Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Signs of spring

There have been one of two mild days around here recently. So much so that the tree in my new garden (some sort of ornamental cherry perhaps? - I'm no good with fancy garden species!) actually started to blossom at the end of January. Woah there, little too early don't ya think? End of January? Really? Well, now we're into late February and the tree is almost in full swing with its spring finery. 

I've been noticing a few other spring-like behaviours in the birds as well so far this month. There's nothing quite like being scolded by a blackbird for daring to venture down into your own garden to retrieve the washing you put out there only this morning. I've always loved the boldness of the male blackbirds. With their perky tails, serious attitude and strident calls as they let you know in no uncertain terms, that you are actually in their territory thank-you-very-much. The image of these cheeky blackbirds stuck in my mind so much, I flipped back through my latest sketchbook, knowing I had a blackbird sketch that could perhaps be turned into an embroidery. As soon as I saw the sketch my needle fingers started to twitch, and here's the result.

I like his serious expression, though it does perhaps border very slightly on grumpy! Well, it must be annoying when all these people keep walking in and out of the territory you are trying to defend mustn't it?
Extreme close-up! Bird body mostly split stitch with some stain stitch in the smaller areas.
Determined to do this the right way, I spent a good bit of time working up the sketch, and developing a border pattern that I liked. Here's a few pictures of how the design process went - I even practised my border stitches on a separate piece of fabric, determined to find a finish I liked before adding them to my final piece. The bottom picture is a re-post of one of my recent Aberfeldy holiday pictures, showing the sewing in progress (I actually finalised the border pattern in my sketchbook when I was on holiday).
Original sketchbook sketch
Idea being developed...
Border design in sketchbook
Working on the border and the lettering
Blackbird in progress on holiday, with hot choc and cake of course!
I like the way this fella came out, and I carefully noted every stitch type and colour used, with the plan that I will work this up into a full pattern. Here's to spring!

Jules x

1 comment:

  1. Hi coming over from HEN wish you'd left the worm in! That bird looks like it's met my springer spaniel!