Hunting Cat finished – I think

I mixed needlefelting and stitching in attaching the various motifs to the background. You can see the characteristic marks of a needlefelting needle on the blue of the bird’s body behind the cat’s head, but I’ve tried to bury the stitches in the depth of the fabric so that they disappear.

I’ve added a couple of tiny blue-black stitches for the cat’s nose, and some tiny pink stitches to the inside of his mouth. It’s amazing how much difference those few stitches make. Those characteristic needlefelting marks also suggest the cat’s whiskers, which is just as well, because I’m not sure I would attempt to put them in as stitches!

The butterfly in the fresco was entirely in browns, like the cat, and the wings were much longer. I’ve folded up the body so that the extra length of the wings is underneath, raising the body from the surface. I’ve also needlefelted some wisps of blue over the wings and added the blue veins to lighten the impression still more.

I’ve stitched on one side of some of the stems, and begun to narrow and round them with needlefelting, breaking one of my needles in the process. Again, I don’t want to overdo this: the wispy, matte surface of the needlefelt helps to recall the fresco, and too much stitchery unbalances the effect.

I think that’s all now. I’ve added some rough fly stitches to the bird’s body, opened his beak to shout his alarm, and stitched the eye. The stand of stems and lotus flowers gives some reason for the butterfly to be there, and it pulls together the blues of the bird and the browns of the cat. The heavy stitching on the cat is echoed in the back wing, and the front wing echoes the wispy lotus flowers.

All in all, there’s a reasonable sense of lightness and activity, which I think is what I needed to achieve here. Thank goodness for that!

And, on another subject entirely, Episode 63 of SlowTV Stitchery is now live. In which thoughts of pony trekking in Northumberland lead to musings on the architecture of justifiable caution, and, by way of a complete change of direction, to planning the embroidery of stems on a jacket.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    Cat’s texture is delightful, and the picture now makes much more sense at a glance. And the bird, too, is far stronger. It must be very difficult to find the right balance between leaving things a bit too vague and over-defining them.
    Well done!

  2. Jen Mullen says:

    Yes, a visual story in the action!

  3. Meredithe says:

    You are amazing! It all looks great.

  4. Stephen F. says:

    In defence of your collegue, milady, I think it best that while driving one pay attention to the road, rather than be distracted by farm architecture.

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    That cat has so much character. He almost jumps off the fabric.

  6. Lin says:

    Great finish – the directional stitching on the cats body works really well and his face is just perfect – the cat that got the cream! or in this case the bird. xx

  7. You are a true artist! Love the cat in spite of what it is doing to that poor bird!

  8. Alex Hall says:

    The bird and the cat balance nicely – it’s always a relief when something you’re struggling with finally comes together.