Phoenix in blue

I began the crewel project of the bird design by trying a new technique. In an attempt to make the stitching look like feathers on the crane, I used fly stitches worked very closely, one on top of the other.

As I stitched, the bird metamorphosed into a phoenix. It was magical! Not until all of the blue “feathers” were in place could I see it and then – suddenly – there is was!

It’s the same phoenix that’s on the porcelain from China that stands on the table in our living room.

It’s the same phoenix in this beautiful mosiac from Uzbekistan…

come to life again on the linen twill, stitched using Renaissance wools.

The angle of the stitches give the feathers motion.

The story of the phoenix is that it’s reborn in fire. It’s a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a beautiful tail of gold and scarlet. It has a long life cycle – hundreds or even a thousand years. Near the end of it’s life, it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises, reborn to live again.

This story was the inspiration for one of my favorite pieces of music to play and listen to – the Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky. For the most beautiful melody (and French horn solo!) go to the link, wait a few seconds while you get to see the beautiful chandelier on the ceiling of the hall here in Berlin, then turn up your speakers and prepare to hear the phoenix rise out of the ashes!

5 thoughts on “Phoenix in blue

  1. There is a wonderful book called David and the Phoenix, I received it for Christmas about 50 years ago. Wish I knew where it was.

    I love the bird, the porcelain, most of all the mosaics.

    Look forward to all your posts, thanks for sharing. What joy you bring with your needle and thread.

  2. It looks lovely! I´m really enjoying your blog.

    I have a question about the fabrics you use and where you buy them. I´m in Spain, and there doesn´t seem to be much of a following for embroidery other than counted cross stitch or needlepoint kits. For example, where did you get that luscious silk for the Colors of India project? How do you decide what you´ll use?

    Looking forward to more.



    • Hi Coco,
      I have the same difficulty you do buying fabric. It’s the same in Germany – loads of fabric for cross stitch but nothing for surface embroidery. Grrr. I have been to the Holland Stoff Markt when it comes through the area. However, I think it’s confined to Germany. The silk I used for the Colors of India I bought in the UK but I know you can get it from Pearsall’s Embroidery. It’s silk Dupion and must be backed with muslin or a very lightweight pre-shrunk cotton before you stitch on it. But it’s so easy to use then and just lovely! How do I decide what to use? It’s basically what will work best from what I have in the drawer. I don’t know what I’d do if I really had choices! You’ve given me an idea to do a shot post on fabric sources in Europe. Watch this space!
      Liebe Grusse,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.