Starlight by Taetia McEwen

18th September 2020

‘Starlight, Starbright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.’

The gentle, lyrical sound of a nursery rhyme at bedtime is one that has been heard by countless children over centuries. These simple verses, known to so many and passed down by parents, grandparents, carers and siblings, have been a part of childhood since at least the eighteenth century.

It is really fascinating to read about the meaning of nursery rhymes. Because of their oral transmission, it is difficult to confirm the veracity of any of the stories. Some are definitely apocryphal; others seem to be based in fact. What is known is that nursery rhymes, in a manner which belies their simplicity, often carried seditious, critical or darker meanings.

During a time when criticism of royalty and authority could have grave consequences, encoding discontent into a simple rhyme for children was one of the few ways such feelings could be expressed.

Perhaps fortunately, children then and children today are rarely told the actual meanings of nursery rhymes. However, there really is no need, as the benefit of nursery rhymes lies not in their interpretation. Rather, it is the simple tune, memorable words and repetition that delights the heart of children and adults alike. 

More importantly, singing of rhymes together helps create a bond between child and adult. Child development experts have also found that the rhyme and music help aid the mental development of young children as well as increasing their spatial reasoning.

Indeed, the structure and wording of most nursery rhymes fits with the psychologically determined ‘language’ called ‘motherese’ – a simplified version of language spoken with plenty of repetition and a gentle, reassuring lilt, that provides enormous evolutionary value in terms of security, understanding and emotional bonding.

Drawing on the famous nursery rhyme, needlework designer Taetia McEwen has created ‘Starlight’, a gorgeous lampshade featuring a series of adorable animals sitting around the base, all gazing in wonder and delight at the sparkling stars above them.

Their fairytale world is inhabited by tiny insects, perfectly formed toadstools and a cornucopia of delicate flowers providing shelter for the inhabitants of this dreamy embroidered piece.

Starlight is the latest release in our Handpicked series, available as a printed pattern, digital pattern as well as a Ready-to-Stitch Kit and is a companion project to ‘Sunbeams’ featured in Inspirations issue #107.

(L) ‘Sunbeams’ and (R) Handpicked Project ‘Starlight’

In Taetia’s wonderfully artistic style, she employs a wide range of different stitches, materials and threads, resulting in a fascinating combination of textures which continually catch the eye. From beads to sequins, silky satin-stitch petals to perfect bullion clovers, Starlight is as much a joy to stitch as it is to admire afterwards.

Although this magnificent project is perfect to enjoy in the daylight, it truly comes into its own when the lights are low and the lamp is switched on.

Any child will be mesmerised by the glitter of Starlight as it appears through the eyelet stars.

We are sure children will find just the comfort required, what with the soft light, the gorgeous animals, the sparkling highlights and the gentle nursery rhyme you sing to them, to help them forget about the darkness outside, and drift into a peaceful, dream-filled sleep.

Make Your Own Starlight

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Starlight by Taetia McEwen from our Handpicked range is an enchanting lampshade with garden friends wishing on the first star.

Digital Patterns

Starlight – HP Digital

Printed Patterns

Starlight – HP Print

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Starlight includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful scene: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, wire, feathers, embroidery threads, ribbons, beads, sequins and needles. 


Starlight – HP Kit

Due to popular demand Starlight 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 4-6 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 patterns.

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