Tartan Scotties, an exercise in Jacobean trellis work and needle weaving

This is one of those designs that has lingered in the back of my mind for ages, deserving more attention but not quite falling into place.

It appeared originally as a sampler in one of the early editions of The Stitch & Thimble, which for those of you who are new to my work was a digital hand embroidery magazine I put together between 2010 and 2013. Those of you who have that early edition may have recognised the design straight away.

It was a single Scottish Terrier in quite heavy colours with only the most basic instructions on how to embroider it. I’ve learnt a whole lot about writing instructions since then, as well as developed a better sense of thread colour and design.

My mother brought a beautiful piece of tweed fabric back from England and used it to upholster a wingback chair – it was all these gorgeous shades of dusty blue and grey. Maybe it was the British connection, but when I saw the chair completed, the colours made me think of the Scotties and suddenly I knew how to breathe new life into that old sampler and give those of you who love Scottie dogs (or dogs in general) a design with an elegant feel to it.

As I mentioned in my most recent newsletter, it’s a bit of a deviation for me as needle weaving isn’t something I use often in my work, but it was such a refreshing change to do it again and I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

First I modified the design. Then I spent a fair bit of time on the instructions for the pattern, creating illustrations for each written step to help you with stitch placement and to keep track of the weaving. It took a bit of adding and taking away to get the colours just right, but in the end I managed to create a similar feel to that piece of tweed fabric (although these Scotties are more tartan than tweed, stitchwise).

If all this appeals to you and you'd like to give needle weaving a try on a manageable scale, you’ll find the pattern as an instant download on Etsy and Craftsy