15 November 2020

Driven by Hares

I have delighted in seeing various embroidered animals created by Jenny McWhinney over the years, especially in Inspirations magazine. I've always wanted to stitch one of her bunnies, but hadn't quite come across the 'one' until recently.

Jenny has a set of four embroidery accessories adorned with 'bunnies' (and Queen Anne's lace flowers). It turns out they are hares.

Here's the original Queen Anne's Lace accessories set:

Queen Anne's Lace by Jenny McWhinney

The accessory that initially caught my eye was the travelling work station. It had 'bunnies' and a pin cushion! A pin cushion is the one thing I'm always wishing I had with my needle books when travelling. I was hooked.

Interior of travelling work station by Jenny McWhinney

I duly ordered the work station, but then started thinking about the rest of the set and how many more 'bunnies' I could stitch! I eventually ordered the other three items as well.

I plan to do the embroidery for all of the accessories first and leave the construction for later. I started with the work station which has hares on the front and back.

The kit is on linen and the pattern is pre-printed on the fabric. The threads are DMC cotton floss. The kits do not include full skeins as the hares and flowers don't require a lot of thread. The kit for the work station has all sorts of pre-cut bits of mounting/padding for the construction. There are custom 'Jenny McWhinney' buttons and even a thread cutter. It appears to be a very complete kit.

I chose to work on the front hare first. It was composed of very straightforward long and short stitch shading. The only tricky bit is that there are a lot of directional changes in a small space in order to represent the way the fur grows. It's not difficult to stitch, but I always find that I have to pay attention when there is a lot of directional changes in a small amount of space. If you get off with the direction it ruins the look of the finished element.

I began the embroidery with the flower stems. I decided to add a bit of interest by including some House of Embroidery (HoE) variegated floss. (If you don't use stuff in your stash, what's the point of having a stash?) This pair of HoE threads appeared to be a good match with the stem colour:

Choosing some variegated House of Embroidery threads to use on the stems of Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's lace travelling work station

I used all three floss colours and they worked well together.

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Completed embroidered stems

The hare was next. I began with the background elements.

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Beginning to embroider the hare in long and short shading

The body started filling in:

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Embroidered hare's body in long and short stitch shading

Then the head. He looks really creepy without an eye. The original design uses a bead for the eye. I decided to embroider the eye to see if I could do it!

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Hare's long and short stitched body mostly complete

I had help. They're very good lap warmers.

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Front embroidered hare completed

The hare was mostly complete at this point. I like the embroidered eye, but I think I need to enlarge the highlight. It's tiny.

The flowers were the final part of the design that needed to be stitched. In the original the flowers are worked with a single colour (white) in small straight stitches sort of like seed stitches. I wanted to try French knots with a bit more of the HoE variegated thread. I found a couple of HoE threads that looked promising (bottom two threads):

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Selecting variegated threads for embroidered Queen Anne's lace flowers

The results were not good. The flowers were too big. I had done two wraps and it was too much.

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Embroidered flowers ended up too big

Out came the French knots which is something I really do not enjoy. In went single wrap French knots and the results were much better. I also decided to use only the lighter of the two HoE threads that I had tried originally. It has a variegation from light yellow to white to light pink. I combined one white strand with one HoE strand for most of the flowers. A few of the flowers are stitched with two strands of white. The little blush of pink in the flowers ties in nicely with the bits of pink on the hare.

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Embroidered hare and flowers nearly complete

The last bit was the tail. I've left it uncut until I am ready for construction. I don't want the tail to get mussed.

Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station: Embroidered hare and flowers complete for now

The hare needs a few tweaks here and there, but I'll let him rest and come back later with fresh eyes. He was fun to stitch and given that he's so small, he didn't take a lot of time.

References

  • The Bobbin Tree
    Jenny McWhinney's shop. Search on 'Queen Anne's Lace' to find the kits. Each of the four projects can be purchased individually or as a set. Jenny has lots of animal-based designs besides 'bunnies'.

8 comments :

  1. It's a lovely idea to add threads from your stash - as you say, why have a stash if you don't use it? And now your hare is very definitely yours!

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    1. Yes, exactly, but now I have to resist the urge to replenish the threads that I've used. Stash maintenance is some sort of disease, I think.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you. That's very nice of you to say so. :-)

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  3. Your work on this project is beautiful and happy to be able to learn from your experience. I am a first time visitor to your site and I have noticed that your site is not secure. Is there anyway that you can make your site a secure site? Thanks for everything!

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    Replies
    1. Welcome and thank you for the compliments. I will consider adding SSL to the site at some point. If there was a shopping function there would definitely be SSL!

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  4. It is so lovely and so perfectly made. Bravo !

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  5. This design is adorable. I love rabbits

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