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Fancy Stitchwork: embroidering the Autumn Owl

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

I finally finished embroidering the Autumn Owl, which was a kit from Un Chat Dans L'Aiguilles. I cannot tell you how many hours work went into this one - but it was a lot.

I have never done an embroidery kit before, although I have started many cross stitch projects. I do, however, finish only a small number of the cross stitch projects I start as I find it a bit tedious. Especially when I count out to the right place to put the element, stitch it in, then count for the next element and find the first one is out of place by one, so I need to unpick it and do it again. So, I'm not a huge fan of cross stitch.

I chose this kit in particular as, unlike many kits, I found an indication of the stitches that were used in the project, and there seemed to be a nice variety. In fact there are a grand total of 14 different stitches used in the design:

Couching Stitch

French Knot

Chain Stitch

Stem Stitch


Blanket Crescent Stitch

Running Stitch

Buttonhole wheels Stitch

Straight Stitch

Feather Stitch

Fly Stitch

Lazy Daisy Stitch

Seed Stitch

Sheaf Stitch

There is a sheet included which illustrates how to do each stitch, and of course overall instructions showing which stitch and colour thread should be used for each element of the owl. I was thinking I might do some video clips showing how to make the different stitches - do you think that would be helpful?

I found the stitch instructions good, but the colour and which stitch to use took a bit of thought, as the stitch is named in french and the thread colour number is given. However, although the provided the threads and a picture of a thread organiser with the threads allocated to the correct number, it would have been a lot easier if they had actually provided a thread organiser too. So many of the shades were very similar, and it would have been good to have been able to sort them initially and have them remain sorted from that point. My only other criticism would be that for a couple of lines on the owl, namely the lines between the silver running stitch and the wing edge, it is completely unclear which stitch and colour should be used.

Finishing the Project

Autumn Owl is intended as a gift for my mother (as so many of the things I make seem to be!) and is going to be made into a cushion cover. I found some lovely autumnal Lewis and Irene fabric in the Clearance section at the Wool Warehouse, which has just the right colours, so I will be running it up in that.

Now I just need to decide - all one fabric? One for the front and one for the back? Bands of one fabric above and below the embroidery with the other fabric to either side? Patchwork???

Going to have to make my mind up at some point!

When it is done I will post again with a picture of the finished product!

In the meantime,I really do need to get on with that shirt I promised to make my son... ho hum...

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