Camellia by Julie Kniedl
19th April 2019
Camellias inspire all kinds of happy childhood memories of playing in the garden on sunny winter days. The bountiful pink or red flowers with sturdy petals and dark, glossy leaves that you could rub between your fingers, and pretty, yellow stamens.
Particularly exciting was when the flowers began falling. The delights of gathering handfuls of petals to play with! You could strew your path with petals as you grandly walked along, throw them in the air to stand under a pretty shower of petal confetti, or lug out a tea set and sit down to a pretend afternoon picnic with camellia petal tea and leaf cakes with petal icing. You could layer petals to create pretty hats for your little companions, or even try to cobble together a fairy dress for a lucky sprite to come along and find.
If you have a camellia in your garden, but don’t necessarily indulge in playtime scenes with the flowers, you undoubtedly do enjoy bringing a stem with a gorgeous, fully opened flower indoors to display in a small vase. Julie Kniedl’s stunning red camellia in three-dimensional embroidery replicates this simple pleasure with astounding realism.
The stem includes an open flower with pollen-heavy stamens, a bud nearly ready to burst into bloom, and a pair of immature buds at the tip of the stem, along with three perfectly-formed leaves. As with all of Julie’s designs, only a handful of stitches and techniques are used – wrapping for the small buds and wire stems, blanket stitch to cover the wire edging of the petals and leaves, long and short stitch for the petals and leaves, and stem stitch for the centre vein along each leaf.
The life-like stamens are made with an ingenious method involving knotted threads and fabric stiffener.
The process for which is explained in detail with illustrations. It is a fantastic example of the creative thinking and problem-solving that went into the creation of Julie’s botanical pieces.
Even the assembly of the stems adds to the natural appearance of the camellia. Julie’s technique of incorporating wire tails from the leaves and buds into the wrapping of the main stem wires creates a gradual thickening of the stem from tip to base, just as on a real stem. The creation of ‘Camellia’ was clearly a thoughtful process from start to finish, with attention given to the use of shape and colour in a clear, uncluttered manner, leading to an artful combination of simplicity and detail that is an utterly beautiful reflection of nature.
Errata for Camellia
The project Camellia is featured in the book Botanica | The Three-dimensional Embroidery of Julie Kniedl. A minor errata for this project relating to the pattern sheet has just been released and is available to download HERE.
Make Your Own Camellia
Camellia is a stylish red flower, buds and contrasting leaves by Julie Kniedl from Botanica.
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Camellia includes everything you need to recreate this vibrant flower: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, wires, beads, embroidery threads and needles.