O, Tannenbaum by Trish Burr

30th October 2020

When you’re asked to think about Christmas, what comes to mind? Is it family dinners with all the trimmings? Is it the sparkling Christmas tree surrounded by gifts? Or is it the sound of Christmas carols emanating from every shop, radio and TV, evoking that wonderful feeling so unique to the season?

Music has an amazing ability to stimulate memory and emotion which could be one of the reasons why Christmas carols are so popular and have such a strong association with the season.

The word ‘carol’ refers to a song of praise and joy.

As Christmas became universally celebrated in many parts of the world, singing soon became associated with the celebration. It is believed that the first Christmas carol was called ‘Angel’s Hymn’ and was sung at a Christmas service in Rome in 129AD.

The style of carols we enjoy today started to develop between the 14th and 16th Centuries, with the sentimental Victorians granting us the wonderful array of carols we still sing each and every year.

Indeed, the much-loved carol service was instigated by Edward White Benson in Truro in 1880. Around the same time, the tradition of roaming carol singers became widespread and the singing of Christmas carols became a fundamental part of the Christmas celebrations.

Today, we enjoy a wide range of carols, from the traditional ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman’, purportedly originating in the Middle Ages, through to the jolly ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ first performed by Brenda Lee in 1958.

We’ve also adopted carols from other parts of the world, with ‘O Tannenbaum’ coming from Germany and sung in English as ‘O Christmas Tree’.

O Tannenbaum was originally not a Christmas song at all. Derived from a traditional German folk song, it referred to the constancy of the evergreen fir tree in contrast to an unfaithful lover. However, when the fir tree became an iconic symbol of Christmas, the song developed its lasting association as a much-loved Christmas carol.

One of the joys of Christmas in the 21st Century is the merging of the traditional with the modern. We send pictures of our traditional Christmas meal to our friends via text and we set our ringtone to a 200-year-old Christmas tune just for the season.

And we embroiderers can do even more, by stitching a wonderfully modern interpretation of a traditional Christmas symbol. Trish Burr, who is known for her gorgeous take on whitework by adding perfect splashes of colour to a highly traditional technique, has created O, Tannenbaum; recalling the beloved, centuries old carol in her clean, modern and truly stunning design.

Satin Stitch Dots

This striking project from Inspirations issue #108 is worked using satin stitch, split stitch, trellis couching and subtly shaded long and short stitch. Trish has blended delicate shades of blue with brilliant whites and festive golds, creating a glorious Christmas tree with echoes of the Scandinavian tradition throughout.

The branches are formed from sinuous shapes, flowers, hearts and two elegant birds in perfect symmetry, topped with a Christmas star that leaves no doubt as to what this is, despite the use of colours and motifs not traditionally associated with Christmas.

As you work this project, you can hear the tune in your mind and start to sense the feeling of Christmas with each and every stitch.

Trish’s designs are always popular and each one she produces rapidly becomes a firm favourite. O, Tannenbaum is guaranteed to join that ‘tradition’.

Put on some Christmas carols in the background as you stitch this glorious piece and once finished may O, Tannenbaum bring joy and peace to you and your household each and every time you put it on display to celebrate the magnificent time of year that is Christmas.

Make Your Own | O, Tannenbaum

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

O, Tannenbaum by Trish Burr is a Scandinavian-inspired Christmas tree using an elegant palette of white, blue and gold.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 108

Digital Patterns

O, Tannenbaum – i108 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for O, Tannenbaum includes everything* you need to re-create this beautiful tree: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needle.


O, Tannenbaum – i108 Kit

Due to popular demand O, Tannenbaum kits are currently sold out. The good news is that more stock is on its way. The not so good news is that due to sourcing lead times and current delivery delays there is an expected wait of 6-8 weeks. Thank you for your patience.

*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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