Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Winter Stitches


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.


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Thank you for your congratulations and well wishes for my sister, Katy - so kind of you. 


52 comments:

  1. Oh Gillian, I think I just love you! What sweet little stitches, you really are the bees knees! :) x

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  2. It's gorgeous Gillian ... I especially love the seedheads ... perfect winter motifs ... Bee xx

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  3. They look great - love the toadstools. I can't wait to see spring!
    Caz xx

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  4. So lovely, I can't wait to see the next two!

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  5. Oh it's wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I love the pale wintry whiteness of it, the colours are perfect and it's beautifully made. The seedheads are fantastic, and I really like the snowdrops and the footprints. So clever, you have a definite talent for this. Looking forward to spring! CJ xx

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  6. Your perseverance has paid off--it is beautiful!!
    Marion x

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  7. I do like how you've kept just enough elements to make the connection between the scenes and my favourite part is the seed heads too. How about a lamb for spring? And there have to be roses for summer or sunflowers. And bees. x

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  8. How pretty! I love the change of seasons. Can't wait to see your spring and summer.

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  9. These are lovely and I look forward to seeing the completed set as you go.

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  10. I can see all four of them now all mounted together, I love them. Jo x

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  11. Dear Gillian
    They look lovely - the seedheads have worked beautifully. I'm looking forward to seeing the next two in the set as well. Congratulations!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  12. You're very clever. They are brilliant. Looking forward to seeing Spring. X

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  13. Beautiful. You did a lovely job with both. I especially like the ladybugs.

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  14. Love it Gillian..the seed heads are my favourite too! I can not wait to see Spring. S xo

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  15. Oh the seed heads are my favorite too. I love the two of them together. You are really good at this and I think you should sell the designs as PDF's

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  16. Hey Gillian,

    Love, love, love it. Especially the seed heads and the ladybird. You clever thing you. I can't wait to see Spring.

    Leanne xx

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  17. Love this Gillian, it's so pretty and delicate...gorgeous.
    Marianne x

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  18. Oh, so lovely Gillian. Just think, a embroidery pattern designer in the making. Looking forward to your spring one.Take care.

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  19. Love it - the seedheads are gorgeous. Can't wait to see the spring edition! X

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  20. Gillian, is there no end to your talents? Just beautiful. And I love th repeating ladybird motif. For summer, how about a globetrotter allium in vibrant bloom, to echo the seed pods? Whatever you choose I'm sure it will look lovely... x

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  21. it is beautiful, but somehow takes on a whole other dimension when you see the two together. These are lovely.

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  22. You've really captured the seasons so far Gillian. I'm so looking forward to seeing your work for Spring and Summer. I'm sure they'll look wonderful together as a set.

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  23. I love the seedheads and the grape hyacinth. Your work is always so neat.
    Lisa x

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  24. Oh they're both beautiful! Now you have to do spring and summer :-D x

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  25. A wonderful project! I do love the winter one, the tree, the snowdrops, and yes, awesome seed heads! This will be a beautiful grouping of embroidery - I stitched a cherry blossom tree for a friend, you might consider adding something similar to your spring design? Details are here: http://chrissiecrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/gifts-for-teachers.html
    Can't wait to see more of your lovely stitching! Chrissie x

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  26. Oh my gosh, they're glorious! Both individually too! Congrats you clever thing. X

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  27. They are both beautiful, and I love them together. I look forward to seeing what the spring one will look like. The ladybugs add a really sweet touch!

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  28. Ooooooh you have done a lovely job of it Gillian - captured the look perfectly - a lovely plan to have the four seasons pieces displayed together. I love it! Joy xo

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  29. Well done you - they are absolutely charming. I particularly like the seed heads and snowdrops and can't wait to see the Spring one. x

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  30. These are so sweet, Gillian!! Can't wait to see the other two.

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  31. These are absolutely beautiful, Gillian! Can't wait to see the other two seasons.
    Jacqui xx

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  32. They are both so lovely. Simple beauty. I can't wait to see the other two - it sounds like you have great ideas! x

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  33. They are lovely and the next will make a cohesive set which adds to their appeal. I love the colours and motifs you have chosen to represent the seasons, will there be bees in Summer?

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  34. It's wonderful! I'm so glad you like it now, it's beautiful and all four together are going to look glorious. I can imagine that the more muted colours were less fun to stitch but so worth it to get the final effect. I've been wanting to have a go at embroidering something for ages and this idea is so good I really want to try it. I don't suppose you're thinking of making a pattern of them that a eager novice like me could buy are you??

    S x

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  35. Lovely stitching Gillian and they're going to look very good as a group. Looking forward to seeing the other seasons. Have a good week.
    Jane x

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  36. They are really lovely, your stitching is beautiful!

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  37. Ohhhh.....these two are so beautiful togetehr. You are a very clever lady x

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  38. These are really beautiful Gillian. Simple and calming. I can't wait to see the Spring one! The snowdrops are my favorite part. We just got a fresh dusting of snow here last night, so its still Wintry here - its not too late!

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  39. Your new embroidery is lovely Gillian, and I really think that you have captured that wintery cold feel very well! It looks great with Autumn and will be lovely as part of your series for all the seasons. I like the way that you have carried some elements forward with the tree and ladybugs and so on. Great job! xx

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  40. I love it's simplicity. It is gorgeous x

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  41. The ladybug will like to be in Spring, too, I think...could the tree have pink and white blossoms? Will daffodils and tulips and grape hyacinths appear too? It will be fun to see what blooms for you, Gillian :) I love your four seasons project! xx

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  42. Absolutely gorgeous! Love how they look together. x

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  43. Gillian this is really gorgeous and I must say they look so pretty together. I love this idea and I think I might just have to copy it one day when I find myself with a little more time! Well done you, I absolutely LOVE it and can't wait to see Spring, oh the endless options. Have fun xoxo

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  44. I adore these!! It is a great idea and indeed they look much better together. I have all these Molly makes mags that I never seem to be doing anything from but I think you may have just inspired me. thanks!!
    Pati xx

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  45. I love this idea. I have been looking at cross stitch patterns for the very same reason. I can't wait to see your spring and summer stitches! :)

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  46. Oh, it is absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to see the two others and all together at last.

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  47. These are beautiful. I love all the small details. I must get back to my sewing but it's hard this time of the year when there is so much work to do in the garden and on my allotment. I would love to do some hoops inspired by my allotment. Maybe I need to sketch out some ideas......Have a lovely week and I look forward to seeing your Spring inspired hoop.

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  48. I love these! They are so pretty and capture each season perfectly. I look forward to seeing the Spring one. I really must do some embroidery, it is so lovely to look at.

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  49. it's lovely, I LOVE the seed heads! my favourite. Heather x

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