I figured I'd try needle tatting a few roses for my cards. After some searching I decided to adapt Mrs. Beeton's lovely work from the 1870 (gotta love Project Gutenberg...). Scroll down to tatting pattern 45.--Tatted Rosette - I chose to do the middle rose only. I followed the instructions, making 5 petals per layer, with 9, 15, 21 and 27 double stitches per petal, closing each petal but not reversing. This is what it looked like before I sew it together, erm, a pink loop worm?
I then used the thread to stitch together corresponding layers, to form the 3D-structure. A bit fiddly, but worth the effort IMHO.
And this was actually rather quick to do because the lack of picots.