Dogwood & Lacewing by Jane Nicholas
2nd July 2021
Jane Nicholas is renowned the world over for her beautiful stumpwork designs. The reason her work is so popular is that she has an uncanny ability to capture nature and translate it into needlework in such a perfect way, it is sometimes difficult to believe her pieces are stitched at all, such is their realism.
Dogwood & Lacewing from A Passion for Needlework 3 | Blakiston Creamery, is right up there with some of her finest designs and is a stunning project to stitch.
The design takes a circular shape that encourages the eye to follow the curved line and capture each and every superb detail on the way around.
There are leaves, flowers, fruits and insects, all vying for attention and all adding to the perfection of this intricate project.
On one side of the floral wreath sits the lacewing. This beautifully named insect is a gardener’s friend as the larvae love to feast on aphids, mites and whiteflies. When they become adults, they lay their eggs in a U-shape on the underside of a leaf for protection, laying up to 600 eggs across their three to four week lifespan. The larvae hatch, and the cycle begins again.
If they weren’t already a welcome visitor to the garden because of their appetite for eating unwanted pests, the sparkling, diaphanous wings of these little creatures are just gorgeous, making them a joy to watch on a warm afternoon.
As your eye travels around Jane’s circle, it passes the plump, tactile berries and alights upon a colourful butterfly.
This little fellow has a Ghiordes knot body, a shimmering bead head and a pair of gloriously coloured wings highlighted with metallic thread.
It seems to have settled on the stalk of a flower, pausing on its busy hunt for nectar. It is so realistic, you can almost see the wings gently opening and closing as the butterfly cools itself before taking off again in a flash of colour.
The next delight on the visual journey are the dogwood flowers. There are four flowers in this design, each showing a slightly different colour gradation, indicating how mature the flower is. The dogwood, or more accurately the flowering dogwood, is a tree or shrub that comes in several varieties.
The most commonly known is Cornus florida that, when in bloom, produces a mass of soft pink or white flowers and is a favourite of bees and insects alike. Although a native of North America, this tree grows in many parts of the world, and the flower has come to symbolise reliability and durability as well as purity and a signal of affection.
When the eye finally returns to the shimmering wings of the lacewing, it has taken in all of the glories of this fantastic project, and it is almost guaranteed that the fingers will be itching to stitch it.
Dogwood & Lacewing offers so much to delight the stitcher, from beading and detached elements, through to subtly shaded petals and leaves stitched in luscious silks in long and short stitch.
Without doubt this design is both luxurious to stitch and will result in an heirloom piece to be proud of once framed and hanging on the wall.
Make Your Own | Dogwood & Lacewing
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Dogwood & Lacewing by Jane Nicholas from the book A Passion for Needlework | Blakiston Creamery is a beautiful stumpwork study of dogwood blooms arranged in a wreath, with a caterpillar, butterfly and lacewing.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Dogwood & Lacewing includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful scene: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felt, fusible webbing, dressmaker’s carbon, wires, embroidery threads, beads and needles.
*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.