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  • Writer's pictureŠtikarca

Luminous winter embroidery

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Did you make a new year’s promise?

I did. My promise was to try new things in needlework.

And voila: Štikar'ca color challenge is here.

Welcome anyone wishing to join the challenge. You can utilize the free embroidery pattern (downloadable below) or make something else in white and/or silver color.

If you want, you can send me the results via e-mail, or publish it on Instagram and tag me @needle_at_work . Please, use #stikarcacolorchallenge2021

Whitework and silver metal thread flower embroidery on white fabric in the middle. In the forefron there is a branch of dog-rose hips and a vase with dried flowers. The background is grey.
Štikar'cin barvni izziv - januar / Štikar'ca color challenge - January

by Mary Oliver (excerpt)

In winter

all the singing is in

the tops of the trees

where the wind-bird

with its white eyes

shoves and pushes

among the branches. ....

I don’t like snow and winter, because I'm always cold, but I do love beautiful poetry. And Mary Oliver is exceptional poet describing nature. If you will follow the link and read the poem till the end, you will find out how the snow is made.

We still do not have snow in my part of Slovenia, what about you, did you see any snow this winter?

Whitework is a beautiful form of embroidery, but I also love goldwork. In this pattern I wanted to show natural forms of winter flowers, or what is left of them. I gathered some dry branches, combined them with the dry cones of the purple coneflower and some other flowery finds from my walks.


I drew the pattern and thought about what threads to use. Finally, I decided to use tree ply silver twist to form the flower stems. This way I could couch single thread at the bottom and later (higher up) divide the thread into several smaller branches.

Dry cones of purple coneflower

I padded them with white padding and then made a lot (it seemed like the knot making will never end) of french knots to cover the padding. Once in a while I included small clear Miyuki beads with silver foil instead of the knot.

Thistle seed heads

Firstly, I wanted to make similar texture as the seed head. I immediately remembered turkey stitch and combined silver passing thread and Anchor cotton thread to make a carpet like texture. I knotted each thread separately in random places, then cut the top. Finally, I used cotton thread to bind the bottom part of turkey stitches to form a symbolic bract.

Here is the result.

And here is the link to Štikar'ca color challenge free embroidery pattern for January 2021.

Stikarca color challenge - January motif
Download • 215KB

Happy stitching.

The post was first published in 2021.

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