Hello Possum! by Jenny McWhinney
2nd April 2021
If you’ve ever considered embroidering a blanket for a new child or grandchild, you’ve probably already seen the fantastic array of designs created by Australian needlework artist Jenny McWhinney.
Jenny’s work is loved for so many reasons, perhaps most notably due to her uncanny ability to craft the most adorable, realistic yet fun loving and sometimes even mischievous looking characters.
Uniquely, their realism is infused with a fantastical whimsy which makes it impossible not to fall in love.
Jenny has been a longstanding contributor to Inspirations, and over the years has designed everything from blankets to cushions, tote bags to stitching accessories. But no matter what she produces, Jenny is first and foremost an artist with a keen artist’s eye for capturing character and personality.
The fact that she then translates that art into embroidery is something we are so grateful for, as it means we all have the opportunity to reproduce her amazing work.
Hello Possum! is the latest in Jenny’s fabulous oeuvre. In fact, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that there probably isn’t a cuter cot blanket design available. Jenny’s chubby, cheeky little possum is swinging happily from a eucalyptus branch, her little paws out in an expression of glee.
With her tiny toes splayed, she immediately reminds us of a happy baby, simply enjoying the pleasure of being alive.
The colour tones that Jenny has selected for this blanket are perfectly complimentary. The brilliance of the flowering gum, picked out in magenta and candy pink, works absolutely perfectly with the dusty green characteristic of so many eucalyptus trees.
The whole design is then highlighted by the soft green backing of the blanket, that frames the little possum and her natural playground perfectly. With the colour combination and the subtle design, this blanket would be just as ideal for a baby boy as it would for a baby girl.
One of the many things we love about Jenny is that she never shirks on details. That isn’t just true in her designs, as is evidenced by the beautiful, bright eyes and the subtle shading of the possum’s fur. Jenny’s eye for detail even extends into the construction of the project itself.
As a part of the overall project, a pattern for a tote bag is included. Constructed from the same material as the backing and sporting a hand embroidered pocket picking out the colours from the blanket, the tote joyfully exclaims, ‘G’Day!’ in the true, Australian way.
The wonderful thing about the tote is that it ensures this gift will be enjoyed for years to come. When baby is small, the blanket is perfect to keep them toasty warm in her cot. When it isn’t being used, the blanket folds up and fits perfectly for safekeeping in the tote. As baby gets older, the blanket will undoubtedly remain a favourite comfort, but the bag will soon transform into a useful library bag, all ready for baby’s first day of school.
Even if there isn’t a new arrival on the horizon, this is the perfect heirloom project to make right away.
We know plenty of embroiderers who dream of grandchildren and in anticipation, are busy stitching blankets in the hope that one day they might arrive.
Whether they do or not, the joy that will be gained out of embroidering this adorable little possum will make the whole project worthwhile. In fact, we could go so far as to suggest that it might even be difficult to give away… adorable knee blanket anyone?
Make Your Own Hello Possum!
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Hello Possum! by Jenny McWhinney is a cuddly blanket with a cute possum amongst gum blossoms and a matching carry bag.
Inspirations Issue 109
Hello Possum! – i109 Digital
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Hello Possum! includes everything* you need to re-create this adorable blanket and bag: Fabrics** (unprinted), stabiliser, wool felt, buttons, satin cord, beads, sewing threads, embroidery threads** 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 magazine/digital pattern.
**Please Note: In the kit, a substitution has been made for the backing fabric and the Primke stranded cotton (35 geranium) has been replaced with House of Embroidery Flame M43C.