Fig by Julie Kniedl
5th April 2019
Figs are a fascinating fruit and the ephemeral delight of fresh, fully-ripened figs is brought to lasting life with the pair of embroidered three-dimensional figs and large, lobed leaf in our new book ‘Botanica | The three-dimensional embroidery of Julie Kniedl’.
Smooth-skinned and fragrant, the unique structure of a fig can be seen when the bell-shaped fruit is sliced open, revealing the numerous stems of one-seeded fruits, called druplets, that formed from the internally-growing, tiny flowers. The exterior of the fruit is actually a special kind of hollow-ended stem or receptacle, called the syconium.
Setting further botanical study and nomenclature aside (infructescence, anyone?) it all comes together as a juicy, delicately sweet and delicious fruit that, when ripe, simply must be enjoyed promptly as there is only a short window between perfect softness and collapse.
When fresh, figs are wonderful paired with cheeses or added to a salad and are also delicious in baked treats. Figs are preserved in a variety of ways, essential for extending the edible timeframe for any bountiful harvest. Dried figs have been enjoyed since ancient times and owners of fig trees are sure to have a recipe for fig jam or even fig paste, perfect for a cheese platter.
Our Editor, Susan O’Connor, has shared her fig paste recipe that has been tasted with pleasure by the Inspirations Studios team. Susan recommends serving the paste with good cheddar or a soft cheese such as brie, camembert or goats’ cheese.
500g fresh figs
2 ripe pears
2 tsp fennel seeds
500g sugar approx.
- Chop the figs and pears and place in large saucepan. Crush the fennel seeds and add with 60ml of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30min.
- Weigh the fruit and add an equal amount of sugar mixed with the Jamsetta. Heat until the sugar dissolves then cook for 2hrs.
- Grease (olive oil) and line a tin with baking paper. Pour in the fruit mix and smooth the surface. Place a piece of baking paper over the surface and sit a second tray on top weighted with 2-3 tins. Place in the fridge overnight.
- Cut into bars and wrap in a double layer of cling film.
For an everlasting arrangement of beautiful figs that are also a simple project to enjoy creating, turn to the pair of life-sized olive green and purple fruits in Botanica.
They are stitched with a handful of crewel and fine, shaded wool threads that are blended using long and short stitch over a fig-shaped felt shape that has been hand-stitched together and firmly stuffed with fibre-fill. Each fig is realistically finished with a thread-wrapped wire stem.
The fruits are accompanied by a large, wired leaf, also worked with fine wool thread in long and short stitch, with stem stitched veins and a slender, wrapped wire stem.
If you haven’t yet ventured into dimensional embroidery, or if long and short stitch hasn’t been your ‘jam’, this is a great project to bring that stitching pot to the boil!
Make Your Own Figs
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Two ripening figs, resting on a fig leaf platter by Julie Kniedl from Botanica.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Fig includes everything you need to recreate these stunning figs: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, wires, embroidery threads and needles.