Spring Song by Taetia McEwen
10th December 2021
Although we would say that every embroiderer is an artist, there are some embroidery designers whose artistic skills cross the boundaries between stitching, drawing and painting. Taetia McEwen is one of those designers. Her skills in drawing and painting inform her designs and ensure that every single project she produces is a stunningly unique masterpiece.
Taetia’s latest project, which features in Inspirations issue #112, is Spring Song. This design features a gorgeous little bird perched on a sprig of blossom, singing happily while it watches over its nest.
Nestled inside are three bright blue eggs and surrounding it is a cornucopia of wildflowers including Queen Anne’s Lace, daisies, cornflowers and jasmine.
The design of Spring Song is perfectly balanced and subtly beautiful with the additional appeal of an artistic twist to set this project apart.
For anyone who enjoys a bit of mixed media in their repertoire of projects, you have the added optional extra with this design of using watercolour pencils to create a delicate shadow on the fabric before you start stitching.
The ground fabric is a soft pink silk dupion and if it so pleases you, while the fabric is on the lightbox but before you transfer the stitching lines, Taetia includes instructions on how to sketch in some blossoms, leaves and petals freehand in a range of different colours.
Once you’ve done this, you can then smudge the pencil with a moistened cotton bud so that the strong lines of your drawing disappear leaving a subtly coloured shadow on the fabric.
When you’re happy with the effect, allow the silk to dry completely, then press it with a warm iron to fix it. Next you put the fabric back on to the light box and, with a heat-soluble fabric marker, transfer the embroidery lines.
Like all of Taetia’s wonderful projects, she uses an array of different stitches, threads and embellishments to really give the full effect. A sprinkling of sequins and beads add a shimmer to the piece, just like the glimmer of moisture on the grasses on a spring morning.
The varied thickness of threads provide texture to the leaves and flowers, offering a truly lifelike effect. And the addition of unspun, dyed wool ensures that the nest is as cosy in look as in reality.
Spring Song looks just as lovely without the additional watercolour elements, so don’t feel compelled to include that step, however it isn’t often that you get to try out a different artistic technique while you’re stitching.
For those who are interested in giving it a go, don’t be afraid to try out the watercolour pencils and see what you can achieve. You never know, you might like the result so much that you become confident enough to use them in other projects. This is how art is created; by combining all kinds of techniques, skills and styles to create something really unique.
There is pleasure in the making from the beginning to the end of Spring Song. It is a project that will be enjoyed during the process and will be admired afterwards. We’re so thrilled that we have such artistic designers who contribute to Inspirations. They allow all of us to push our boundaries and create things we never imagined we’d be able to make.
Make Your Own Spring Song
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Spring Song by Taetia McEwen is a delightful spring scene of delicately shaded flowers, dainty bird and nest with three blue eggs.
Inspirations Issue 112
Spring Song – i112 Digital
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Spring Song includes everything* you need to re-create this pretty scene: Fabric (unprinted), wool felt, embroidery threads, wool staple, sewing threads, beads, sequins 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.