Pattern:  Tulipwood

Designer: Studio Flax + Purl Soho

Thread: Perle Cotton #8 (various colors; I have quite a stash)

Stitches: I did my own thing, using a combination of my favorite embroidery stitches: stem stitch, back stitch, long-and-short stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy stitch, and French knots.

Completed: May 2024

Working and Finishing Notes: Many years ago, I bought a kit I saw in a Purl Soho newsletter. It was immediately appealing to me . . . a simple Swedish design printed on high quality linen — and it came with some lovely linen embroidery thread. The kit was a collaboration with Studio Flax, a UK company with really gorgeous designs and kits and materials.  In early April, I pulled the whole thing out and decided to give it a try. Looking at the directions, I noticed that they were . . . scant. Nice photos. They indicate which colors to use where. They list the stitches they used . . . in a sentence. But they don’t indicate where they used which stitches.* I also noted that the linen embroidery floss, although it was packaged in such a lovely way and was truly beautiful to behold, felt . . . well. Kinda nasty. (Linen is Like That. It only softens with wear and with use, over time.) I also could see that, upon closer inspection, I was uninspired by the color choices. But I decided to carry on and give the whole thing a try — using the linen thread and figuring out the stitches on my own. Which didn’t last long at all. I just don’t have patience to work with that linen thread. So on to Plan B! I got out my (substantial) collection of Perle Cotton thread, chose my color palette, and stuck the directions in the recycling bin. I went “my own way” with this one.

* While poking around on the Purl Soho website, I discovered that you can download the stitch guides for each of the Swedish embroidery panels. This is not indicated in the print directions, but the full charts do exist. (I opted to let that go, already committed to doing it my way.)

Other notes:

  • I never use embroidery hoops when I stitch.
  • I did use a backing fabric behind my stitching.
  • I always try to include a photo (in the Gallery) of the back side of my work. I was taught to embroider with the philosopy that keeping things neat on the back side . . . was the best way to keep things neat on the front side. The proof is always in the pudding!