Pretty in Pink by Trish Burr

19th March 2021

If you live along the eastern coast of Australia, anywhere from Rockhampton in Queensland all the way through to some of the south-eastern parts of South Australia, you might have been lucky enough to spot the brilliantly coloured feathers of the rose robin (Petroica rosea). 

This gorgeous little bird, although apparently very similar to its European counterpart, is actually from a different family altogether; one which is unique to Australia.

The stunning pink plumage of the rose robin is quite similar in some ways to the pink robin, another bird of the same Petroica genus.

Both of these little characters are round, puffy and brightly coloured, but the rose robin has a distinct white underbelly which sets off his brilliant pink chest beautifully.

If you have been fortunate enough to see one, it is highly likely this tiny bird was on the move. While looking for their favourite meal of insects or spiders they are almost constantly flitting back and forth, only occasionally settling and rarely returning to the same branch between sorties.

They normally forage in the tops of the trees, although occasionally they might spot a tasty morsel on the ground and venture down to catch it.

But they’re busy little creatures, so if you’re keen to watch them, a bit of patience may be required.

Of course, as embroiderers, as charmed as many of us might be by the acrobatic antics of the rose robin, it is probably accurate to say that what captures our imagination most of all is his colour. To see such vivid pink in nature is always a joy and is one that lends itself perfectly to being captured in needle and thread.

What better way to capture it than to render the rose robin in threadpainting? Of course, when you think of beautifully threadpainted birds, you immediately think of Trish Burr, so it seems totally fitting that Pretty in Pink from Inspirations issue #109 has been designed by that very artist herself. This exquisite project balances the glorious pink of the robin’s breast with a magnificent magenta-pink magnolia bloom.

It is almost as if these two wonders of nature were made to be together.

In order to achieve perfect accuracy and to create the painterly effect that Trish does so well, she elects to use almost 50 different shades of stranded cotton. In this way, she captures every tonal variation in the robin and his plumage, as well as in the magnolia petals and buds.

It might seem intimidating to start out with that many colours, but once you get going and find the flow of the stitching, you’ll start to enjoy the effect given by the subtle changes of colour. And the finished project will speak for itself. We can almost guarantee that anyone who sees this work of art will marvel at just how realistic it is.

More than many other embroidery technique, threadpainting has a meditative quality achieved by the combination of selecting the colours and laying each stitch to emulate the varied textures of the subject matter.

There really isn’t a better technique for honouring the magnificence of nature. You can take the time to really see and understand the rose robin and his colourful perch whilst you proceed to create something beautiful.

Make Your Own Pretty in Pink

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Pretty in Pink by Trish Burr is an adorable Australian rose robin resting on a splendid magnolia depicted in threadpainting.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 109

Digital Patterns

Pretty in Pink – i109 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Pretty in Pink includes everything* you need to re-create this charming scene: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needle.


Pretty in Pink – i109 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 magazine/digital pattern.

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