Spring 2024: Google ended its email subscription service in 2021. I believe I've found a replacement, but haven't had time to test it. I have been stitching a little bit here and there and have some posts ready for when the email subscription is active again. Fingers crossed, I'll have time to rouse this blog out of its dormancy sometime this year.

28 July 2017

Bird in the Purple Flowers

Ebay is a weird and wonderful place. For the purposes of this post it's in the weird category.

Detail of thread painted (or crewel) bird's head from Elsa Williams' 'Enchanted April'

There's an embroidery kit for sale that I stitched about 10 years ago. It's called Enchanted April and was produced by now-defunct JCA under the 'Elsa Williams Heritage Collection' brand.

The subject is an egret in what appears to be a jacaranda (a common and beautiful tree where I live). It's quite a spectacular (and large) piece. I waited quite a few years before tackling it and I remember that it took a fair amount of time to stitch.

Unfortunately, I wasn't documenting my stitching at the time so I don't have any in-progress pictures and all of the photos were taken after framing (behind glass).

Enchanted April is primarily stitched in crewel wool, but there's a bit of floss so it doesn't pass the basic crewel definition test. Also, there is no decorative stitching so it doesn't pass my crewel definition test! It's really thread painting in wool although the embroidery police won't come after you if you want to call it crewel.

You may also notice that some of the background fabric is unstitched and printed in light purple which would normally keep me from wanting to work this project. I didn't realise that the background had printed areas that wouldn't be stitched until I received the kit. I'm not usually a fan of pre-printed backgrounds that are left unstitched. I've changed my mind a bit on that due to this piece and the recent Jo Butcher Birch project, but it's still not my favourite thing.

In this photo you can see some of the coloured unstitched areas.

Detail from Elsa Williams' 'Enchanted April' showing printed background and embroidered branch

With all that being said, Enchanted April is beautifully designed and is one of the best commercial kits I've ever seen or stitched.

The stitching plan for the bird is exquisite.

Focusing on the egret from from Elsa Williams' 'Enchanted April'

I remember how careful I was to get the blends and stitching direction just right. He turned out to be quite a handsome creature.

The kit's official title may be Enchanted April, but I always call it 'Bird in the Purple Flowers'. It is framed--the frame is about 30" tall!--and hanging on a wall in my home. I pass by it many times during the day and still enjoy it as much now as when I stitched it.

Completed and framed thread painted (with crewel wool) bird and jacaranda from Elsa Williams' 'Enchanted April'

So, getting back to ebay, if you'd like to stitch Enchanted April for yourself there's one available for sale at the moment.

Ebay posting of 'Enchanted April' kit

I think it's just a wee bit overpriced, but at least they're offering free shipping!



  1. I remember that piece in the fair. Didn't it get a ribbon?

  2. Hi I’ve been trying to find this but can’t ever see a reason I’d pay that kind of money for a kit! Wish I could find the instructions somehow and just figure it out for myself but even after a year or so of looking haven’t been able to!

  3. I’ve been trying to find this kit or at least the instructions so I could do this, so beautiful! But I can’t see ever paying that kind of money for it!

    1. I've seen it come up for sale for around $100 within the last few months. That might be too much, but given the size of the project (and the amount of yarn!) I don't think that's an unreasonable price for a long out-of-production kit.

      It was a really nice kit. I think it was fairly costly when it was new because of its size so it will probably never be inexpensive, unfortunately. I hope you find one!

    2. May I ask where you saw this for sale recently? I have been checking Ebay, etc. and only see 1 for sale for over $300. $100 may be more reasonable?!

    3. It was sometime in the early part of the year. I think it was on ebay. The bad part is that as time goes on and the kit gets older and rarer the price will, inevitably, increase! Keep an eye on ebay/etsy and do a general web search now and then. You never know what might turn up.

  4. I offered 95.00 to seller on eBay, I’m definitely willing to pay a heftier price for this size and loving the art! It’s just hard to justify 300.00 and up, lol!

  5. For anyone who might be searching for this kit, one sold in August 2018 on ebay at auction for around $125 which I think is a reasonable price. The kits are out there. Keep looking!

  6. I have just found this kit for only £12 in a charity shop in southern England. People don't know it's value down here I suppose! I was VERY happy to see such a piece for sale, I've been on the hunt for a rare kit for a while

    1. That's great! Congratulations on a fabulous deal. I see the kit show up on ebay with some frequency in the $100-$200 range, sometimes more. When I bought it new in the early 2000s I think it was around $50-$60 which was quite expensive for a commercial kit, but it's large and has a lot of wool.

      Enjoy the project. It's fun to stitch.