The Owl in all its glory

I have at long last completed the owl with its surrounding flowers. One of the longest stitching projects I have undertaken. This one involved some 80 hours of stitching. Then I am not the world’s fastest stitcher. Regular, but a bit on the slow side. Anyway here is the finished piece.
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I wanted the surround to be representative of spring and to have some kind of Scottish connection. Thus the two flowers on the bottom are the Scottish bluebell and the Scottish primrose. Bluebells are fairly common, not just in Scotland of course, but I love their little bell shape and their colours. The Scottish primrose on the other hand is nowadays a very rare specimen. It is only found in Caithness and the Orkney islands. It has a lovely tall stem and the flowers are all in the one colour. The other two flowers – magnolia and cherry blossom – are not Scottish in any way, though they are both very popular here. I just love both.

For the branches of the magnolia and the cherry blossom I used appleton wool and everything else was stitched with two strands of DMC cotton. The leaves of the primrose and the magnolia are stitched in closed fly stitch. This was another first for me and is a handy stitch for leaves as you generate the middle ridge as you stitch. The petals were done with either satin stitch or long and short stitches.

The finished fabric is alas, somewhat wrinkled. All that pulling of threads, especially the wool threads has resulted in a bunching up of the fabric around the body of the owl. Can’t be helped now. I suppose it gives the piece a real craft feel to it – unprofessional and unpolished. It is now with Lesley, my framer, to finish it all off.

I am now planning to work on two projects over the coming months. I want to continue with this type of embroidery work. I have just bought a piece of light linen/cotton fabric in a neutral colour. Not quite sure what design to use at the moment. I would like to do something in Art Nouveau style or something based on the works of Gustav Klimt. But a bit more research is needed first. At the same time I will be working on another project using traditional Palestinian motifs. I have worked out the overall composition and with luck it will end up as a cover for my ipad. Starting to get a bit practical with my stitching now. Happy Easter to all and happy stitching!

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2 thoughts on “The Owl in all its glory

  1. Alister it looks lovely – well done. I’m glad you’ve included flowers that are special to you, I love it when embroideries et al have a story or a meaning, adds to the fascination and personalisation.

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