White Rose by Jenny Adin-Christie
7th December 2018
What if we told you that you were royalty? Not because of your family lineage or your DNA, but because you can stitch? Here is a definition from the Oxford dictionary as to what it means to be royalty:
Royalty (noun): The most successful, famous, or highly regarded members of a particular group.
Does it not stand to reason that within the people group of humans here on earth, our ability to stitch is highly regarded and makes us famous!? We once heard a non-stitcher refer to the amazing talent of needlework as ‘the closest thing to actual magic’ they had ever seen.
Many of us have experienced that moment when we show a non-stitcher our needlework and get a comment like, ‘You mean you did that all by hand? It didn’t come from a shop, or was made using a machine?’ Needlework is indeed the work of royal people.
This week we’re honoured to be featuring a project not only by someone who is royalty among royalty, but who has also stitched a project or two for the real royals. We’re talking Mr & Mrs Windsor from Buckingham Palace royals.
Working in collaboration with the Royal School of Needlework, Jenny has been privileged to work on projects for the royal family including a 100th birthday present for the Her Majesty the Queen Mother, creation of the Jubilee banner for Buckingham Palace and the embroidered lace for Catherine Middleton’s wedding dress for her marriage to Prince William.
What better way to celebrate the regal milestone of 100 issues of the world’s most beautiful needlework magazine, than by featuring a project by a needlework artisan of such calibre.
White Rose by Jenny Adin-Christie is a dainty button brooch utilising several contrasting whitework techniques to great effect. Beginning with a background of net, stitched with a delicate tracery of thread, the rose design is built up with heavily padded satin stitch petals surrounding a beaded centre edged with fine eyelets. The finished embroidery is mounted on a natural linen dome and further embellished with a border of scalloped blanket stitch bars.
Jenny was in our home town of Adelaide recently teaching at our needlework convention Beating Around the Bush, and we asked her to share with us a little of the backstory to her beautiful piece White Rose:
‘This button was designed as part of a set of five whitework buttons. I created these projects as a means to make learning whitework more achievable and appealing for students. Whitework is really an umbrella term covering a huge array of very varied techniques. This coupled with the fact that it is often very fine work and seeing white on white can be challenging, means that the subject can often be somewhat intimidating to students!’
‘My buttons were designed to allow students to take on few techniques from the whitework range and learn to use these confidently within a piece which can be completed quickly and yet make a beautiful individual design to be displayed or worn.
The designs for the buttons are actually based on my own extensive collection of buttons! The sculptured form of button design makes them an ideal source of inspiration for this highly sculptural form of embroidery. The Rose Button takes inspiration from the 19th century Irish technique of Carrickmacross, where patterns are worked by darning into the structure of machine-made net.’
‘Here the net is trapped behind silk organza to protect its delicate surface and provide a firmer base fabric onto which the contrasting bolder textures of padded satin stitch and eyelets can be worked.’
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone who would like to create their own version of the project?
‘It is really helpful to work with a plain dark cloth on your lap whilst working the net and indeed the rest of the design. This will allow you to see more clearly and therefore work more precisely. Wash your hands regularly while you’re working on it to keep the piece clean and fresh. Try sampling the net darning pattern on coarse net before moving to the superfine net used in the project.’
As we’re celebrating 100 issues of Inspirations Magazine, do you have any fond memories or stories of your involvement with the magazine over the years that you’d like to share?
‘I will never forget the first time a piece of my work appeared in the magazine…it was the rose and violet scented sachets in shadow work ‘Mementoes’ from issue #68. I was so flattered to be asked to submit these pieces and was totally overwhelmed by the beautiful way the article was presented. Inspirations is the only magazine which puts as much care and skill into the presentation of projects in publications as we designers put in to making them in the first place!’
Mementoes from Inspirations issue #68
It is always a great honour for us at Inspirations to work with Jenny, the professionalism, attention to detail and passion she puts into everything she does is remarkable – and that’s all before she’s even picked up a needle and thread! Jenny’s designs are such an inspiration to the needlework community at large, our own editor Susan O’Connor, who herself is needlework royalty, travelled to the UK recently to take one of Jenny’s classes, such is the reverent respect Jenny has earned.
Attending a Jenny Adin-Christie class is on the bucket list of most stitchers we know, and while you’re waiting for that magical opportunity to come along, here are some other ways to get your fix:
The Gawthorpe Needlecase Kit
Oh, and for a real treat, you have to check out Jenny’s project ‘Blackwell Roundel’ in our new book ‘A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII’ which includes some of Jenny’s finest work we’ve seen yet.
Make Your Own White Rose
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
White Rose by Jenny Adin-Christie is an exquisite rose button brooch using timeless whitework techniques.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for White Rose includes everything you need to re-create this stylish brooch: Fabrics (unprinted), embroidery threads, batting, beads and needles.