Sunday, September 16, 2012

Good things take time

I do love Sundays, such a pity that there aren’t two of them in any given week! 

Wandering through the vineyard this morning, the vines are just starting to bud. Looking at them at this time of year it is hard to imagine that in a few months they will again be as lush as they were when they inspired me to draw this piece of crewelwork.

It is such a good feeling to finish a piece, especially one that has been in the making for a long time and this one is no exception. I don't dare say just how long these cheeky parrots have been in the frame for – let’s just say that along the way, they spent 3 ½ years packed up in a box while my ’workroom’ was set up in the old caravan.
When I at long last did get them unpacked, I started by unpicking most of the leaves. I guess my ideas of what works had changed and the original leaves, embroidered with trellis fillings, were just too busy once the parrots were added. I often do a lot of ’reverse stitching’, so despite the slight setback it usually is well worth the effort at the end.

The parrots were such fun to stitch. I am particularly pleased with the texture on their blue heads and green backs. The heads was an accidental discovery when I was trying to find a short-cut. I wanted to fill them with rows of chain stitch, all worked in the same direction. After the first row I was debating whether to finish off the thread or drag it across the back – it wasn't that long a distance, so if I anchored it part way it would be ok. Then I wondered what it would look like if I worked a row of stem stitch on the return…really, really happy with the result.
The backs are embroidered in burden stitch. Most people, myself included find this stitch a ’burden’ when they first try it. It is now one of my favourite stitches and it somehow manages to find its way into all of my latest crewelwork designs. I find that the trick is to begin the short overlaying stitches across the widest part of a shape and make sure there is a generous needle’s width between the overlaying stitches.

So now that the cheeky parrots are finished and blocked, I just need to tidy up the yarns and then what? ….Crewel? Stumpwork? Perhaps gold?
Happy stitching,
Anna x


  1. Love your work!!!!

  2. What a gorgeous little parrot :D Can't wait to see the pattern, instructions and kit!!!

  3. Love the parrot! And cheeky is right. The blue is lovely!

  4. You are so talented! Embroidery intimidates me but this is very inspiring!!

  5. If you ever get to England, visit Kelmscott Manor, where there is Burden Stitch on show that was stitched by Jane Burden!