Window of the Blue Dragonflies by Alison Cole

18th March 2022

Alison Cole has been designing projects for Inspirations magazine for many years. Every time a new project arrives, we are taken aback by its beauty, detail and creativity. Alison, who hails from Invermay, near Ballarat in Victoria, Australia has been embroidering for over 30 years and over the period, her work has gone from strength to strength.

Alison has undertaken so many courses and been awarded so many prestigious prizes in her years of stitching, there are almost too many to count. All of these attest to the incredible design talents and abilities that she possesses. She has also published a number of books on goldwork and stumpwork, and has continued to teach classes all over Australia, the world and online throughout.

Whatever words we try to formulate to describe Alison Cole’s latest project in Inspirations issue #113, we barely come close to representing how stunning it is.

Window of the Blue Dragonflies is a stumpwork masterpiece, stitched on black fabric and using a rich array of colours, textures and stitches. Shaped like an arched window as you might find in a church or country home, the project includes Tudor style flowers framed by four sparkling dragonflies with gossamer wings and long, trailing abdomens.

Window of the Blue Dragonflies combines traditional goldwork techniques, such as chipping and couching, with glorious stumpwork elements.

The petals of the pansies and the wings of the dragonflies are stitched as slips and sit proud of the background. The fluffy thistle bloom is accentuated by the fine gold highlight on the stems and leaves. And right in the middle is a tiny ladybird, its wings just opening as if it is about to take flight and find its way home.

In order to get the most pleasure out of working Window of the Blue Dragonflies, Alison recommends that you use a hoop for all of your embroidery and see that your fabric is always pulled drum tight before you start stitching. This will ensure that your fabric doesn’t pucker and that your couched threads remain flat and smooth. 

The slips are worked individually using a small hoop and only cut out once they are all complete and you are ready to attach them to the main project. This ensures they retain their perfect shape right up until the moment the entire picture comes together.

There is so much pleasure to be gained from working Alison’s designs. The process of forming tiny stitches and attaching all the elements including beads, slips, paillettes and gold brings immense joy.

It is the kind of project you can sit down at first thing in the morning, and when you look up again, you realise the day has passed and evening is setting in.

Getting lost in the flow of this project is so easy to do that the stress of the rest of the world just falls away.

Window of the Blue Dragonflies offers you that stitching dream, guaranteed to bring you flow both during the process, and in the years afterwards as you admire it on your wall.

Make Your Own Window of the Blue Dragonflies

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Window of the Blue Dragonflies by Alison Cole is a superb stumpwork panel featuring a rose, honeysuckle, thistle and pansy surrounded by dragonflies.

Printed Magazines

Inspirations Issue 113

Digital Patterns

Window of the Blue Dragonflies – i113 Digital

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Window of the Blue Dragonflies includes everything* you need to re-create this elegant panel: Fabrics (unprinted), felt, fusible webbing, wires, embroidery threads, paillettes and needles.


Window of the Blue Dragonflies – 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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