Wednesday, 24 June 2015


I started working a beadwork sampler at the end of last year, after I finished my Magna Carta panel.

I used Shelley Cox's RSN Bead Embroidery book to work these samples with canvas work stitches. The beads are fairly random - what I had or got hold of locally. It is quite difficult locally to get hold of a nice variety of very small seed beads, the internet has loads but can be a bit bewildering until you know what you want.

The top three are the first ones I did and the bottom three the last and I think you can definitely see an improvement as I went along! The threads were just left overs that I pulled out and tried to blend. Again, some I'm quite pleased with. I had no idea about mixing bugle and seed beads before I started but it's nice to let patterns make themselves.

I have a huge problem with sampling. I can't seem to let myself go and try things at random. This gave me a pathway that I meandered down at leisure over a few months. Will have to see if that works with other techniques!!

Complete finished sampler

Rice stitch and Smyrna

Hungarian Ground variation
The Rhodes stitch is the only one in a solid colour - I had an idea of doing a Chanel inspired sample. The four corners even have pearl seed beads as an extra layer!

Rhodes stitch

Wild goose chase

Cushion stitch  

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ready to fly home.

The little crown is couched Jap thread and sequins and beads.

Adding the crown

The final sequins in the centre of the crown and he is ready to go back to Nicola. I have loved working him, and the colour and pattern are a joy to work up and see come together. Look out for him later in the year, hopefully in a fancier roost than my embroidery frame!

Ready to go!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Coming together

The rose leaves were worked after the background seeding on the wing and then the blue flower all in long and short stitch. There are french knots to go in the centre of the rose along with some more beads.

Long and short rose and leaves

It was then the tricky bit - giving him a pleasant expression! Long and short shading for the face with french knots down the centre and padded satin for the beak and eyes.

Owl's face
The end is nearly in sight!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Owl's progress

The owl's wings are made up of a variety of stitches and patterns. Having done the french knot stars the lower wing is a trellis of satin stitch and detached chain with french knot centres.

Trellis stitch
The feet and long tail feathers are variations on satin stitch.

Completing the tail feathers.

Long and short wing feathers.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Something Special

I am currently working up a delightful owl for Nicola Jarvis, one of her bird embroideries. He is worked on silk dupion with Au Ver a |Soie threads in a veritable rainbow of colours.

Here is a sneeky preview...

Fine Trellis and shaded seeding in acorns

Monochrome oak branch
I'll post some more as I work him up.

Satin stitched roses and french knot stars