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.
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.