Elizabethan Butterfly by Betsy Morgan

2nd June 2023

After a highly celebrated career in embroidery and decades of designing and teaching some of the most exquisite counted thread needlework you have ever seen, Betsy Morgan had announced her retirement.

Or did she…?

Inspirations issue #118 features a brand-new Betsy Morgan piece called Elizabethan Butterfly, her first design since retirement. That’s right people, Betsy Morgan is back!

Now, for the purpose of full disclosure, Betsy has still retired. However, just like all of us, retirement is code for making more time available for our needle and thread! So, while Betsy is no longer teaching, she is enjoying stitching for pleasure in between looking after her grandchildren.

Lucky for all of us, this means from time to time we can still enjoy a little Betsy Morgan magic and her latest piece is a true delight.

Elizabethan Butterfly is a needlebook with matching scissor fob worked in counted thread embroidery featuring traditional Elizabethan motifs.

The needlebook is adorned with a splendid butterfly worked on the front and back cover with wings that are formed from the negative space created by a golden lattice. The use of negative space as a design technique is common in blackwork or Assisi embroidery and creates a lovely dynamic effect.

Using the negative space as a blank canvas, Betsy proceeds to fill the butterfly wings by adding a series of smaller Elizabethan motifs that, true to tradition, have been created as a series of overtly simplistic and innocent in nature, illustrations.

The scissor fob features a series of stylised flowers on one side and on the other you will find Betsy’s trademark insignia of the owner’s initials along with the year it was stitched.

If you’re thinking there is something different about the colour palette Betsy has used this time around, you would be correct.

In the past the majority of Betsy’s projects have featured variegated threads, but here we’re treated to pops of vibrant colour and quite a modern feel with no variegation in sight.

With Gloriana stranded silks now in short supply, Betsy has made the switch to Au ver à Soie threads and you get the feeling she is making great use of having a new range of colours to work with.

How great is it to have Betsy back? She is truly one of the greats and timeless in all she does… just like needlework itself!

Make Your Own Elizabethan Butterfly

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Elizabethan Butterfly by Betsy Morgan is a needlebook and scissor fob embellished with counted thread embroidery.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 118

Digital Patterns

Elizabethan Butterfly – i118 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Elizabethan Butterfly includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful needlebook and scissor fob: Fabric (unprinted), wool felt, interfacings, interlining, buttons, firm card, sewing thread, embroidery threads and needles.


Elizabethan Butterfly – 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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