Strawberry Still Life by Margaret Light

30th June 2023

Giovanna Garzoni is a name you may have never heard before, but thanks to Margaret Light and her latest book ‘A Fine Tradition 2’, that is about to change.

In this week’s adventure, Margaret is taking us to Italy where in 1662 Giovanna Garzoni was commissioned to paint a series of fruit still life paintings for the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

This was a significant moment in history as female painters at that time were rare and someone with the talent of Giovanna even more so. In fact, she is credited as one of the first women to work in the still life genre.

Having discovered the work of Giovanna Garzoni and her remarkable still life paintings, Margaret drew inspiration for what would become her own homage to Giovanna in the form of luscious red strawberries spilling out from a blue and white bowl, stitched on a striped fabric.

Strawberry Still Life from A Fine Tradition 2 is a texturally rich piece achieved through the use of silk perlé threads worked using corded detached blanket stitch to create wonderful needlelace elements.

Needlelace is akin to creating small pieces of your own fabric, which for this design are then used to form the outer skin of the strawberries.

Some of the berries feature felt padding to add dimensional interest, as does the bowl itself, which is an appliqué element worked onto silk broadcloth, a very finely woven fabric.

Special mention for the strawberry sepals (or calyces) that are formed by stitching needlewoven bars that are only attached to the ground fabric at one end, allowing you to shape and bend the sepal into any position you like, then tack in place. Clever!

It is also worth noting that the fabric featuring the lovely neutral stripes adds yet another layer of interest, although it can be problematic to source.

Luckily our amazing kit team solved the problem by arranging to have our own batch of fabric printed to perfectly match the colour in the original piece Margaret used

All in all, this is a wonderful celebration of a historic trail blazer married with a modern-day needlework artisan who has created a stunning piece that is a pleasure to behold.

Make Your Own Strawberry Still Life

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Strawberry Still Life by Margaret Light is an embellished blue and white bowl overflowing with strawberries worked with needlelace.

Printed Books

A Fine Tradition 2

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Strawberry Still Life includes everything* you need to re-create this luscious still life: Fabrics (inc. with pre-printed design), wool felts, sewing threads, embroidery threads and needles. 


Strawberry Still Life – AFT2 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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