B+W Safari, contemporary African embroidery

Two ideas came together to create this hoop art: a desire for contemporary African embroidery design and patterning as a form of mark making with needle and thread.


Using silhouettes of the animals gave each design in B+W Safari a distinct outline that delivered the modern look I was after and gave me a clear-cut shape to fill with patterned stitching.


Some, like the giraffe, are made up of the same cluster of stitches in repeat. Others, like the elephant, are filled with a pattern made up of various different stitches repeated in sequence. It makes for a meditative few hours of embroidery that leave you feeling calm and relaxed!

Sticking with black thread on white fabric added to the contemporary feel and united the five designs into one black-and-white display. You could easily swop it for a colour that matches your decor though, and the designs lend themselves to more than just hoops – they'd look quite smart float mounted in frames but would be equally effective embroidered on to scatter cushions (the patterned stitching creates a texture that feels lovely to run your hand over). And you could also just pick and choose your favourites to create as many hoops as you want.

The wild animals featured are a buck, elephant, giraffe, lion and rhino – five animals most people hope to spot on a game drive. 

The pattern includes all five designs, with close-up photos of each for you to refer to while stitching, and is available on Etsy and Craftsy.