What Are You Stitching?

10th April 2020

Another favourite subject for many stitchers is the animal kingdom. We’re consistently amazed at how beautiful the stitched animal portraits are that our readers send in. Each and every one of these projects displays such character and personality. Through each piece you can clearly see how much the stitcher has loved their subject,

Sue Cork | Endangered Macaw

My design of the macaw will be part of a larger piece for exhibition on the theme ‘local authors’ for the East Midlands Region of the Embroiderer’s Guild in the UK. 

It is embroidered on a silk mix fabric in DMC and Anchor stranded cottons.’

‘I have chosen to focus on Sir David Attenborough who grew up in Leicester, so a collage featuring endangered species, natural history, climate change, plastics etc. will represent this wonderful man, his life, campaigns and interests.

I really enjoy needle painting birds and animals as the texture of the stitches represents fur and feathers so well!’

Your interpretation of this majestic bird is wonderful, Sue. I’m sure if Sir David Attenborough were to see it, he’d be as impressed as we are.

Roma Crowhurst | Chimp by Jenny McWhinney

‘Last year I did a workshop with Jenny McWhinney. We cruised on a houseboat with Ron McWhinney as our captain.

For four days we stitched and talked and ate and laughed and ate some more.’

‘Twelve ladies, one tutor and one captain, drifting down the river. How perfect is that? I worked on Jenny’s chimp and this is how he turned out. I really love him, and he was a pleasure to stitch.’

We love him too, Roma! Your trip sounds absolutely idyllic– the perfect way to spend four days. For anyone interested in going on a river cruise with Ron & Jenny McWhinney, you can contact them via their website HERE.

Sandie Bero | Birds

‘I started doing needle paint embroidery two years ago as a way of dealing with chronic pain. I found that the focus required to blend the colours and shades into a picture keeps my mind off the pain.’

‘Then later, it became my grief therapy as my dad passed away and mom has begun a slow decline into dementia.

Transferring the pattern to fabric, planning what colours to use and then watching it take shape to become a thing of beauty is so comforting.

While some of them are just pretty pictures that I wanted to put to embroidery, many have special meaning as they remind me of God’s consistent, loving care for me even when life is hard.’

When life sends so much your way, it is wonderful to know that you’ve got your needlework to help you through. I am sure many of our readers can relate to your experience, Sandie. You’re never alone.

Elza Bester | Elza’s Embroidery

‘Here are a few photos of projects I finished this past year. The first is of a painting by my friend Roby Baer PSA. She entered it for the 2016 annual California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. Low and behold, Roby won the contest with this painting.’

‘The minute I saw it, I knew I wanted to embroider it and Roby was so kind to give me permission. The painting is called On Point and is of a ring neck pheasant with a Brittany Spaniel gun dog.’

‘The second picture is a crested barbet, a local indigenous bird.’

Thank you for sending in pictures of your exquisite embroidery, Elza. The moment has been captured so perfectly in your work and I’m sure your friend must be very pleased in how well you’ve reproduced her painting.

Marianne Fishman | The Floss Box

‘I started learning crewelwork in November 2017. I had to step back from my business as an interior designer due to some serious medical issues and found myself with a lot of time on my hands.

I decided to learn something new rather than focus on what I wasn’t able to do, so I began hunting around the internet for ideas.

I had used beautiful crewel fabrics in my job and wondered if I could learn to do it myself. A few clicks later brought me to Etsy and my new hobby began.’

‘I ordered my first kit from The Floss Box and was surprised at the result of my first try at crewel. The kit was of an adorable fox and I loved the bushy tail that I stitched with turkey stitch, although it did make me want to pull out my hair!

I watched tutorials on YouTube, read posts online and referred to several books. A friend who is a very talented needlepoint stitcher gave me this advice:

‘If you are going to stitch, you will need to be able to unpick and do it over when something doesn’t come out right. Otherwise you won’t be happy with the results.’

So, I learned how to do turkey stitch and bullion knots, and more.

I still have so much to learn but I enjoy each new stitch I work. I never thought that looking for a way to fill my time would be so inspiring to my outlook and bring so much joy to my days.’

We’re so glad you discovered needlework Marianne and welcome to the stitching community! Your friend’s advice was excellent. We’ve all spent many hours unpicking, just to make sure things are right. Keep sending in your pictures, Marianne, as we would love to see your progress.

Have you recently completed any animal portraits? Or even human portraits? Whatever it is you’re stitching, we’d love to see it so email us at news@inspirationsstudios.com with photos and a story about your stitching journey.

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