Tuesday 4 July 2023

...And The Bees

At the end of May we were in Manchester - on World Bee Day - I blogged about it. I decided to give up plans for a bird-related stitching for June, and go for a bee theme instead. The themes of industry and community appealed to me - and the whole idea of collaboration chimes in well with my word of the year.

Also I wanted to explore blackwork - otherwise known as Spanish work. On last year's Postcard Project, Kirsten had done a superb Tree of Life in shades of green. Spanish work was usually done in black in Tudor times, but not exclusively so. But unlike the Redwork of the Mueller Orphans, it is essentially a series of regular patterns to fill spaces, akin to the Sashiko work found in Japan.

I decided to cover my June section with different examples of blackwork patterns - but do them in hexagons, like the cells of a honeycomb. I used 2 strands of floss, and I left a border of bare fabric between the cells. I chose different honey coloured shades, ranging from pale lemon to deepest amber, and arranged my threads in a graduated ombré hues. Then in the corner I stitched a bee - this time with three strands of thread, to add dimension [Bob said it had a sort of fuzzy/fluffy finish, like a real bee] 

The stitching went reasonably well but one corner kept going wrong. I had about 4 sessions of unpicking& restitching, before it looked right.

Finally I was happy and posted the parcel off to Sussex. The bees were buzzing in the garden as I went to the post office. The sunshine of a summer day in my English village reminded me of some lines of Rupert Brooke 

Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?


  1. Your stitching is beautiful! How clever to arrange the different stitches in a honeycomb pattern and the bee looks lovely!

  2. Your stitching is beautiful! I love the honeycomb pattern!

  3. That’s a great piece of stitching and I agree with Bob about the bee. Catriona

  4. One of my favourite songs:
    Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGXbOiiaI24
    Explanation: https://www.bigbigtrain.com/telling-the-bees/
    Love FD xx

  5. Lovely stitching, Ang!
    We're leaving our clover blooming for the bees.


  6. Beautiful and I think using the honeycomb shape was inspired.

  7. That is beautiful, I think I mentioned before I love honey and all things bee related, and that poem is a favourite, thank you
    Alison in Wales x

  8. Wonderful stitching and the bee does have a lovely fuzzy look even on the photo. Rupert Brooke was a very special WW1 poet. There is such a longing in those last lines about the vicarage, and for me they conjure up England as I knew it long ago!


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