Back in October last year, I showed you an autumnal themed embroidery I'd sewn, called Autumn Stitches. Your comments were just lovely and a few of you suggested I do one for each season. That thought lodged itself in my head and refused to budge, and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to make three more of these seasonal scenes.
So here is my winter version. I know, it's spring now. I'm late. It took a while. Truth be told, I didn't enjoy this very much until it was almost finished, and then I didn't want it to end. The pale palate of colours I'd chosen felt bare and I was worried it would look too naive, too simplistic. And it was actually quite challenging thinking of natural wintry motifs and imagery that were not Christmasy. Holly, snow, snowflakes and robins were ruled out for this reason. Fir trees and reindeer felt too Scandinavian. I wanted the quiet, icy cold of a February morning; pale, pastel skies, bare branches, a covering of frost over branches and ground, and the glimmer of spring coming with greenery showing here and there. You'll be pleased to know I like it now.
Elements of the design - the tree, ladybird and toadstools - are from an old edition of Mollie Makes, issue twenty two. Everything else - the sky, snowdrops, footprints and seed heads - are mine. I draw the images onto the linen freehand with a fading pen, and then stitch over the top. Mostly this works. Sometimes it doesn't.
The seed heads are my favourite part. What I love most about this embroidery is the way it feels when you run your fingers over it - the little prickles of the french knots, the smooth bumps of the satin stitch, the braille-like quality of the sunset - it wants to be touched.
It's framed in it's hoop, easy and simple. I trimmed the fabric to a little larger than the hoop, added a (messy) running stitch, and pulled it tight.
So here it is, my winter scene.
I like it on it's own, but I like it much more displayed alongside the autumn scene. And I think these hoops will work better together, rather than as individual images.
I am already excited to start the spring embroidery. The tree will be full of buds and blossom, the ground covered in tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinths. I might even attempt a rabbit. And for summer...the tree will be bursting with layers of greenery and there will be butterflies, but that's as far as I've got. I'd love to hear any ideas for spring and summer motifs that you might have.
Thank you for your congratulations and well wishes for my sister, Katy - so kind of you.