Growing a needlepoint tree…

Well, it’s slow progress, but there is growth.


This week I’ve concentrated most of my efforts on the tree. It seems to have passed that critical point when you find that something makes a bit more sense and you actually want to see where it’s taking you.

Of course the open weave hessian (burlap), makes for an interesting stitching experience, but I’ve decided to let it teach me, rather than impose my stitching style onto it. It isn’t all plain sailing – we’ve had our moments of disagreement, and I half expect more to come, but above all, I am learning.

Look away now if you’re of a nervous disposition – the picture below shows just how random the stitches are…even I have had to buy myself a big piece of 14 count mono, just to reassure myself that I have somewhere to go back to if it all goes pear-shaped.

tree trunk detail

But do you know what? I’m actually pretty happy seeing where we’re going with this – at least I am for the moment – next week, who could say.

top of the tree detail

I did a kind of running stitch tramming for the background colour, so that I’d have some texture to work into, and so that I could see what an overall colour would do to the composition. My idea is to stitch over the background to give it more depth and stability. We might fall out about that.

But all in all, it’s beginning to have that certain weight in the hand. It definitely feels more like a tapestry than an off-cut of hessian now and who knows, it might work out OK.


12 thoughts on “Growing a needlepoint tree…

  1. Very impressive and very brave of you. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to stitch something on hessian – after all Dundee was the centre for things jute – but have never taken the plunge, so far anyway. I think I will add this to my to do list. Good luck with the rest of the piece.

  2. This is beautiful!! I’ve just been having a look through your blog and you have so many gorgeous tapestries here. I don’t know anything about making them myself, but they are all really inspiring and your stitches above look good to me!

  3. Looking really lovely, I think the randomness of the stitching adds to it as, after all, a tree is a natural thing and so grows in a random way – I would imagine the hessian feels both scratchy and oddly fluid in the hand compared to canvas.

    1. Hello Kathy, thank you. I think randomness sums up the approach here pretty succinctly. Oddly enough the hessian feels hairy more than scratchy, but what I love, is the way it drapes over me when I’m working – something rather warm and comforting about it.

  4. Wow, the tree is just stunning. The hessian must be very interesting to work on. I imagine it is very, very different than a smooth, high-count evenweave. But the results are fabulous!

    1. Thank you so much for your comments. Hessian is a different experience, but I’m really enjoying it now that the piece is getting fairly well covered. It actually feels rather nice – a bit like having a prickly blanket over your lap, while you stitch.

  5. What a wonderful work of art! Huge amount of work there, but it must be very satisfying watching it grow and come to life. Lucky you enjoy the feel of it, as you would expect it to be a bit scratchy to work with. Looking forward to seeing the end result:-)

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