My dad was visiting and I showed him some of my embroidery. He is not a big fan but he did ask if I would sew something for a ‘special’ friend who he met last year. So after showing him some ideas he wanted me to do an owl embroidery in the style of Trish Burr’s royal owl in her book Whitework with colour pictured here.

I have previously created two pieces based on Trish’s designs – the cat for my mum and a lion for a friend and I like doing them as very intense exercises to perfect my padded satin stitch. I could not bear to do the owl in red, white and blue for several reasons (I was reluctantly made to wear clothes in these colours as a child). I hate red, white and blue.

So I agreed to do one in blue white and orange, and thought it may be useful to use this as an example of recording the process of padded satin stitch.

Below I show the work as it progressed… It gives some idea of the painstaking process and the sheer number of stitches you have to do when working with single strands of six strand DMC cotton threads.

Despite some wonky eyes and nose I like the effect of the long and short stitch on the actual eyes (something I am practising at the moment) resulting the gradients of colours.

I finished the owl in time for Christmas and she was very well received. If you click on the images below you should be able to see them larger.