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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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?