The Crazy Canvaswork Cushion – Part 5

Tree Pattern

Tree Pattern

This tree pattern is one I’ve been looking for an excuse to do for quite some time.  The book in which I found it suggests using it for small pieces like spectacle cases, but I’m not sure I agree. I think it might make for a rather overpowering pattern if not contained by something else. That same book said it was easy, and I’m not sure I agree with them about that either – I had to unpick all the trees the first time I did them, because I’d repeatedly got one element of the stitch placement wrong, in a rather unfudgeable fashion!

Section Seven

Section Seven

Section Seven covers – just – the whole width of the cushion, and makes a good interruption to the rhythm I’d built up.

It occurs to me that it might be a good candidate for a single colour design, one of these days, especially a light colour that will allow the ends of the stitches to cast shadows and build up the pattern.

As though I don’t have enough plans swirling in my head!

Section Eight

Section Eight

It turned out that the next section was rather tricky to pick a colour for, until my mother suggested blues, to help reflect the pattern around Section Seven.

I decided to create a shaded effect on Section Eight. I used three strands of wool, which meant that I could create a fairly subtle graduation starting from three dark strands, and progressing through 2 dark and 1 medium, 1 dark and 2 medium, 3 medium, and then 2 medium and one light, 1 medium and 2 light, then finally 3 light.

Dutch Stitch

Dutch Stitch

The stitch is Dutch Stitch, found in Mary Rhodes’ Dictionary of Canvaswork Stitches. It is a condensed, closely worked crossing stitch. In fact it is so condensed as to be quite an effort when worked in three strands on this canvas!

Still, I expect it will prove a hardwearing stitch, and the texture is a good contrast with the smoother textures of the straight stitch patterns.


  1. Janice says:

    Both lovely. The Trees pattern actually looks like tumbling three-dimensional blocks from any angle but the right way up. And the Dutch Stitch looks just like knitted garter stitch. The blues either side of the Trees will help to balance out the Oxbridge section you were worried about. You’re over half way now then…. You’ll have to find another project to work on soon!

  2. Lady Fi says:

    Very nice. I really like that tree pattern.

  3. Elizabeth Braun says:

    I take it you’re not feeling distracted today. 🙂 Well done, it’s coming along very well.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Oh I will have to try that tree pattern, very nice. The gradation of colour in the Dutch stitch is most effective.

  5. Penny says:

    Oh, I just love the tree stitch and as always you’ve done a beautiful job on it. And the blue works perfectly. What a treasure this is going to be…

  6. Andy LW says:

    Rachel – those trees are divine! I would love to use it in miniature for a card aperture too.

  7. Cynthia says:

    The trees are gorgeous but what I really love is the blue shading.

  8. wendy says:

    love that tree pattern, it’s so unusual and looks great stitched up. I really like this project you’re doing, such a fun way to try out new stitches

  9. Jules says:

    I’d love a whole cushion in the tree pattern!x

  10. Anita says:

    It’s coming along beautifully. Love the tree pattern. Looking at the color choices I think it’s going to be a cheery pillow. It’s been quiet sometime since I’ve been here,so off I go to check your other posts that I’ve missed 🙂

  11. karen says:

    too many ideas swirling about? sounds familiar. I do love the trees…..and admire your patience as always

  12. Terrie says:

    Beautiful tree pattern, a 3D look. The shades stitches are pretty as well.

  13. Megan Hodges says:

    The greens and blue look great together. Good on Mum!

  14. […] he gallops away with me – which would be gratifying, because I have a lot more ideas for Dreams of Amarna pieces that I want out of my head and onto […]