Category Archives: Crewel Embroidery

Little Dog Dinner Time…Jenny McWhinney Design

   Okay…only one more design to stitch…it’s a Christmas one… The dog was a simpler one which was nice…it is a wonderful one to do if you are interested in just starting to do crewel or surface embroidery. Jenny McWhinney has all these mini designs on her website…she even sells them as a whole package..I think that is what I did many years ago, I bought the whole package. I am glad to be getting them finished. Not sure what I am going to do with all of them yet. 

Cute dog… if one wanted to change something I would change the outline on the back. It was suggested to do it in black but I changed it to the color of the ears. I also might take it out…just contemplating on it…probably will leave it.

In the Scheme of Things…Color makes a Difference 

   First a confession…looking through my Jenny McWhinney “Mini Kits” I noticed that I was mistaken about how many I have to finish!  It is my pleasure to let you know that I have “three” not two more to go… (one was buried) . There is an owl…a dog…and a bird..That said…I feel better. Wishing I had only two left would have been nice but also realizing that these kits stitch up quickly it is fine by me. I am enjoying these as a change of pace. I will get back to Trevelyons Cap in a bit..

   Soooo…I started the owl this morning…and the eyes were first up.  Nice black pupils with a yellow/orange rim around that.  I am not done. What I want to share is about the yellow/orange rim. In the pictures below you can see the difference between the two eyes and their color. One has the orange and the other one doesn’t. I was intrigued at how much the eye looks different with the orange applied. These little nuances of color in a project really makes it. I had not read the directions fully. I admit being in a hurry for some odd reason..( not a legit excuse 😬   …always should read, read, all before one starts…) Now needing to add the orange was a bit of a challenge but it was worth it. The subtlety of colors together make the eye pop.

   You can even tell the difference from a distance as compared to the closeup. The left eye is stitched with the yellow and the right eye with the yellow/orange. I just found it fascinating. Thought I would share. I get excited about the simple nuances that make up an embroidery!


Finish…Little Goat “Washday” design by Jenny McWhinney

    Well.. now I have only two more of these mini designs by Jenny McWhinney to finish…here’s hoping I get to them soon as it would be nice to have them all stitched!

    Fussed a little over the stitching of the goat a bit. The legs (particularly the back legs) drove me to take out…restitch…and still for some reason the one just looks like it is more “muscular” than the other (blaming it on the black wool!) All in all was a great fun little time stitching. Cute things are so stress relieving and calming and the ahhhh and ooohhhh! This little guy is all fuzz and fun…glad he’s not eating my clothes! 

The Bobbin Tree  is Jenny’s store…have a visit. All of her stuff is stuff that makes you “smile”! Just to have a pinch of her creative textile skills would make me smile!

Jenny McWhinney and “Mini Kits…Little Goat, Wash Day”

   It is years ago now that I purchased a “bunch” of Jenny McWhinney‘s Mini Kits…I am in the process of finishing up all of them. only two left… after ” The Little Goat, Wash Day. Here is what I have stitched so far…great kit for a quick project and some listening to music or watching an “old movie”! I started these over 5 years ago…sooooo…that is a long time now…Most if not all are still available on her website. You can click on her name above and it will take you right to her “new store” and “website”.

   Love the fuzzy front leg! Now for the ones I have finished…the pictures are below…of course it is hard to believe I did them all and enjoyed stitching everyone of them…I was only disappointed at one point after I received my first kit..I found out that Jenny had come to our area “after the fact” and I missed it!!! I heard she was very interesting!!!  This was a number of years ago now and hopefully we will have her back again sometime. Her kits are a bit unusual…I had to do a bit of deciphering…depended on the photo “a lot”. There are “scans” of the individual areas to be worked on. Also the tracing is definitely not the same as her picture of the embroidery on the front of the package. One thing though is Jenny says “that you do not have to match sitich for stitch when doing shading as long as you use the color guide and color areas approximately the same.” The affect achieved is similar. 


Little Duckling, Swimming Lessons

Little Hedgehog, Wrong Way

Little Piglet, Farmers Garden

Little Fish, Under the Lily Pad

Little Red Hen, Hatching Time

Little Tree Frog, Tropical Flowers

Little Squirrel, Collecting Berries

Little Kitten, Hattie’s Cat

Home Sweet Home Embroidered Workbox…Back Wall Finish

   Yesss…finally finished the back wall… I changed the rabbit to a smaller one…(I finally found it…) …the behive has also been added as well as the finishing of the ground grasses and flowers. 

   Now for the interesting bit….below is the picture with a spool of sulky metallic thread next to the finished wall…Shows you how small it really is ! This will be my last post on this for awhile as I want to take a break and finish another project and start a new one….


