box of birds pied wagtail

Bird number four is a pied wagtail and that gives me enough birds for one on each side of a rectangular box, but I’ve begun stitching a contingency robin in case I mess up somewhere further along the line.

 

box of birds dipper

It only took me an afternoon and evening to stitch the second bird. It’s based on a dipper (cinclus cinclus) but I changed the colours slightly. As per the nuthatch, beak and legs will be added once it’s appliqu├ęd to the final background fabric.

Kardinal garden 4

Love-in-a-mist (left), English daisies (right), and Ajuga, or Bugleweed, or Blue Bugle, (front middle) now completed.

On the outline sketch illustrating which flowers are where in the completed embroidery, ajuga is listed, but ajuga is not included in the flower glossary of stitch directions. An internet search gave the alternative name of bugleweed, which is how it’s listed in the glossary. Grrrrr. My knowledge of flower names is minimal at best and without the internet search I would likely have assumed that the ajuga stitch instructions had been omitted entirely!

I have several minor complaints about this otherwise excellent book, one of which is that it would have been so simple to include the relevant stitch directions page next to each flower on the sketch layout page. Instead, a search through the alphabetical glossary is necessary each time a new flower is begun, and without an index at the front or back of the book, much time is spent flipping backwards and forwards between pages.

My own solution was to print a copy of the sketch page and on it I noted the relevant stitch directions page number next to each flower. I then also added a sticky tab (with the flower’s name on it) to the edge of the relevant directions page. When I’ve completed a flower, I move the sticky tab to the top of the page. (I don’t remove them completely in case I want to add a bit more later and need to check the thread colour). Sanity restored.

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Kardinal garden 3

Roses finished and love-in-a-mist begun.

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Kardinal garden 2

After a session of unpicking and two evenings re-stitching them, I think my flowers are now less daisy-like and more like the roses they should be. The addition of lazy daisy stitch greenery helps too.

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autumn garden 6

The final installment. Finished size 9″ x 4″ approx. I’m not happy with some of it but doubt that I’ll unpick and re-sew those bits. The fabric was OK to embroider on but I seem to get better results with calico so I’ll no doubt revert to that for the next piece, whatever that might be.

 

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autumn garden 5

On the last leg now and if I don’t finish it this evening, it will be nearly a week before I can add any more as I’m off to do some painting away from home this coming week.

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