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Monday, August 4, 2014

Crewel Bluebird of Happiness

This is a longer post than normal. Normally I'd have broken this post into several stages - but got carried away with the stitching!

I bought a kit for Elsa William's Bluebird of Happiness crewel work cushion a year or so ago. After the petit point work of the Toy Chest Etui, I was looking for a complete change of focus, so got out the Bluebird.

First I set it up in a  roller frame and attached it to my floor stand. to get it to work with the stand I mounted it in a portrait, rather than landscape direction.

It wasn't long before I decided this wasn't comfortable to work with, so I remounted it in my sitting frame and a hoop.

This worked a lot better, even though I could only see about a quarter of the canvas at a time.

It has been a really enjoyable project. The colours are varied and beautiful with harmonious blending as well as some contrast.

There was enough stitch variation to keep me interested. The bulk of the stitching is satin or long and short stitch, but the shapes are quite varied. I found myself frequently switching to split stitch - it gives a better texture, especially in the feathery bits of the bluebird.The wool was great to work with.

Each quadrant had its challenges. I like the inclusion of lattice and buttonhole stitch.

It has taken me a few weeks to work this piece, and I have enjoyed it greatly. I spent yesterday tidying up the little bits I had left undone. When I ran out a colour just before finishing a section, rather than begin a new thread for a small area, I moved on to a new colour, then came back and finished off.

I love the shapes and colours -  the trunk and roots of the tree become an elegant feature of an otherwise colourful piece.

It was only when I took it out of the hoop to do the final finishing that I realised the effect of the black space around the circular component - a really lovely design touch.

The construction was quick - the kit came with backing and cord. I stitched it on three sides, inserted the fill and stitched the fourth side by hand.

I'm very pleased with the result.


margaret said...

such a very beautiful cushion

katherine said...

It is stunning! I love the design and yes the blank space is a great frame within the panel. I love crewel work with wool!

Jillian said...

Thanks Katherine and Margaret. I agree, Katherine. It's years since I did crewel and I'd forgotten how lovely it is to work - think I'll do more of this and less cross stitch.

Monica said...

Wow! What a gorgeous design! And you have stitched it beautifully. It does have great lines, doesn't it? And I really like the bright but not garish colours on the black background. Tempting project! Congratulations, great finish!

Stephanie said...

Would you be willing to part with the chart and color photo? I cannot find this kit ANYWHERE!

Thank you.

Jeane Fernandez said...

Hi, I'm also looking for the color chart! Please let me know if you are willing to share. I've contacted the Elsa William's company and waiting to hear back from them but I believe that they are no longer in business. Thank you, Jeane

Jillian said...

Regretfully, I don't have the photo or the colour chart. I've been through all my patterns and documents and I no longer have it. Sorry.