Home Sweet Home Embroidered Workbox Orange Filled Basket

    Gee…this is small…the first thing is to “pad” the outside basket shape with  two different sizes of teeny tiny cut felt the smaller of which is below the larger one. Below shows the padding attached with stab stitches to hold them in place the same was done with the smaller one.

   The basket itself called for “three” different stitches…the first one is  “Woven Filling Stitch”which went over the padding and inside the upper basket. The instructions for this stitch are not in the book so I took to the internet and there is a nice video on one. Just type in the stitch you want and up it came…basically it is just vertical lines stitched first then the typical over under stitched horizontally…A tad hard in this small your going over a bump!

   The second stitch is called “Portuguese Knotted Stem Stitch”. The instructions for this are in the back of the book with really nice photos..(whew!) This stitch is used for the upper basket outline around the top.The stitch is a basic stem stitch with an added two wraps of wool before you take the next stitch.

   The third stitch is (ta da!) the “Whipped Chain Stitch”. This stitch is a simple chain stitch and then taking the wool back and weaving it through the chains to give it a fuller/thicker look…Used here for the bottom of the basket and for the handles.

   The last thing to do is fill the basket with the oranges which are really nice Mill Hill seed beads…I did like the fact green floss was used to stitch these down …thought it added to the defintion of the orange. Sooooo the basket is now done!

   Pssssssssst!  The bee is next! Still working on my other project should have more to share on that shortly….

Home Sweet Home Embroidered Workbox….Back Wall Tree Finish

    Finished the orange tree on the back wall of the workbox. It sparkles! When the end of the directions were read it calls for a metallic thread to be stitched in each one of the leaves to give them some sparkle or maybe to make the leaves look a little dewey…As usual there might be some tweaks here and there. Next is a basket…but I am planning on putting this aside for a few days to work on my other project which has been lanquishing in solitude for to long. I think the choice of the perle for the oranges looks fine when you see the whole picture. I forgot to think about the color of the fabric I chose could make a difference in the way the colors would show up on the piece. I like my green silk a lot…so hopefully will not have to adjust to many other colors. But the original color for the oranges still seemed pretty drab to me…anyway. That’s a mighty big rabbit for this it a fantasy effect and makes me smile..what a hoot!

Home Sweet Home Workbox Back Wall Tree Finish

     Ahhh…finally some cooler weather especially in the morning….The tree trunk and branches are finished. The stitching went pretty quick . That was nice. As you can see in the photo I stitched the next item which is an orange. I already took it out once and still am thinking about redoing it another way . The color is a little different than the original in the previous post (the picture from the book). I am thinking about changing the method of stitching which is an elongated “crosstitch”.  I need to bring my smocking skills to the forefront so I can lay the three strands of silk floss next to one another …or even better find a perle thread that would look nice instead…hopefully I will take a few minutes and look for something today..I think the oranges need more color…the color supplied with the kit is a little on the drab side for and orange…not fall color enough for me…I like that we as stitchers can change things up!

Home Sweet Home Workbox…Back Wall…Autumn Orange

Better later than never…It has just been to muggy and hot to do much of anything…The title at least makes me feel Autumn is coming…Yes…I finally picked up the part of the back of the workbox and started to embroider the trunk of the tree with a stranded wool called” Gloriana Lorikeet”..I am pretty sure I have mentioned before that using all these different types of embroidery threads is a wonderful treat…now whether I like them or not…at least I have tried them..This crewel wool is “fine” and for the trunk of the tree you use two strands for the bigger part and then use one strand for the smaller branches. The wool is varigated and adds some very nice contrast to the trunk…The picture below shows just the main trunk and where I started again with the crewel wool (boy that just sounds hot!) . I separated the two strands so the difference can be seen.

The stitches used here are the “stem stitch and the outline stitch” alternating the two in rows…Are they precisely done?..Not sure…to much fuzzy going on…Trying to remember how to do these “supposedly” simple stitches has always been a challenge…For me I finally decided this was the best way “outline” means “O”ver and then stem is under. Now Over for me means above but I like the fact I can use the “O” in outline to remind me how it works! Pretty slick for my memory!
This is the backside picture from the instructions in the book “Home Sweet Home” Embroidered Workbox by Carolyn Pearce …”Autumn Orange”…Remember this is a small box …One day I will show just how small it is.

Just a quick update…I have been taking a brief break from stitching…I did work for a little while on the “Trevelyon Cap” and hopefully will show some progress on that shortly… My mind keeps saying ” I need to finish…I need to finish..let the fingers go stitching! My body says “cool, stay cool, I want to stick my head in the refrigerator”. As you can tell August is definitely not a favorite month of the year!