Sweet Eglantine by Cynthia Jackson

11th February 2022

As we know, there is a large cohort of embroiderers who also love gardening. No doubt this is thanks to the definite synergy between the two arts. Both require care and patience. Both encourage artistic experimentation. And both bring calm and tranquillity, allowing the practitioner to find their balance doing something they truly love.

As such, botanic subjects are always loved by embroiderers, particularly designs that feature flowers. When we first saw Sweet Eglantine by Cynthia Jackson from Inspirations issue #113, as we admired the beautiful embroidery, we found ourselves wondering about the name. 

The project features a delicate pink heirloom rose.

Heirloom roses are ‘old roses’ – also known as ‘antique roses’ – so called because they existed before the introduction of the first ‘modern rose’.

This was apparently a rose called ‘La France’ which was grown in 1867. Heirloom roses are known for their beautiful scent, the fact that they usually only bloom once a year and their hardiness and resistance to disease.

Rose names, particularly modern names, come from all sorts of places. They might be named after the breeder, after a Hollywood star, or simply given an interesting name that helps them stand out in the market.

Creating a new rose takes many generations of breeding, so the name becomes very important as it marks the months and years of work that has gone into the flower’s creation.

Heirloom roses, like the Eglantine featured in Cynthia’s stunning piece, often take their names from Latin words and have been known for centuries. Modern roses, whose names come from a range of sources, are competing in a busy space, with over 10,000 new roses in existence since the time ‘La France’ first bloomed.

However, as Shakespeare famously mused, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’ so perhaps our curiosity about the names is merely a distraction?

Cynthia Jackson’s lovely study of the Eglantine rose highlights its simple beauty in glorious fashion.

Cynthia is well known and loved for her designs that cleverly combine silk embroidery with goldwork. The result is a shimmering image that looks incredibly realistic due to the clever shading and skilful selection of stitches and has a gilded finish adding an antique touch.

This combination of techniques allows the embroiderer to really test their skills. There are a number of unique goldwork stitches in Sweet Eglantine that add to the effect, in particular the couching along the stems and around the petals. Cynthia also adds metal threads to silk brick stitch to create a truly unique effect.

Sweet Eglantine is a project like many that requires a bit of patience and a careful eye, but the effort it takes is worth it. The spectacular result is an image that you will never tire of looking at and will catch the light in wonderful ways.

This isn’t just a homage to a beautiful and historic flower. It is a celebration of all the wonderful things that embroidery can do.

Make Your Own Sweet Eglantine

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Sweet Eglantine by Cynthia Jackson is a graceful, soft pink rose beautifully depicted with silk and metal threads.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 113

Digital Patterns

Sweet Eglantine – i113 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kits for Sweet Eglantine include everything* you need to re-create this pretty flower: Fabric (unprinted), embroidery threads and needles.


Sweet Eglantine – i113 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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