Fairhurst Fox by Nicola Jarvis

26th April 2024

The book Life in Seasons | Winter & Spring is themed around the daily walks Nicola Jarvis enjoys with her golden retriever Quince as they explore the Warwickshire countryside together. 

Their adventures inspired a collection of embroidered artworks that Nicola created for the book, to capture the changing seasons in the world around her.

This week we’re taking a closer look at the magnificent project ‘Fairhurst Fox’ that came about after a chance encounter one winter’s morning as Nicola explains…

It was late winter as crystal beaded cobwebs trembled and twinkled among mist-cloaked branches. A community of foxes have made their den among the bramble hedges on our allotment, and one morning as Quince and I walked towards the fields, I caught sight of a young dog fox tripping along behind us. 

He kept his distance, but seemed intrigued by Quince, who must have looked to him like a large, sandy-coloured fox!

Quince hadn’t seen or sensed the fox, and so, very gently, I slowed our walking and carefully looked round to see if he was still following us. 

I was delighted to see that he was and as I slowed down and peered at him over my shoulder, he stopped, and when we continued walking again he followed, albeit gingerly and a few metres away.’

‘He was very handsome in his strawberry blonde coat and bushy tail, bold yet timid, framed by the overhanging trees that are clad in streamers of ivy.

This incredible interlude continued for a few minutes and when finally, Quince turned his head, the fox darted away, an orange flash into the hedgerow.’

From this fleeting encounter, Nicola set about to capture the moment in stitch, embellishing a curious but shy young fox that she designed and then had printed onto a fabric panel.

Using a joyous combination of Appletons crewel wool; Au Ver à Soie Fine d’Aubusson fine wool; DeVere Yarns worsted wool; DMC stranded cotton and a few other threads thrown in for good measure, Nicola utilises only nine different stitches to produce a spectacular crewel embroidered portrait that tells the story beautifully.

As with all the animals featured in Life in Seasons, Fairhurst Fox has been artfully re-created with the inclusion of striking local flora into his fur coat.

With the finished design measuring 16cm x 25cm wide (6 ¼” x 10″), Nicola chose to finish her Fairhurst Fox as a footstool, however he could also take pride of place hanging on a wall, stitched onto a cushion, or emblazoned on the back of a jacket.

Make Your Own Fairhurst Fox*

We have all the materials you need to re-create this project yourself, from easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to a Ready-to-Stitch kit with everything sourced for you.

Printed Books

Life in Seasons | Winter & Spring


Fairhurst Fox – LIS Kit

*A couple of tips when stitching Fairhurst Fox:

Background – as this piece has been stitched on pre-printed fabric, to re-create it exactly as it appears in the book the kit comes with the pre-printed fabric included. A pre-printed fabric panel is also available to purchase separately HERE. Alternatively, you can use the pattern sheet from the Life in Seasons book to transfer the design and create your own background elements as desired.

Instructions – As this kit does not include instructions, for step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the book Life in Seasons, purchased separately. 

Fabric Substitution – To provide an optimum print finish for the design, for both the kit and fabric panel, the Jacobean linen twill has been substituted for a heavy cotton twill.

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