Rose & Honeybee by Merrilyn Whittle
19th November 2021
A bee is a bee, right? Well, it turns out, not so much! Although most of us may recognise perhaps one or two different kinds of bees, the world of these important and fascinating creatures is vast. The honeybee, which is essential for pollination of crops and the survival of the agricultural industry, is just one species, albeit one we simply couldn’t live without.
Around the world, there are over 20,000 different known species of bee.
Only 8 of those species are honeybees, and of those, only a couple have been domesticated to ensure that crops and orchards are pollinated. Honeybees aren’t just prized for the work they do – as their name suggests, they also produce honey as well as beeswax, which has been used throughout history for candles, soap and various cosmetics.
In recent times, there has been growing awareness of the plight of bees as they battle to survive in altered environments and climates. These wonderful creatures live very close to humans and are vitally important to us, so it is essential that we honour and protect them so they can continue to do their work.
Merrilyn Whittle has chosen to honour the honeybee in her latest project that you can enjoy in Inspirations issue #112. Rose and Honeybee is a sparkling embroidery set comprising a needlebook and scissor fob. It is decorated with a brilliant design of a rose with a honeybee at the centre.
The needlebook displays more bees on each corner in a satisfyingly symmetrical pattern. However, rather than embroidered in thread, this wonderful set is worked using Japanese-style beading techniques to give the finished piece a texture that is completely unique.
For anyone unsure about trying a project incorporating beading, Merrilyn gives very clear instructions on how to work with beads in the traditional Japanese way.
Once you have mastered the technique, you’ll find the process precise and meditative, and the results will speak for themselves.
There are several different methods involved in this project: the Needle-Koma method, the Line of Held Thread technique and the Scatter Effect Singles technique. Each gives a very different effect, but by bringing all three together you can successfully complete this lovely design and create a needlebook and fob to be shown off with pride.
As you stitch Rose and Honeybee, perhaps you can contemplate the busy little creatures who have inspired this project, taking a moment to thank them for the work that they do. The industriousness that they show in their everyday work can inspire you to mimic their approach, as you carefully work the beaded design, moving step by tiny step to finally complete the whole.
Make Your Own Rose & Honeybee
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Rose & Honeybee by Merrilyn Whittle is a handy needlebook and coordinating scissor fob decorated with Japanese-style bead embroidery.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Rose & Honeybee includes everything* you need to re-create these sweet accessories: Fabrics (including with pre-printed design), wadding, interfacing, wool flannel, fibre-fill, embroidery thread, sewing threads, beads 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.