D designs with my applique and quilting. Keep them coming!! I wish I had something great that I could share with you.

    Thanks, again – Jane

  11. Wonderful idea! That’s a great way to get the look without needle-lacing! Very creative; I look forward to more!
    Mary, could that be done with wire spokes – using metallic-colored threads? I know that it’s probably not as graceful looking as pliant silks and cottons but I’m curious!

    1. I think it would be difficult to do the wrapping part with metal threads, but I could see the petals in wire, and then the wraps in silk… In fact, I’ve done that on the goldwork crazy quilt thing I wrote about a while back. It worked really well!

  12. I just want to tell you how much I enjoy the beautiful work and valuable lessons on your web site. Thank you, thank you for being so generous in sharing your expertise. I last embroidered back in the 70s, but your site has inspired me to start again.

  13. As my mom used to say, “I’m tickled pink.” Stitch Play and Stitch Glitch are terrific ideas — thank you. If I were to suggest anything, I would like to see more insect ideas like the creative little caterpillar from yesterday.

  14. Good Grief Girl ! 🙂 You’re always coming up with such unique and clever ideas Mary, when do you have time to do these along with your busy life? Makes me wonder “when does she ever sleep? ” ? ha ha ha <3
    This one is really cute. Thanks again..
    ..Judy in Pittsburgh

  15. You do amaze me! I look forward every day to see what you’ve come up with. Now I can do it once I’ve seen it but you’re the person who comes up with it first so I can do that. I would just never think of it. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep getting new ideas. You do make beautiful things.

  16. Aloha Mary,
    Love the 2 new stitch categories. My problem is with bullion stitches, especially if there are several in a close space. Mine pucker the cloth just a teeny tiny bit. Using a milliner needle, I have tried fewer wraps, putting the anchoring stitch just one thread beyond the last wrap, tried not to pull too hard on the anchoring stitch and still that little pucker. What am I doing wrong? I’ve read all you have written about them and watched the video. Any help would be appreciated!

  17. What a wonderful combination of stitches. Seems like another good place for a curved needle. If this is a sample of what’s to come in “stitch play,” I’m looking forward to every post. Mary, you’re a gifted and creative artist and teacher. Much thanks.

    p.s. I have trouble making a smooth line with back stitches. Hope that’s not too hopeless to include.

  18. I’m working on an embroidery project that has many stitches I was not familiar with, so I turn to your site to learn, of course, I find what I’m looking for and you never fail me. What would I do without you Mary? Thank you so much.

  19. When I looked at this stitch earlier this morning I thought to meself that this would be a neat stitch to try. Well, I just did a few minutes ago and it turned out beautifully. Not as perfect as your stitches, but nice none the less. Thanks for this new series – now I am going to try yesterdays inspiration – it looks like a winner too!!

  20. Thanks Mary, I never would have thought of putting a lazy daisy into that. It looks so beautiful.
    Your emails are the first ones I look at when I get up in the morning, you are truly an inspiration to me.
    Again thank you so much.

  21. Mary, I really look forward to reading your blog everyday. I use your video tutorials to refresh my memory on how to do a particular stitch. I think the stitch play isa great idea and I am looking forward to them.

  22. Mary, thank you for the wonderful idea! What an inspiration I have now looming in my head, ideas, ideas!! You may be getting Spring, but I’m getting a snow storm!

  23. I’m already loving the new series, great additions indeed!!!
    The Stitch Glitch… very very very handy and practical.
    The Stitch Play can even serve as a SAL…. hmmm, I may want
    to follow along. First I need to catch up with the class lessons!
    Thanks so much for starting this new series!!!

  24. Really pretty stitch. Defintely will use it. I would like to see more stitches in stitch play.


    Belle Gallay

  25. This is a lovely set of stitches to use for a flower, and you can be sure I will use it.

    In the past I have always used an odd number of ‘spokes’ for spider web stitching eg, roses etc. Is there any reason for using either? I would appreciate your opinion on this. Thank you.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love it. It also makes me want to try some variations of it that I already see in my head. Depending on the look one is trying to achieve, I can see having the daisy petals different sizes or lopsided, ’cause that’s often how real flowers look.

  27. Is there a book available with all of the stitches you are teaching in it? I think it would be very helpful to have one in hand as you show the different stiches. Thanks,

    1. Hi, Kathy – My plans for the Stitch Play series is just to combine or fiddle with regular stitches that can be found in any stitch dictionary. I’ve got lots of reviews of stitch dictionaries here on Needle ‘n Thread, if you want to check under books in the navigation at the top of the page. ~MC

  28. Mary!! I LOVE the stitch play idea!! I have spent many many hours on the internet, in books and good old fashioned trial and error (a lot of error, lol) trying to find surface or freestyle embroidery stitches. I can’t wait to see the evolution of this amazing resource.
    I can only imagine how much time, effort and money has gone into the development of this website. Thank You for sharing your gift for teaching and your beautiful art with all of us.
    ~Sandi R. (Happy Stitcher in Florida)

  29. Hi Mary:
    This one is really great and I have an idea that I might try on my doodle cloth to play with the placement of the lazy daisy stitches and work this up into an actual stumpwork spider. This or something similar could be the main body and legs with a padded satin head added. Just wondering if I could get it to work.
    And while I am at it, thank you for the suggestion of a doodle cloth – it is the best thing ever! A

  30. I want to view the tutorials but cannot get the
    video to play, how do I do that? I was looking for Palestrina stitch specifically.

    1. Can you get videos to play on Youtube? If so go there, search Mary Corbet Palestrina. I watch the videos on Youtube because they are all together, and I can watch one after another.

  31. Wow! I found your site a couple of days ago and I love it!!
    I could spend the whole day here!

    Thank you very much for sharing your talent!

  32. Mary…. I refer to your embroidery so often on you tube…. Your examples are clear… & your instruction is easy to understand…. Thanks for all your tutorials…you’re a great teacher!

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