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.

30 August 2019

The Chocolate Trellis

There are three main elements left to stitch on Melbury Hill's Galanthus Collector: two 'caps' (sepals?) on the flower tops and the bulb at the bottom. They will all involve trellises. I don't have a lot of experience stitching freehand trellises. I prefer having helper marks along the sides of a trellised area so there's no guesswork. However, the three elements will all be filled, so there's no place for helper marks. It'll be good experience to work the trellises freehand.

Crewel embroidery of snowdrops in progress. Ready to add trellises to flower tops and bulb at the bottom.

In the original version of this project, the designer used golds for the flower caps. In nature they are generally green, but I like the look of the gold and the colour balance it provides with the brown bulb. I'm using Heathway Old Gold and Nut Brown on the trellises and all three elements will be stitched with different combinations of these colour families.

First, are the flower caps. Keeping with the theme of lighter at the top of the piece, I satin stitched a lighter gold for the flower bud's cap and then a slighter darker gold for the central flower. I put these colours in so I could see how well they do or don't work together. Also, I wanted them in place whilst I stitched the bulb at the bottom. I'm looking for overall colour balance between the elements.

Caps on bud and flower filled with shades of gold satin stitch

I couldn't resist doing a little bit of trellis work and I also finished off the golden brown bulb shoots.

A few trellis stitches added to the flower caps and completed shading on bulb shoots

The bulb is stitched with the darkest shade of Nut Brown (#9). It's embroidered with laid work rather than satin stitch. I didn't want bulk (or thread waste) on the back of the fabric. I managed to keep my threads very straight, no leaning! I was quite pleased with myself over that.

Dark brown laidwork being embroidered on bulb at bottom of crewel snowdrops

The trellis over the top is done in a slightly lighter shade of Nut Brown and the chain stitch outline is stitched in the same shade.

Bulb at bottom of crewel snowdrops completed with trellis, outline and tie-downs

The bulb looks like chocolate, almost good enough to eat! The tie-downs are Old Gold #9 which is sort of a caramel colour which goes nicely with chocolate! I even managed a fairly even trellis. I keep wanting to add one more trellis line along the lower right. I laid a thread where it would go and it crowds into the outline, so I won't be adding another line.

Close-up of bulb at bottom of crewel snowdrops. Looks like chocolate!

The trellis on the central flower is not as even as I would like it to be. I pulled some of the trellis stitches out of alignment when putting in the tie-downs. I was in a hurry, unfortunately. Don't do trellises when you are in a hurry!

Trellis on top of crewel snowdrop flower stitched in different shades of gold

Even with its problems, it's still beautiful. The colours are striking. I used a slightly lighter shade of Old Gold for the trellis (on top of a darker satin stitched Old Gold), then a darker shade for the tie-downs and outline. It's a good combination.

For the last trellis at the top I wanted to add a nod to the natural green colour of the actual snowdrops. On top of a fairly light satin stitched Old Gold, I used a darker shade for the trellis (and outline) and some light Leaf Green for the tie-downs. The colour combination is my least favourite of the three trellises, but it works for my purposes. There isn't enough contrast and the colours melt into each other. The trellis is decent, but not very noticeable.

Trellis on top of crewel snowdrop flower bud stitched in different shades of gold and green

My version of the Galanthus Collector is complete. What a fun, interesting, and educational project to embroider!

Finished version of Galanthus Collector (snowdrops in crewel) adapted by Margaret Cobleigh from original design by Sarah Stevens


  1. Your Gallanthus project has turned out strikingly beautiful. I've enjoyed watching as you stitch along; so much to learn about crewel work.

    1. Thank you. It was a very enjoyable project!

  2. This is a really cool piece. Love seeing your work.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate the compliment! :-)

  3. Looks wonderful, I love your trellis work! That is a stitch I've been wanting to try more, especially freehand. It's been so fun following along with your stitching on this project :)

    1. Thank you. I want to do more trellising, too! They are fun and so versatile.