The Little Blue Hen Embroidery

By Hilary Jane Cheshire

Appliqué is the method of applying and securing one piece of fabric on top of another, either for

functional or decorative purposes. Shapes are cut from a variety of fabrics, the raw edge is turned under and sewn onto background fabric with invisible slipstitch. This method is known as needle turn. An alternative method can be to attach fabric shapes using decorative stitches, in order to embellish the raw edges of the shape. Appliqué is one of the oldest forms of needle art.

You will need:

  • Fabric for the background i.e. muslin
  • Fabric for hen
  • Scraps of fabric for embellishing picture
  • Threads – sewing, various embroidery threads – choose colours to compliment fabrics
  • Needle (I like to use John James No.7 embroidery)
  • Pins
  • Pencil

Methods used:

  • Applique
  • Patching
  • Embroidery stitches
  • Slow stitching

Stitches used when creating the picture:

Hilary Jane_blue hen_image2

Step 1

To create the background – layer calico, muslin and shapes of fabric, pin. Secure fabric using small running stitches.

Step 2

Cut out chicken shape and position on background fabric. Secure using a small over stitch and complimentary single strand of thread.

Step 3

Using a single strand of red thread, embroider the chickens comb and wattle.

Step 4

With a single strand of black thread embroider the beak, eye and legs.

Step 5

Take a single strand of blue thread and using a small running stitch, create the chickens wing.

Step 6

The main areas of the picture are now complete so it is now time to embellish your picture by embroidering flowers and grass.

Step 7

To enhance your picture further, using a small running stitch you can stitch sky, hills and tufts of grass. Also consider stitching onto printed fabric.

Step 8

To finish your picture roll over the side edges of the background fabric and slip stitch in place.

Hilary Jane_blue hen_image3

Further information

Hilary Jane is a textile artist and designer of quilts and embroideries.  She uses her designs in regular classes and bespoke workshops which are at present taught online.