Hello Again

How have you all been? It is such an unusual world we are all still navigating and I do hope you and your loved ones are all safe and well.

When I decided to take a break from the blog 6 months ago, I wasn’t sure if I would return to this little space. My thinking at the time was that I would probably just share quick little updates on other social media, but - it is not the same is it? And to be honest, I am no good at it and don’t really like it. It turns out I miss the somewhat slower pace of taking notes of what I am working on and ponder in writing what is happening in my stitching world.

Apart from not being able to travel anywhere, things in my little world are largely unchanged. I am well and have been keeping quietly somewhat busy. I am not going to bore you with a recount of what I have been doing but just dive in...

~ O ~ O ~ O ~ O ~

So what am I up to? I am stitching tulips. 

I love tulips. I think they are my favorite flowers -  my favorite spring flowers anyway. So although they have now finished their spring show in my garden, I am prolonging the season on my embroidery frame.

'Tulips & Forget-me-nots" 
Colour sketch for crewel embroidery

The actual embroidery design is larger than the coloured drawing in the picture. You can just see the the line drawing poking out behind colour drawing at the top. 

The colours for this piece are in three classic colour groups: (coral) Reds for the tulips, Green for the tulip leaves and Blues for the forget-me-nots and background foliage. 

I don't often make a colour drawing before I start stitching, but this time I felt like sketching up a rough indication of how the colours would be used to make sure it worked and it is so much quicker to colour in a small drawing than a big. 

In the past I have often used a lot of different stitches for my crewel embroidery but for this design the selection of stitches will be rather limited in comparison. All the tulip stems and leaves will be embroidered entirely in stem stitch. I started by outlining all the leaves in the same colour, then filling them in with slightly different shades of green. 

The plan was to complete all the tulip leaves before moving on, but as you can see, I couldn't quite wait to see how the blues would look behind the green.  

I love how closely worked rows of stem stitch end up looking almost woven on top of the fabric. Because the stitching is so dense and firm, it also makes it very durable for items that are destined to be used. You can see in the picture just how close the rows of stem stitch are.

I was a little uncertain when I started how many shades of green I would need to fill the tulip leaves. The movement and stitch direction in each leaf creates movement within the pattern and I was concerned that too many shades of green could possibly make the design look too 'busy'.

After a few more leaves using just two different greens, I decided it needed one more colour to add a bit more variation. I used one of my favorite yellow-greens; Appltons 251 - it almost looks a bit acidic when it is on the rack in the shop, but ones it is in amongst other greens, it is prefect for adding a little 'pop'.

Besides; the beauty of embroidery is that if it doesn't work, it is easy to unpick it and try something different. 

This green may not be a go-to colour for healthy looking leaves, but I am glad I decided to include it. I think it gives the grassy greens a nice little lift. 

As much as I enjoy stem stitch, I am happy the leaves are now almost all done. It will be nice to do something different LOL.  
Next up is the background foliage of forget-me-nots. I will show you the progress shortly. 

Best Stitches,
Anna X

PS - while I have been away, Blogger did make some changes that meant posts were no longer delivered to emails. I have found a different way to deliver your email using Follow-it. It shouldn't make any difference at your end but please Email Me if you have any trouble. 

'Flowers for Ellaine'
Crewel embroidery kit

'Meadow Bloom'
Crewel embroidery kit


  1. I love your crewel tulips project . Oh dear I thought that email was spam and deleted it ...I'll know next time :)

    1. Thanks - I didn't realize Follow.it sent out auto notifications when the email list was transferred or I would have let you all know about the change much sooner.

  2. Welcome back! You are right about that yellowy-green - it really provides a lift.

  3. Hi Anna, so happy to see this post.hard to believe the tulips have already come and gonem8n your garden. I do love to see them appear but the bulbs seem to disappear. Possibly squirrels or me moving things about in my small garden.
    I must process the couple of dahlias I have as otherwise I am sure they will freeze then rot.
    The colours you have chosen are lovely and the choice of the acidic green helps make it more natural or loose. The stem stitch certainly gives the leaves texture. So interesting for me to see.
    Take care and thank you for posting in this form. Regards Janine

    1. Hi Janine, I have been in OZ for nearly 30 years and the 'upside down' seasons still puzzle me LOL.
      I too used to swap bulbs for dahlias, but forgot the latter one year and lost all my tubers :-(
      Anna X

  4. Hi Anna! I am so glad you are returning to the blog world! I agree completely that the insta-world is not as fun! I want to know and share details and descriptions and methods for the projects I am doing. So welcome back!
    As for your stitching, the tulips are going to be stunning! They remind me of the ones I grew last spring... rich apricot-red blossoms on tall stems... they got all bent around by the rain and wind but bloomed for
    weeks! I think the third green is essential to make the colors work.(Three is a magic number in shading and color combos) The yellow green will tie into the red in a subtle way and make it feel sunnier! I look forward to seeing this develop!

  5. Lovely to see your work progress in steps, and lovely to see you back at your blog! Six months already? I sometimes take breaks that long from my blog without warning (like right now while I have lots going on in my life).

    1. Well Megan, they say 'a break is as good as a holiday' and since we can't go anywhere... I don't know about that but I needed a bit of time out.
      I hope you are keeping well.


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