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.

23 September 2019

Royal Blue Burr-dy Time

I need some mindless, relaxing embroidery and I have a burr-ning desire to stitch a Trish Burr-d. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

A pile of embroidery floss ready to stitch a blue thread painted bird designed by Trish Burr

There's a blue needlepainted bird designed by Trish in Inspirations issue 77. I've wanted to stitch it from I moment I first saw it years ago. It's a fairy wren and the project is called 'Royal Blue'. There's something about embroidering in blue. It's not a common colour in flowers or animals or thread painting subjects! So, when I come across a blue project, I'm usually interested.

Cover of Inspirations magazine issue 77 showing a stumpwork California poppy and a small image of Royal Blue

The project photo is possibly my all time favourite Inspirations image.

Project photo of Royal Blue project from Inspirations issue #77. (Blue thread painted bird surrounded by assorted blue feathers.)

Instead of making colour copies of the instructions in the magazine--which is what I usually do--I bought the downloadable pattern and printed it. The download is very affordable and easier than doing the colour copies. Also, I didn't have to possibly rip out the pattern pages from the magazine. In addition, I found a high resolution photo of the project on Trish's site which I'm finding very useful in order to see detail.

On this project, I'm going to try out a couple of new-to-me products: Tulip #10 embroidery needles and Graziano Italian linen for the ground fabric. I've had the Tulip needles for ages and keep forgetting to use them. The Graziano linen weave seems a little too open and is semi-sheer, but we'll see how it does.

Preparing to stitch: Tulip needles, Graziano Italian linen ground fabric, and the downloaded instructions for Royal Blue

I traced the bird onto the linen and hooped it up. I began with the branch and leaves. Unfortunately, the photos are very poor quality due to lighting issues. The photos are a little better at full size (i.e., when you click on them).

The branch is embroidered with three shades of grey. In the photo below, I've split stitched the first two shades and am waiting until the leaves are complete in order to add the darkest shade. The branch doesn't look great at this point. For me, when it comes to shading, it's all about the shadows.

Partiially stitched branch (missing darkest shade). Lower leaf completed.

I had to play around with the leaf, just a little bit. I added a third (darker) colour to the left half. Then I added some lighter colour to the top of the right side as a highlight. I'm not convinced I like the highlight, but I may be too mono-focused on it!

Lower leaf with some extra shadows and highlights

I stitched the upper leaf and this is where things currently stand. (I have a habit of sticking my needle in the bird's head. It's not right.)

Completed thread painted leaves in golds and browns

I need to put the shadows in because I'm not thrilled with how things look, but it will get better!



  1. Mindless? Really? Looks pretty intense to me.

    1. This is a fairly simple bird. There aren't a lot of shades stuffed into small spaces. I guess 'mindlessness' is all in the needle of the beholder! :-)

  2. Lovely ! Yes and I find blue a very calming colour to embroider with too . This will keep you busy through the Autumn and winter months ...very pretty picture !

    1. This post is kind of boring colour-wise because I hadn't gotten to the blue bits yet. Since I wrote the post, I've started on the bird and the blue is so much fun!

  3. What a beautiful photo of the birds, with the feathers - I can see why it's your favourite! I've never seen such vibrant shades of blue in a bird, and it will be so pretty when you're finished - looking forward to following along with your stitching 😃❤