Perfect Pansies by Carolyn Pearce

25th March 2022

In the twenty-first century, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to needlework projects. Almost any subject you can imagine can form the inspiration for a design, from modern landscapes to up-to-date quotes.

We embrace these developments and we love the modern flavour that so many designers and textile artists work with today. However, traditional subjects remain.

Their longevity arises from the fact that they are universally loved and continue to inspire no matter what changes we see in the world around us.

The humble pansy is one of those subjects. Pansies have been a staple in needlework for many centuries. Their delicate shape, brilliant colours and soft texture have inspired designers since the Middle Ages and they have appeared in samplers, on printed fabrics and as the subject of countless embroidered and stitched projects ever since.

The pansy itself has been a favourite flower throughout history. The shape of the petals forms a ‘face’ that is generally made more distinct by the brilliant combinations of colours that these tiny flowers display. Golden yellows, rich purples and deep scarlets are only a few of the incredible colours common to the pansy – another trait that makes them so popular with needleworkers and embroidery designers.

Carolyn Pearce’s Perfect Pansies from A Passion For Needlework 3 | Blakiston Creamery pays homage to these beautiful, historic blooms. The striking set is stitched on a rich rust-coloured dupion silk. It is made up of three pieces: a pincushion, a scissor sheath and a tape measure, all decorated with brilliantly coloured pansies in purple and red.

Pansies are a perfect subject to practise your threadpainting skills. Because of the distinct colour changes in the petals, as well as the veins which appear naturally, you are able to achieve a remarkable likeness with your stitching. Indeed, if you have never tried threadpainting before, the pansy is the ideal design to begin with.

Each petal is a mini-project within itself, allowing you to perfect the angles and blends required for this satisfying technique.

Carolyn has even added a number of realistic folds in the petals so that the completed project will be completely lifelike.

The colour combination in Perfect Pansies is then highlighted with the addition of sparkling old gold beads around the edges of each item, and the sumptuous, beaded tail affixed to the end of the tape measure. The scissor sheath then has a delightful addition – a tiny dragonfly charm that sets off the posy of pansies. Overall, this is a luxurious project that will take pride of place in your stitching kit once completed.

While it is fun to experiment with modern designs and embrace subjects that our grandmothers would never have dreamed of, there is huge comfort in taking up a project that holds with the tradition of needlework. It is a way of continuing the line of history through the generations of needleworkers before us, and projects like Perfect Pansies are sure to resist changes in fashion and remain loved for many years to come.

Make Your Own Perfect Pansies

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Perfect Pansies by Carolyn Pearce is a vibrant set of needlework accessories.

Printed Books

A Passion for Needlework 3 | Blakiston Creamery

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Perfect Pansies includes everything* you need to re-create this stunning set of accessories: Fabric (unprinted), wadding, ultra fleece, interlining, interfacings, blanketing, template plastic, acetate, nylon thread, charms, tape measure, embroidery and beading threads, beads and needles.


Perfect Pansies – APFN3 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.

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