The travelling Sketchbooks from Skipton Embroiderers Guild are on the move again and as our meeting is a week early this year to accommodate Christmas, I thought I’d better crack on with it!
The book I’m embroidering for this month is on the theme of garden birds, I’ve actually stitched for this book before, it was the first one I did, a little wren. There’s fewer of us doing it this time round so we’ve all got one repeat. I like doing birds so I’m happy to stitch another.
As it’s nearly Christmas I decided to stitch a robin. I had a look on Pinterest and found a basic shape I liked. I drew a simple outline on paper and cut it out. The fabric is a bit heavier than quilting cotton and coarser, I chose it because I like the snow effect from the gentle spots and the little tuft of grass the robin could stand next to. The fabric actually has hares on it but I could just get a big enough square out without cutting near the hares.
I chose a few DMC threads,both variegated and plain and started with a simple stem-stitch outline. I then just started embroidering various areas, making it up as I went along. I used feather stitch and fly stitch interspersed with lots of french knots for the red and cream areas. The head is stitched with a lazy-daisy flower with the lower half in red and the top of the head in brown, the bead for the eye just nicely went in the centre.
I used some of my stitch sample pages for ideas, which was reassuring in that I am now happy that once the stitch book is finished it will get used! I’m particularly pleased with the back of my robin, this is fly stitch embroidered very close together, I started with a basic zigzag and then filled in the triangles.
The wings are embroidered with four rows of buttonhole stitch, the tail was simple straight stitches, these were too long on their own so I couched along the thread, it still needed a bit more so I whip stitched the straight stitches together, giving a sort of lattice sffect.
I like to embellish these little embroideries with a few beads, so I stitched some brown ones to the wings. I wanted to add some red ones too but I couldn’t work out where to place them, then I dropped three on the area by accident and the random effect just worked, so they were stitched where they landed!
I really like doing these little embroideries, it does make me think outside the box as I have to think up a design, rather than just seeing a pattern and stitching it. They only take a couple of evening maximum, I keep thinking I ought to stitch two, one for me and one for the books, I just never quite get round to it! Maybe next year…