I`ve just spent the last couple of days making some more bumble bees brooches and I`m really pleased with the results. I used the drawings I did last year for inspiration again, but I let these ones ‘evolve’ as they were being made which means that they are all slightly different. They really seemed to come ‘alive’ when I embroidered their little legs, I took care over the angle of their legs to try and suggest movement and to give them a sketched feel. I really love their textures, I think the layers of fabric scraps and stitching give them a lovely furry look. It`s been such a cold Spring so far that I haven`t spotted any bumble bees in the garden yet, but I`m looking forward to seeing them soon.
Category Archives: bees
My bee brooches have been selling well over the last few months.
These are a few that I made for the Lucie Fenton Gallery in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.
This one is my favourite, it was taken from a drawing I did of a bumble bee crawling over a dandelion.
When I made my first bee brooches I wasn`t sure if people would like them, I`m so glad they`ve proved to be a big hit!
I had such a good response to my little bee embroideries that I decided to do some more and turn them into brooches.
Tiny, layered scraps of black and yellow cottons and lots of scribbly stitching make up their bodies and they have hand-embroidered little legs. The bees have been stitched onto recycled linen furnishing fabric in shades of blue. My favourites are the ones on the dark, indigo blue fabric.
I think insect brooches will sit well with all my flowers and are also quite an edgy contrast. I`d like to try other insects, maybe butterflies or ladybirds, I`ll start with some drawings then work from there, I think the embroideries definately work best that way as it keeps them looking free and hand-drawn. I`ve got lots to catch up with next week, but if I get time in between making more fascinators and brooches for my stockists then I`ll start sketching, hopefully in the garden- if it ever stops raining!
I`m very lucky to have a sewing room, but it faces to the front of the house, so if I have hand sewing to finish, I`ll usually take it through to the kitchen table so I can look out to the garden. Quite often in Spring there will be a gentle tap (or bump) at the window and it will be a newly emerged bumble bee, trying to get to the jug of flowers on the window sill.
I think bumble bees are gorgeous, so fat and furry you just want to stroke them! They are the first bees to emerge in Spring and a sure sign that Winter is over.
I`d been thinking about bees this week, after having a dream that I made some pin cushions with busy bees on them. I wanted to have a go at stitching some bees, using the same layered technique I`ve been using for my heart brooches.
This was my first attempt:
It wasn`t quite right, so I decided to sketch some bees in the garden on the one sunny afternoon we had this week.
I love sketching animals from life, such a nice free and scribbly way to draw. I really should make time for more drawing, I enjoyed scribbling these little bees.
Then I did a couple of embroideries straight from the drawings. These were much better. I`m pleased with them, I think they look quite life-like, but with the same loose, sketchy feel.
I`m not sure what I`m going to do with them yet, perhaps they could be details on cushions, but I`m feeling inspired to carry on with this way of working- maybe birds will be my next project…