Bertie the Blackbird

I’ve nicknamed my blackbird Bertie, as “my embroidered blackbird in the style of William Morris” is getting a bit of a mouthful! It was nearly Bill as I did think it could be a nod to William Morris,but he really doesn’t look like a Bill, so Bertie it is!

Bertie is a design by Nicola Jarvis which I started at Stitching in the Dales, a three day embroidery retreat organised by Grassington Embroiderers GuildΒ  where Nicola was our tutor. She does lots of other beautiful designs, mainly of birds, in either silk thread or crewel work, so do follow the link if you are interested.

During the retreat Nicola started me on the various sections, moving me onto the next one once I was happy I knew what I was doing. Once home I decided to complete each section in the order of the instruction booklet. This is where I was when I last showed you Bertie just after I got home…Blackbird Embroidery by Nicola Jarvis

Next area to stitch was the ‘floral detail across upper back’, otherwise known as the twirly bits below his ruff! These are stitched with split stitch which doesn’t give as dense a coverage as satin stitch (or it doesn’t when I do it anyway!) but I rather like that effect.Blackbird by Nicola Jarvis

Once the twirly bits were done tiny seeding stitches were used in between the shapes. Nicola used that dreaded word when describing seeding, random, she did laugh when I mentioned that I hate that word, like I struggle with the concept. She had a student once who was a mathematician by profession, he declared that there was nothing in embroidery that was technically random as every stitch is carefully placed. I agree! Anyway, I managed a bit of random seeding stitches. I was meant to use a dark grey DMC thread but I couldn’t see anywhere in the instructions where I could use the rest of my black sparkly thread, so I used that instead, it’s just ever so slightly sparkly!Blackbird by Nicola Jarvis

The next area for me to complete is the large black leaf area in the middle. I stitched the satin stitch in class and I’m pretty pleased with the effect. Having checked the instructions I’ve realised I now need to turn it into “Laid work with Bayeaux stitch”, which basically means threads laid across the satin stitch to hold them in place with tiny holding stitches along too.

At the moment it almost looks like I’m nearly there, but there is actually still alot of work to do, once I’ve filled all the shapes in there is then lots of couching and edge stitching so I think it will be a little while before Bertie is fully fledged!Blackbird by Nicola Jarvis


About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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30 Responses to Bertie the Blackbird

  1. claire93 says:

    Bertie is looking like a very handsome bird!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This Nana Stitches says:

    This is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary says:

    Bertie is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. katechiconi says:

    Good grief! Who knew there were so many embroidery stitches in the world… But it’s a good thing, because he’s looking very beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate says:

    Bertie is so pretty! You’re doing a great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emma says:

    Bertie is looking amazing! You are doing a great job on him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kathyreeves says:

    Bertie is the perfect name for him! You are doing a great job with all those new stitches. Who knew one bird needed so many?!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. teamwilsun says:

    Bertie is so handsome! Your embroidery is always so rich and gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. tialys says:

    He does look like he’s nearly finished – but what do I know? Going to be gorgeous as he already is.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gail says:

    Bertie’s details really make him come to life! Lovely project!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. CathieJ says:

    Bertie is beautiful. I am a mathematician also and I hate “random”. I much prefer symmetric and orderly. I would spend a long time placing those “random” stitches just as I spend a lot of time with “scrappy” projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Catherine says:

    Bertie is coming along very nicely! You’ve made some great progress and I love your idea of the slightly sparkly thread for the seeding Stitches. I think we all struggle with the random nature of seeding Stitches! Our belongings have finally arrived so I may soon be stitching one of her birds too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. rosejasm says:

    Enjoying following your progress, embroidery is tricky – Bertie is coming on well


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