Inspired by warm walks and odd corners of the garden…….

dried flowers for an embroidery

Well the weather outside is wild, wet and windy, proper Wintery and cold, with leaves skittering along as they get blown around the garden…..walks over the meadows and marshes in the June sunshine seem a very distant memory…luckily I pressed a lot of small flowers during the Summer so a quick shake of a couple of books and my work table is covered in little coloured sprigs…..I’m using them as inspiration for some floral embroideries that I’m currently sewing ready to make up in to project bags and pieces for the Craft Fairs……

wild flowers of the wayside and woodland book

As well as using actual dried flowers I also like looking through old flower and plant study guides, their illustrations are always beautiful and help me lots in identifying something I’m not familiar with…often they capture a particular quality of the plant I overlook at first glance and help me when I get to embroider it.

I tend to be most inspired by what I find growing in an odd corner of our garden or when I’m out on a walk, and take lots of little notes during my jaunts, tiny sketches and thumbnails, jotting down what’s come into blossom…some years there are plants I don’t seem to notice, another year it seems to be everywhere I look…..some of my favourite plants for embroidering are tiny speedwells, forget me nots, and stitchwort, wild mustards and jack in the hedge….fluffy grey catkins as soft and velvety as a kittens paw……

inspired by flowering herbs in my garden

At the moment my work table is a jumble of linen squares, old biscuit and toffee tins spilling over with embroidery silks, scatterings of dried flowers lay like a floral print in one corner……over everything is a mist of lavender scent (the project bags I’ve been sewing have a spoonful of lavender between the linen and lining)……sometime in the Spring I made a series of little lavender sachets with botanical embroideries on the front, some were just embroidered and I just needed to fill them, so the lavender jar has been out and Bernard has managed to flick it out everywhere….he’s not such a great one for cat-nip but does seem to love lavender, honestly he’s turning into a proper granny cat what with the shawl nestling and lavender loving…

selection of botanical embroideries

Some of the botanical embroideries have gone into my Folksy shop, and I’ll also be bringing a selection with me to The Assembly House Christmas Fair on the 28th and 29th of November….

Where possible I try to use as much re-purposed fabric in my work, nearly all my embroidery silk has been sourced from vintage shops and flea-markets, carboots or gifted by elderly friends and even my favourite needles for hand sewing tend to be those that are found wrapped in black paper and are older time…..however after embroidering on a beautiful shirt that Anne had made (but had decided wasn’t right so I got to chop it all up and use the fabric) I’ve become rather fond of using linen so have bought a selection from Merchant and Mills to make into project bags and pieces for your sewing box…..the feel of the linen mixed with heavily embroidered French knots or the lay of flat silky stitches is very pleasing….

inspiration for a botanical embroidery

Walking home from the shops at the start of the week I noticed this shrub, I liked the pink berries, they were so bright and colourful amongst all the green leaves….initially picked as a small posy for the table I’ve been trying to sketch them and work them into some botancial sprigs on some of the linen……

pink berried rowan

Also, just down the road is this rowan, it’s a different variety to the regular one with orangey red berries…these ones are pink…..the tree itself is a rather grey brown colour, and I never fail to stop and admire it when it’s covered in berries…there’s a traditional rowan in the background and the birds always strip that of berries by Christmas but they leave the pink ones well alone…

Some years there are barely any berries at all but this Autumn it’s been fair heaving, it’s looked beautiful and I never seem to remember to pop my camera in my bag however on the day I did bring it with me the sky was rather overcast and the pictures I took weren’t doing the tree justice, but I think you can see how striking the pink colour is.

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3 thoughts on “Inspired by warm walks and odd corners of the garden…….

  1. Oh Bernard!! Not that I blame him, we all love the smell of lavender in our and Josh will always ask for it on his pillow if he can’t sleep. I love the way you are bringing a little of the spring and summer into your winter embroideries 🙂 Have a great week. x

    1. Thank you for your nice compliments x I’ve learnt to keep lavender in a sealed jar after Bernard knocked over a big bag of it a few years back…he rolled around in it on the carpet and it went everywhere…. I was finding tiny lavender flowers in unexpected places for ages afterwards.

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