07 April 2017

A Little Burr-y Trifle

One of my favourite embroidery books is Trish Burr's Needle Painting Embroidery: Fresh Ideas for Beginners. It has lots of small, elegant projects that are just right when I need something relaxing or quick. It's like a delectable box of chocolates. Every project has something to recommend it, but none of the pieces is overwhelming especially if you're a beginner to thread painting.

I recently needed a quick-to-set-up project and decided on the Iceberg Rosebud. It's a tiny little flower with a classic, gorgeous Burr colour palette of roses and soft, natural greens.

I'm using this piece to try out Trish's new Belgian linen fabric which will be a welcome relief after the challenge of stitching on the unfriendly-to-surface-embroidery summer flowers table runner fabric!

The stem and leaves come first. The linen is somewhat sheer. You can just about make out one of my parked threads heading off to the upper left. I definitely won't be travelling on the back of this project. I am enjoying stitching on the fabric. It has a nice feel and I also like that I can see the weave. I generally like a little character in my embroidery fabric.

I'm pleased with how the sepals turned out. I think they have a pretty good coloured pencil effect.

All that's left is the rosebud and some thorns which shouldn't be too difficult.



  1. Dear Margaret,
    You are a master, love your Trish Burr pieces.
    Please help! how do you avoid pin holes when doing silk shading?
    Also, when doing leaves, do you do the entire outside area first?
    Thank you :)
    Kind wishes,

    1. Thank you, Anna-Maria! I love stitching Trish Burr projects. There are many more on my to-do list.

      To avoid pin holes you should be coming up from underneath into already stitched areas (after you stitch the first 'row'). If you go down into the threads of an already-stitched area you will be able to see where the needle and thread enter. You want to avoid this.

      The basics of long and short stitch shading are covered nicely in this post from Needle 'n Thread:


      As for leaves, I usually stitch one side completely and then the other, but it depends upon how the leaf is designed. If the shading is identical on both sides I would probably stitch both sides of the leaf at the same time. It also depends upon the size of the leaf. I would be more likely to stitch both sides of a leaf if it was small.

      Here's a very simple example of me shading a leaf:


  2. Thank you Margaret, greatly appreciate you guidance.
    You are aleays do gracipus with uour knowledge.
    God Bless you!!!

    1. You are most welcome! I'm happy to help.