Delft Tulip Tile by Margaret Light

31st March 2023

Over the years many advertising and marketing campaigns have exploited a key weakness of humanity – our inability to stop at just one.

Whether it’s eating potato chips and chocolates or buying handbags and shoes, once you get started it seems almost impossible to just have one.

Margaret Light has a similar problem; her addiction is designing and stitching tiles.

We discovered the extent of Margaret’s obsession with these objects of stitched beauty, while putting together her new book ‘A Fine Tradition 2’. 

Those familiar with her first book, however, will point out there were early signs even back then. After seeing Margaret’s original three tiles everyone got the feeling that these could quickly become addictive… and they were right!

When it was time to produce her second book, Margaret had already stitched another three tiles ready to include, along with a confession (and perhaps a cautionary tale!) that you can read on page 65 of A Fine Tradition 2. Suffice to say, you’re sure to see a lot more tiles from Margaret Light in the future as she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

If you are already addicted to stitching these tiles, you’ll be pleased to know that today we’ve got your next fix ready to go.

For anyone new to these tiles… they should probably come with a warning – try stopping at just one!

Today we’re looking at the ‘Delft Tulip Tile’, which draws its origins from Delftware, Dutch tin-glazed pottery. While typically blue and white, some delftware was in fact polychromatic and you can see Margaret has added some subtle colours to the otherwise predominant blue hues.

One of the many clever design choices Margaret has used here is the use of variegated threads.

The main benefit of using a variegated thread is that you can achieve the effect of multicoloured layering without the work of continually changing threads. Additionally, the variegation gives relief from what could otherwise become big blocks of solid colour.

Delft Tulip Tile uses Gumnut Yarns Daisies, woollen threads featuring quite subtle variegation, yet they provide just the right amount of variation to elevate the finished piece by creating a lovely dynamic range of colour you wouldn’t achieve otherwise.

Special mention for a few very clever techniques that Margaret has used… check out the stem of the tulip which has a beautiful texture courtesy of  taking a simple straight stitch and layering it with a chequered pattern.

Also, the long strappy leaves of the tulip stretching out alongside the stem are given a dimensional boost by using Vandyke stitch closely laid together.

What would otherwise be a flat component of the design is now lifted off the fabric and offers a wonderful textural delight, completely different in appearance to other elements.

Each tile is 20cm (8”) square and with just the right amount of stitching, the right amount of technique variation and the right amount of desirability, it’s no wonder Margaret has become addicted.

It’s just nice that she can share her addiction with all of us, don’t you think?

Make Your Own Delft Tulip Tile

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Delft Tulip Tile by Margaret Light features a large vase with blue tulips and smaller flowers within a geometric shape, enhanced with small acorn sprays.

Printed Books

A Fine Tradition 2

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Delft Tulip Tile includes everything* you need to re-create these graceful tulips: Fabric with pre-printed design, embroidery threads and needles.


Delft Tulip Tile – AFT2 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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