Buttercup & Thick-legged Flower Beetle by Victoria Matthewson

21st April 2023

Do you agree with the following statement:

The magic of embroidery is all in the details.

Now before you answer, perhaps let us explain further… whenever we show a finished piece of embroidered art to a non-stitcher, it has been our observation that typically the first thing they do is squint their eyes and get as close to the piece as possible.

Once they see the fibres of the threads and affirm to themselves that, yes, unbelievably, this art has indeed been created using a needle and thread, they are mystified at what is almost an optical illusion.

How can anything be created in such small-scale detail?

Yet for those of us in the needlework fraternity, this is our day-to-day endeavour – dealing with details.

The project Buttercup & Thick-legged Flower Beetle by Victoria Matthewson from Inspirations issue #118 is a masterclass in details.

Let’s begin by addressing the scale of the thread Victoria has used.

Worked in Pipers Silks, you might often expect to combine several strands together when stitching, however in this project Victoria creates the vast majority of this design with a single strand of silk floss thread.

Why is this significant? It allows for an incredible amount of fine detail to be achieved, something you might usually see in Chinese Embroidery or other super-fine techniques where the end results are so life-like, they are often mistaken for a painting.

Silk floss is also very pleasurable to stitch with as the strands are strong and lustrous, providing a beautiful finish that shimmers in the light. Sometimes we refer to this shimmer as being akin to a lenticular effect, as when you shift your viewing perspective the project comes alive and dances with the movement of light.

The next item on our discussion list for exquisite detail is Victoria’s eye for shading.

The beetle itself has been shaded in a very specific manner to appear three-dimensional with darker hues used around the edges then lighter shades graded towards the centre. The Meadow Buttercup flower on the other hand has been shaded consistent with a light source coming from the west at a 45-degree angle creating hyper-realistic shadows and highlights across the leaves, the petals and even the stem.

Did you notice the French knots in the centre of the buttercup flowers? Such a lovely touch.

So why should you consider stitching a buttercup flower and a thick-legged beetle? There are many reasons, but for today we’ll leave you with just one… and it’s a good one:

This project also appears in Victoria’s new book Needlepainted Plants and Pollinators, published by Search Press, which we mentioned earlier in this newsletter, where she specifically highlights pollinating insects that are in danger of being lost due to the use of pesticides. 

So it’s nice to have a beautiful piece of embroidery for us to enjoy stitching that also carries with it an important environmental message we can all help raise awareness of.

Make Your Own Buttercup & Thick-legged Flower Beetle

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Buttercup & Thick-legged Flower Beetle by Victoria Matthewson is a superb silk embroidery study of a beetle and blossom.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 118

Digital Patterns

Buttercup & Thick-legged Flower Beetle – i118 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Buttercup & Thick-legged Flower Beetle includes everything* you need to re-create this magnificent specimen: Fabrics (unprinted), embroidery threads and needle.


Buttercup & Thick-legged Flower Beetle – i118 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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