Bush Beauties by Melissa Horton

13th May 2022

It is wonderful when we discover a fantastic new needlework artist who becomes a contributor to Inspirations magazine.

It always gives us so much pleasure to present new designers who bring fresh new styles and projects that we know you’re going to love.

Melissa Horton is our newest contributor and her fantastic project, Bush Beauties from Inspirations issue #114 really is something special.

Melissa has brought together a wide array of different materials in the creation of these two fascinating pieces of hoop art. Rather than just using stranded cotton or a single stitch technique, she has combined threads, sequins and beads with a dizzying array of stitches to form her spectacular studies of two iconic Australian birds.

The superb lyrebird displays its elegant tail, worked in sparkling sequins, beads and several different kinds of stitches. The body is made up of a patchwork of different textures and colours, all of which come together to form an uncannily realistic study of this beautiful bird. 

You can almost hear the distinctive call of the lyrebird as it hunts for its mate, its tail held aloft in a glorious display.

The Major Mitchell’s cockatoo is also worked using a wonderful selection of stitches and textures.

While the piece is stitched in a similar way to crazy patchwork, the result is both coherent and beautifully realistic, all the way down to the intelligent eye created with a distinctive dark coloured sequin. The stunning crest is highlighted in reds, yellows and oranges, with each protruding feather formed out of a different type of stitch or technique.

Both Bush Beauties are stunning pieces of art when you first see them, and Melissa has provided a clear stitch guide so that you can work the exact stitches required in each little section of the two birds.

She suggests the order you should stitch to get the best result, so you can work methodically, changing techniques as you go. One of the wonderful aspects of the Bush Beauties designs is they give you the opportunity to try all kinds of different stitches, ensuring you never get bored as once you’ve mastered one section, you get the pleasure of trying something new in the next.

Melissa has mounted these two beautiful studies in hoops, however they would look equally as elegant in a traditional frame or mounted on a box.

The pleasure comes from the stitching and watching your cockatoo and lyrebird appear out of the fabric as if by magic through the strategic and careful placement of the stitches and embellishments.

You’re sure to love Bush Beauties as much as we do and we’re confident you’ll be seeking out more designs from Melissa Horton as a result. 

We can’t wait to see what this talented lady comes up with, but if Bush Beauties is anything to go by, we know it is going to be spectacular.

Make Your Own Bush Beauties

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Bush Beauties by Melissa Horton is two spectacular hooped studies of the colourfully crested Major Mitchell’s cockatoo and the elegant lyrebird.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 114

Digital Patterns

Bush Beauties – i114 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kits for Bush Beauties include everything* you need to re-create this superb lyrebird or colourful cockatoo: Fabrics (unprinted), felts, embroidery threads, beads, sequins and needles.


Bush Beauties: Lyrebird – i114 Kit


Bush Beauties: Cockatoo – i114 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 magazine/digital pattern.

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