Briar Rose & Honeysuckle by Margaret Light

22nd April 2022

Any mention of the Arts & Crafts movement and most people think of William Morris and the famous museum at his home, Kelmscott, in the UK. However, there were many other artists and designers who worked within Morris’s circles, but who practiced elsewhere.

The Morning Room at Standen House (source)

Philip Webb, who designed Standen in Sussex in the UK was one of them.

Standen is a beautiful Arts & Crafts inspired house that is packed full of wonderful treasures from the era.

The house itself was designed by Webb who was an architect and friend of Morris. He designed it for the Beale family, who then filled the rooms with furniture, carpets, wallpapers, ceramics and textiles all created by designers from the movement. In the process, the house became yet another Arts & Crafts museum that we can still enjoy today.

It is this property that inspired Margaret Light to design Briar Rose & Honeysuckle from her book A Fine Tradition. Margaret noted how it would be easy to believe that all the design elements put into one house might create something excessive. However, the opposite was true. The whole effect of Standen was one of harmoniousness and calm. The colours were often soft and subtle, and they all blended beautifully so nothing seemed excessive or out of place.

Briar Rose & Honeysuckle fits with this style. This gorgeous picture has been stitched using a range of naturalistic colours, brought together in a design that is recognisably Arts & Crafts in its style. 

It displays a sinuous symmetry with the leaves and stems twisting around one another, and the brilliant blooms perfectly filling the frame.

The delightful contrast between the classically shaped briar rose and the long, fine petals of the honeysuckle works perfectly amongst the leaves and tiny forget-me-not flower highlights.

Like many of Margaret’s designs, Briar Rose & Honeysuckle is worked in fine crewel wools on a strong, neutrally coloured linen twill. However, the stitches are so delicate, you have to look carefully to realise this has been stitched in wool at all. There is a beautiful shine to the fibres she’s selected – Gumnut Yarns Daisies which are ultra-fine, hand-dyed wools. They are the perfect selection to achieve the detail visible in this piece.

Margaret has opted to limit the number of stitches she’s used in this project. She felt that there was enough in the design and colouring without needing to overwhelm the stitcher with too many different kinds of stitches. The effect is stunning, with a multitude of tiny details. This piece would be perfectly at home in a historic house like Standen.

Fashions come and go, but those that stand the test of time, such as the Arts & Crafts movement, will never fall out of favour. Briar Rose & Honeysuckle demonstrates why that is. No matter the era, and no matter the design of your home, a project like this will always fit in. Stitching it allows you to enjoy your own little piece of Standen in your very own front room.

Make Your Own Briar Rose & Honeysuckle

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Briar Rose & Honeysuckle by Margaret Light is a framed embroidery of twining stems richly ornamented with flowers and foliage.

Digital Patterns

A Fine Tradition

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Briar Rose & Honeysuckle includes everything* you need to re-create this stunning piece: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needles.


Briar Rose & Honeysuckle – AFT Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the book.

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