Spring's Arrived at Bobbin and Fred HQ!

Collage of Needlecraft finds from instagram including ribbon embroidery, cross stitch and needlepoint in spring colours
Top Row L-R: @textilesbybecca @living.on.the.rainbow @yana_izzuddin Middle Row L-R: @stitchrovia @leahhalliday1 @thecaptainandanouk Bottom Row L-R: @fuzzyandflora @adornbyorna @stitchtherapeutics on Instagram

It's been a sloooooow start to Spring but finally its influences are in the garden, in my yarn stash and they're over on this month's guest blog post, Top Nine Instagram Embroidery Finds This April, for Sew and So Ideas.

Every month I search high and low on Instagram, unearthing hand sewn treasures and sewing related hashtags to help you up your social media game and inspire your craftsy souls. I also add my favourite from the images posted under Sew and So's hashtag.

This month I found plenty of pretty spring inspired beauties, a stitch challenge for you to join in with and, one of the nine was stitched by a five year old! Can you guess which one?

Head on over there to read more about my top finds and don't forget to tag your photos with #SewandSo for a chance to be featured next month.

Grape hyacinth flowers

Sowing vs Sewing
The last couple of weeks I've traded my needles for gloves and been sowing seeds rather than making stitches. March was a wash out here so I've been playing catch up in the greenhouse.

I've planted a riot of colour and tasty treats including chard, gherkins, tomatoes, sunflowers, zinnias and pansies and I'm so looking forward to watching them grow up. I love the moment they break through the soil and once they're all flowering I get to marvel at how something so pretty comes from something so tiny, sometimes shiny and often brown.

I know this isn't a gardening blog but I thought I'd share some of the signs of spring we have around the garden as nature informs my design work and I'm hoping to incorporate what's in my garden into my stitching. After that I'm sharing my watercolour WiP and my spring yarn palette with you as well.

First up, our medlar tree. I say tree but stick with leaves is more accurate. The photos were taken a week apart. These are its first leaves since being planted back in the autumn. We feared it might not survive the snow so it's with great delight we admire its luscious leaves and dream of its fruit laden future.

Medlar Tree growing leaves

Our cherry tree is blooming too. Last year we steeped the cherries in brandy and sugar for a few months...then we topped our pancakes with them and a dollop of yoghurt. Delicious! Flowers crossed we get plenty of fruits this year.

Three photos showing the stages of a cherry bloom

I've begrudged all the rain but one of our number relished in it. Cammy the Camellia's covered in more flowers than ever before. The ones on the left had fallen and were collected up in a plant pot. I think they look as gorgeous off the tree as on so I snapped a shot of them for my sketchbook.

Pink Camellias in bloom

Cam's flowers became the focus of my first watercolour painting. I haven't used watercolours before so I'm having fun working them out and seeing what they can do. My greatest discovery so far is that I can use water and a tissue to remove the paint which helped me make the light areas pop and alter a couple of details I was unhappy with.

Collage of watercolour of a camellia in various stages

I'm using watercolour brush pens. They're so easy to paint with, hardly any pressure's needed to create intense colours and they don't make any mess! They can be used anywhere for as little or long as you like. Perfect if you're low in energy and struggle making the marks you want with other materials like colouring pencils or oil pastels (my old favourite). My colouring in obsessed friend, Emma, got me into them. My eyes lit up when I saw her vibrant effects and when she mentioned they were easier on her hands I knew I had to have a go. Check out Emma's results on Instagram.

From watercolour to yarn
I spent a fun time in the yarn shop putting together this combo of Stylecraft Special Chunky. I know some folks will shudder when they discover it's acrylic but it's excellent quality, easier to stitch with because there's much less friction to overcome when pulling the yarn through the canvas and, incredibly cost effective.

It's perfect for beginner stitchers and experimenting with. Bobbin and Fred were so happy with my choices they couldn't resist jumping right in.

Balls of Stylecraft Special Chunky Yarn in a Spring colour palette

Back to sewing
I'll be back next week with a DIY project for you to have a sew at and I'll be posting my hand stitched WiPs on Instagram in the mean time too.

Have a super stitch filled week, 

Shannan, Bobbin and Fred xX

Fred the Goat asking for social media shares


  1. Super blog post. I loved your fabulous water colour painting of the Camellias, just beautiful. I enjoyed reading your exploits in the greenhouse its such fun watching seeds geminate. I will look forward to more photos of these.

    1. Thank you so much, Jacky! I must pick the watercolour back up and finish it! Yes, it really is lovely fun watching the seeds germinate and I'm at it again filling up the greenhouse once more. Keep your eyes peeled, I'll be sharing this year's efforts in my Instagram stories:) xo

  2. I took a short course for sewing and bought me some fancy sewing machine that I have no clue how to use it, and I never sew since that. I guess I have to go back and sew again. This is a lovely post, I love Camellia flowers, and the water painting is so beautiful. You are such talented person.


    1. Hello Joice, thanks so much for getting in touch, it's lovely to hear from you and I'm so happy you enjoyed the post and like my painting so far...I really must try and finish it. I hope you do get back into sewing, I like your style so would love to see some handmade pieces alongside your fashion posts on your blog. Looking forward to seeing where your creativity takes you in the future :)


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