February Embroidery Journal Project

Yesterday you got a sneak peak with my tutorial. Today you get the finish!

First a few details about the project. I stitched this on plain woven cotton. I used Appleton crewel wools throughout. Lots of long and short, but a few other stitches are in there too, stem stitch, split stitch, french knots, satin stitch and couching. I wanted some interest in the background but nothing to overwhelm my little bird, so I chose to add some beads to give the feeling of snow falling. They look dull in the photo, but in the light they add a lot of sparkle. They are nice contrast with the fuzzy wool. This here shows by the way that “stumpwork” or raised embroidery as I really prefer to call it, is not just meant to be stitched with fine cotton and silks, but any thread you can imagine. So this I call my crewel stumpwork project.

Now for the reason I chose this subject. This bird is the great tit. I feed the birds all year round even in the summer. The woods surround us (the woods don’t actually have many birds in them as they are production forests not natural forests – more about that another day) but when you come to our property you can hear the birds singing. These little birds stay here all winter long and keep me company. They are one of the most common birds in Sweden and have a truly wide variety of songs, but some are reserved for the spring and summer.

 Like many of you, I long for spring, the winter is long and dark here. So it was quite a welcome surprise and a reminder that spring is on its way when I heard the first mating song already in the middle of January. The days are growing longer fast now, the sun shines stronger each day, but the air is still cool, and the snow remains on the ground. But these little birds are in a hurry just as we all are.

My little tribute to the birds wouldn’t be complete without a photo of a real one. This is a young fieldfare. I’m counting the days till new life flutters around us.

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