Saturday, April 16, 2011

Embroidered Cloth

My mother gave me a shoe-box some years ago and told me that I was the only one who could possibly be bothered dealing with it. ? Yes, ok, now what did she mean?
When I opened this box one of the things I found was this glorious embroidered cloth. Unfinished.

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus)
To give you an idea of the dimensions, this little wren is 50mm from the tip of his beak to the tip of his wing. Each stitch measures 1mm!

My mother had ufo's, just like the rest of us. Unfortunately I was unable to complete any of the works that were in the shoebox. Oh, yes the original embroidery threads are still in the box with each project. I was never taught fine embroidery and now my hands are riddled with arthritis making it a painful exercise anyway.
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
So here are some pictures of the work on this cloth. You can see how old it is by the marks and stains on the linen. I remember her seeking out beautifully fine linen for her work. She would often create her own designs.
I will show you more of what was in the shoe box in further posts.
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Mum did so much embroidery and most of it was short/long stitch. I figure that she must have got tired of doing it so decided to do this cloth entirely in stem stitch, agonizingly fine stem stitch. If you click on the images you may be able to see how beautiful her sewing is. This was all done without the aid of a magnifying glass. I am completely in awe every time I look at it.

Scarlet Honeyeater - (Myzomela sanguinolenta)
The last picture is of the back of the Honeyeater. It is perfect. I asked her once how she got it so and she told me that the secret was to never, ever turn the work over. She started at the front and sewed over her first end and when she was done with that thread would sew it in behind the work just done! Amazing. I tried it and it worked - beautiful tidy back work.

I hope you enjoy this little look at this lovely ufo.


  1. That is amazing work Bronwyn. What a treasure to have from your mum. I know that it will stay with you and then be passed on to one or other of your daughters.

  2. What beautiful stitching your mother did. She was incredibly talented. How lovely to have this to keep. You won't ever see photographs of the back of my work! Tracee xx

  3. How wonderful Bronwyn. I'm so glad she gave it to you, as I know you will treasure it.

  4. Oh Bronwyn, how beautiful it is, a real Heirloom, my Nana always looked at the back of the work first, I hope she is not looking down at mine. Love R

  5. Hello Bronywn,

    What a beautiful cloth, love that it is Australian designs. A real family treasure.
    Happy days.

  6. Your Mum had incredible talent as an embroiderer.Her needlework is spectacular. Oh! And the back!!! What a wonderful heirloom for you and your daughters. Thanks so much for sharing this special piece of your Mums.
    Blessings Michelle

  7. The embroidery is wonderful. A real treasure to keep. The strong colours look lovely.

  8. These are so beautiful!!

    Thanks for visiting my place. Off to enjoy more of yours!

    barbara jean