Greensleeves by Brenda Sortwell

10th February 2023

If you were to take a moment and review a selection of projects designed by Brenda Sortwell you’d likely notice several recurring themes.

Her work is characterised by bold, confident designs worked in crewel embroidery using a striking and engaging colour palette of wool threads.

Brenda’s specialty is in fact modern crewel design, so her work is often familiar yet fresh and innovative which is a winning combination.

Her latest piece Greensleeves is no exception. 

Here are some facts: 

Publication: A Passion for Needlework 4 | The Whitehouse Daylesford

Designer: Brenda Sortwell from the UK

Project Name: Greensleeves

Project Type: Cushion 

Technique: Crewel Embroidery 

Fabric: Linen twill & furnishing weight moiré 

Design Transfer Required: Yes

Threads: Crewel wool, metallic and beads

Dimensions: 37cm x 44cm wide (14 1/2″ x 17 1/4″), omitting the fringe

From a distance this cushion has an organic rich warmth that somehow you can feel beckoning, enticing you to come and enjoy it’s comfort.

Up close it soon reveals an entire world of intricacy and complexity courtesy of a cacophony of flowers and entwined foliage, every aspect of which has been superbly imagined and skilfully stitched to life.

One of the wonder points in this project that really caught our eye was the glint of gold metallic threads.

Brenda has strategically added the ever-so-slightest touches of gold highlights throughout the cushion to superb effect. 

This aspect of the project alone showcases the work of a great artist – it’s the perfect mix of adding a dash of modernism to elevate the beauty of the traditional.

Then there are the tiniest of Miyuki seed beads dotted throughout to elevate the texture and finish even further.

We can’t decide which is more enjoyable, the journey of stitching every element and marvelling at the processes Brenda guides you through, or a night-in cuddling up on the couch with your finished work of art.

Make Your Own Greensleeves

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Greensleeves by Brenda Sortwell is a crewel cushion with abundant flowers, foliage and sparkling highlights.

Printed Books

A Passion for Needlework 4 | The Whitehouse Daylesford

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Greensleeves includes everything* you need to re-create this pretty cushion: Fabrics (inc. with pre-printed design), trim, sewing thread, embroidery threads, beads and needles.


Greensleeves – APFN4 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. Kit does not include cushion insert.

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