Fine Feathers

Fine Feathers

Fine Feathers

Some time ago, I worked on a few designs vaguely inspired by crewelwork, which I submitted to a few companies, none of whom took them. I hadn’t stitched any of them, because I would have used the preferred thread of the company that intended to produce them, but I’ve wanted to…

So when I had another hiatus of inspiration with the Dreams of Amarna, I rummaged for a thread that would work nicely with this over dyed fabric, and had a go. When I originally planned this design, I used peacock colours – blue and green, but I felt that it would be more interesting to work with a single, overdyed thread on the overdyed fabric.

Fine Feathers - Detail

Fine Feathers – Detail

I chose to use Hungarian Plaited Braid stitch for most of the outline. The more I use this stitch, the more I like it. It’s richly textured but at the same time creates a fairly smooth effect, and while – as in this case – it works beautifully in a perlé type thread, it can be very successful, if a little trickier to work, in stranded cotton.

Fly stitch alternating with back stitch gives a bit of lightness to the tail feathers, and I borrowed the idea of the dragon’s scales from Kai Lung of the Golden Hours to create the effect of the down on the peacock’s breast.

I’ve signed him – the Morse code by his feet – but now I’m not at all sure what to do with him!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Gosh – how very lovely!

  2. Christine B. says:

    I love him! Beautiful design and beautiful stitches! Christine x

  3. Janice says:

    He’s a very handsome chap! That Hungarian plaited braid stitch works really well. And I love the effect created by the openness of the stitching at the end of the feathers.

  4. deanna7trees says:

    he stands proud. beautiful.

  5. Sheryl says:

    Beautiful embroidery.

  6. Sue Jones says:

    A fine colour choice for that material. Makes the peacock show up well, but ties him into the background.

  7. Penny says:

    Oh, its lovely! I love that stitch and as always your use of it is perfect. The colors are perfect.

  8. Susan says:

    I’ve not seen that stitch before. When I looked it up, I found a Hungarian Chain Stitch and a Plaited Braid Stitch, both on Which one is this? Or is it something else entirely? I really like your peacock and that stitch is so pretty.

  9. Erica Marsden says:

    He’s gorgeous!

  10. Lovely – that Braid Stitch is so even and the colours of the thread and fabric work so well together.

  11. Carolyn says:

    It is charming.

  12. Beautiful! I particularly like the un-peacockness of the colours against the background fabric, and the openness and deceptive simplicity of the design.

  13. Emma says:

    Oh he’s so very handsome and I love seeing the close up of that beautiful Hungarian stitch. What thread have you used please? It’s very pretty

  14. Anita says:

    A charming peacock.. Love your choice of stitches. The thread goes really well with the ground fabric. Could you please share the shade number and brand of the thread?

  15. Wendy says:

    He’s lovely. I love the Hungarian plaited braid stitch you used

  16. cathy daniel says:

    It’s such an effective but simple design. The Braid stitch reminds me of an intricately plaited loaf of bread for some reason (maybe watched too much Bake-Off!!). All very beautiful as ever! xCathy

  17. Terrie says:

    Such outstanding peacock! Simply a proud look figure!

  18. Sandy says:

    Super colors – I’d never have thought of that for a peacock!

  19. I love your peacock, it is so pretty! I must try that Hungarian Plaited Braid stitch. Gorgeous stitching.
    Barbara xx

  20. The peacock turned out beautifully worked in that thread. And I really like the Hungarian Plaited Braid. I’ll have to give that one a try and some practice and then see where I might be able to use it.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week’s Stitchery Link Party.

  21. karen says:

    wow Rachel…beautiful, so intricate and as always, I say it every time…beautifully stitched.