Inspired by Spring flowers..

Cover Layers

Cover Layers

You may recall that last year – or was it the year before?  – I joined in a “Make & Take” at the Rowandean stand in Harrogate. Last time, I bought a little kit and one of Katrina’s pages of ideas and brought them home to play with.

Of course, as we all know, the Bringing Home is the easy part… !

The colours are soft and fresh, springlike, so I thought I would start by playing with forms vaguely inspired by spring flowers. The ultimate inspiration here was from snowdrops, made by stitching a fly stitch and a twisted fly stitch on top of one another. It has almost worked, certainly close enough for my purposes. Maybe an embroidering botanist would like to play a bit more.

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth

The flowers are stitched on a piece of gauze which is layered over a piece of silk, which in turn lies over apiece of felt. The french knots in the corners held everything together while I tackled the flowers.

The next fragment was vaguely inspired by grape hyacinths, which are among my  favourite spring flowers. Overlapping detached chain stitches worked well, and layering gauze over the felt helped to bring the flowers out from the background.

I may choose to fray the gauze further, but I was struggling with light at this point and decided to see what I thought under different atmospheric conditions!

Crocus of a sort

Crocus of a sort

I did mention that I’m no botanist! The ultimate inspiration here were the stripy crocus I see a lot near where I live. They are getting a little old and blowsy, not the trim, upright bolts of colour that first appeared, but nevertheless the ones I’ve stitched look more like some strange new flora, unknown to either science or art!

I rather enjoyed them, all the same…

Stitched Spine

Stitched Spine

I’ve turned the resulting pile of felt into a needlebook, rather more illustrated that is usual, and with a dramatic stitched spine. This was a distinct piece of experimentation – I could have done with a milliner’s needle, but not having one I improvised with a beading needle, which was very flimsy and flexible, but did the job in the end.

Now I’ve put it under a heap of books to flatten it gradually without the squashing effect of an iron. And I still have some felt, some thread, and some gauze left over for further experimentation!



  1. Mam says:

    What an effective idea! Displaying these little pieces together in this way gives them just the right amount of attention they deserve. Charming!

  2. An interesting experiment to take a flower as a starting point and just see where it takes you. I do see the original flower in each one, though.

  3. Glenis says:

    Your botany is better than mine, whatever you think!
    Fascinating journey, and a very clever result; well done.

  4. Penny Baugh says:

    I can’t imagine stitching over gauze with no backing! These are lovely. They look quite small, what is their size. I just love the finished book and your binding is perfect – it looks somewhat like small baby peas – fitting for a botanical journal.

  5. Cynthia says:

    Very pretty, soft colors. I can’t imagine stitching over the gauze either! What a nice little needle book you have.

  6. Sue Jones says:

    I do very much like these. Wool threads? The snowdrops are very clever.

  7. Incredible work! I love the look of the spine too. xx

  8. I like this very much, and love the palette. I’ve always had a soft spot for Rowandean.

  9. Your little flowers are lovely, and what a good idea to make them up into a book, instead of filing them away in a box!

  10. Terrie says:

    Spring has sprung and lots of flowery stitches inspirations. The snowdrops are so pretty!

  11. Carolyn says:

    What a lovely way to welcome spring. The little book is an inspired idea. You could add the perfume of one of the flowers on a cotton ball. My problem would be that I would like to add the perfume of each one and then they would get all mixed up.

  12. Lady Fi says:

    What a lovely idea!

  13. Anita says:

    Lovely book! frayed gauze underneath the grape hyacinth looks good.

  14. karen says:

    I definitely see flowers and Spring time….a quite exciting idea I think, the make and take kit.

  15. […] I’d finished the little needlebook, using the little pack from Rowandean, I thought I might have a bit more of a play, and make a […]