Thursday, 10 July 2014

Mother Nature's Woolly Book

The world around us is so beautiful. Even the tiniest details of the birds and beasts, the flowers and the colours can fill us with joy if we take the time to look.

Luckily I have had more excuses to look closely at Nature recently because we have had 3 lovely Nature Embroidery workshops at the Hertfordshire branch of the Embroiderers Guild. We were led by Trish and Viv who make the most beautiful pictures with collaged stitcheries  that include all kinds of techniques. We have been so inspired with the little embroideries, that we have made them do 3 workshops for us so far!

I have made mine into a book of course and mounted all the little samples on  lovely woolly surfaces like vintage blankets, and handmade felt. The cover was kantha stitched handmade felt made to look like moss on the forest floor and the red behind the holes reminded me of toadstools. 

Here are some of the pages.

This first one celebrates the humble little beetle. Some creepy crawlies are gorgeous! I had fun with the colours on these and learning some basic stump work.

Here is a closer look.

The background is cotton sheeting which has been scribbled with Derwent Inktense pencils which permanently dye the fabric when they are dampened and blended.

This next page is embroidered rabbits. The sample is stitched to a vintage embroidered doily and the page is made of an old wool blanket. The edging is couched hand dyed wool.

Birds next! I have to have birds on everything! The first one is canvas work with added needle felted blobs and star stitches. Shame it looks so crooked ha ha.

And this one is a drawn bird with added hand stitches on another doily. Coloured with Inktense pencils again.

It has got velvet flowers added. I love using these!

Ready for more bugs? These have grass stitched around them in hand dyed silk thread and a round border of silk and wool fibres which are held down with hand embroidery to look like lichen and moss. The bee is velvety! It took ages but he is so sweet!

Here is a closer look at the stitching!

More bugs!

Each bug has Trapunto quilting beneath it and Kantha stitching around it.

A pretty butterfly now just in case you are feeling itchy... Embroidered with variegated threads from 21st Century Yarns. My favourite!

And seed heads. I am in love with looking at seed heads! This also has snippets of vintage fabrics and lace.
It has all been stitched to a lovely soft blue wool blanket.

A little nest. With eggs! It has a real twig and teensy handmade organza flowers. This one has all sorts of bits and bobs to give it texture. See what you can spot in there.

It has been joyous making this book and doing the workshops. Trish and Viv were so generous in sharing their techniques and making the days perfectly relaxing and inspirational. And it was the perfect reminder for me to take time to look at and rejoice in the little things.


  1. This is so lovely. The inktense pencils, a favourite of mine, work brilliantly to colour the background don't they.

    1. Thanks so much Hilary! I love those pencils, they are so versatile. Thanks for visiting x

  2. So beautiful Paula - I've seen this beautiful book and it is even more delicious in real life! Thanks for sharing Paula - So looking forward to your workshop ...Jill xx

  3. What a fabulous book, so full of wonderful stitching and textures. I would have loved those workshops.

    1. Thanks so much dear Wendy. Are you coming to the FOQ? I think your email has been hacked so couldn't ask you on there.xx

  4. Aaaww Paula, thank you so very much for The lovely compliments you made about Viv and I. We are chuffed to think that we inspired you to create this true work of art. The book is absolutely fabulous and all down to your talent and creative abilities. x

  5. I particularly like the canvas worked birds, the colours work beautifully. This is a lovely project.