Summer 2021: Google has ended its email subscription service. I am searching for a replacement, but it might take a while given current demands on my time. I won't be posting again until I have a replacement. In the meantime, I will post occasionally on Instagram

19 May 2017

A Happy Little Tree

Jo Butcher's embroidery work caught my eye a few years back when she was featured in Inspirations magazine. I liked her designs and colour sense. I also found her use of painted/printed backgrounds interesting.

I'm usually not a fan of pre-printed backgrounds, but most of the examples that come to mind are from old commercial kits where the background is more important than the bit of embroidery stitched on top.

Jo Butcher's designs made me reconsider my bias against pre-printed backgrounds and I recently acquired one of her kits: Under the Silver Birch.

Besides being a lovely design it's a nice kit. The design is printed on a sturdy piece of linen, there appears to be ample (separated) cotton floss, 3 different needles are provided, and there's even a pre-cut mat.

Kit element for Jo Butcher's Under the Silver Birch project

The first element is the tree trunk. It's stitched with multiple strands rather than a single strand. This gives the trunk an appropriately rough, sketchy effect as opposed to a smooth appearance and I like it. There was a certain freeform quality used to stitch the trunk that is different than I'm used to in typical thread painting. The finished trunk almost doesn't look stitched, but kind of drawn. There's no doubt that it is a birch tree.

Here are some progress photos of the trunk (completed on the right):

Projgress photos of embroidering a birch trunkCompleted embroidered birch trunk (design by Jo Butcher)

Next up are the grassy areas around the base of the tree and then on to the colourful flowers!


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