Once I had actually seen a Splendid Fairy Wren in Tasmania, I had to adapt the Wren Étui to create an Australian version. This is based on the same theme as the brown wren but uses completely different techniques.
His iconic head plumage is worked on a base of deep blue Yorkshire tweed, using pleated Italian rayon tapes and the softest Japanese silk chenille. His back is embellished with fishbone stitch feathers using iridescent blue metalling passing threads. The chest feathers are worked on a base of English wool baize, using layers of tiny blue sequins and interlocking pieces of blue metallic purl. The wings are worked using padded satin stitch and whipped fly stitch in specially-made silk gimp, on a tweed ground. The underwings form the needlecase in buttonhole-edged wool flannel. The tail uses silk shading in pure silk with metallic couching and stretched pearl purl.
The Blue Wren is made up in the same way as the Brown Wren, on a pre-made body form with solid bronze legs and beak, which contains a tiny cutting blade. He also carries a specially-made sterling silver thread waxer, based on an antique one in my collection. It is hand engraved on one face with a blue wren, and on the other with an initial of your choice. The central shaft unscrews to allow new wax to be inserted. The waxer is made and engraved by my friend, clockmaker and silversmith Adam Mills. Alternatively, you could choose the smaller Bee and Skep waxer, also in sterling silver, also made by Adam.
Like his British cousin, the Blue Wren will stand happily on his own, but the same options for a mossy hillock and wooden base are on offer. You can also add a tiny gold pair of étui scissors and a glass dome for the finished piece.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHAT DOES MY KIT INCLUDE? Your kit includes all the fabric, threads and needles required to complete the design, together with a highly comprehensive illustrated instruction manual, written and drawn by Jenny. All threads are carefully packaged and labelled to denote where they are to be used in the design. We suggest you have a look through all the components to familiarise yourself with the complete kit before starting work. Where relevant, kits also include the materials required to construct the completed embroidery. WILL I NEED ANYTHING ELSE TO ENABLE ME TO COMPLETE MY KIT? Yes, but only basic embroidery equipment. A list of the items required can be found in the front of your instruction manual. All items can be purchased from our website. If you have any queries about equipment, please feel free to contact us for advice. HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE KIT? Most of our kits are designed for embroiderers with some experience, but the instruction manuals are extremely comprehensive and will teach you all you need to know. If you have any difficulties, or need advice on the difficulty level of a certain kit, you are welcome to contact us. I FIND TRANSFERRING DESIGNS ON TO FABRIC DIFFICULT Don’t worry, the designs are all pre-printed for you! CAN I POST IMAGES OF MY KIT/WORK ON MY BLOG/SOCIAL MEDIA/WEBSITE? We will be delighted if you wish to show images of this project on your blog/social media/website, as this often inspires others to have a go! However, as a courtesy, please do let me know if you plan to do this, and be aware that blogging of techniques, step-by-step or close-up images, either of the project in progress, the instructions, and the kit contents, is an infringement of copyright. Please always credit the design source and always include Jenny’s website and contact details so that those reading your blog can get in touch. Please highlight any infringements of this copyright which you observe from others. I AM STRUGGLING WITH A SECTION OF THE DESIGN One of the most important aspects of buying a kit from us is that you have direct contact to Jenny by email and she will be happy to assist you and provide advice. We cannot always answer within the hour but we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you are really struggling and need more help, we can arrange a lesson for you or to complete the section for you. I AM MISSING A COMPONENT IN MY KIT OR HAVE RUN OUT OF A THREAD We do our absolute best to ensure these situations don’t occur, but your kit is made by humans rather than machines and we do occasionally have a senior moment! Please feel free to let us know and we will be happy to supply more. I AM NOT HAPPY WITH MY WORK AND WOULD LIKE TO RE-WORK We totally understand this – most embroiderers incline to perfectionism! While we sadly can’t provide more materials for free, please just let us know what you require and we will be very happy to supply more. MY DOG/HUSBAND/HOOVER/SOFA/CAT/GOLDFISH ATE MY THREAD! It happens! Not a problem. Just let us know what you need and whilst we can’t send these for free, we are more than happy to supply more. MY THREAD IS DIFFERENT TO THAT IN THE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DESIGN Thread colours may vary somewhat due to dyeing processes and can appear different in reality due to photographic distortion. Due to limitations posed by suppliers, we also reserve the right to substitute project materials with suitable alternatives to those illustrated if absolutely necessary. HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT NEW DESIGNS? Please go to Jenny’s website where you can join the mailing list to find out about all new releases. We promise only to send you relevant embroidery-related news and not to pass your details to third parties. CAN I SUBMIT MY WORK TO A CRAFT SHOW OR COMPETITION? We are delighted if you have enjoyed working the project and would like to submit your piece to a craft/country show competition etc. Please do let Jenny know if you are doing this as she would love to hear how you get on. Please always credit the design source and always include Jenny’s website and contact details so that people viewing the piece can get in touch. CAN I TEACH THE DESIGN TO OTHERS? If you have enjoyed working the project yourself and would like to share this with friends or wish to work the design with your students, you are welcome to contact Jenny for more kits. The kit and accompanying instructions must otherwise not be copied, reproduced or taught in any form without prior permission. This will otherwise infringe copyright. Multiple kit orders are welcome and can be supplied on a wholesale basis by arrangement. Please contact Jenny for more details. I WOULD LIKE HELP WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OR DISPLAY OF MY FINISHED WORK Excellent news. We hope you have enjoyed the journey and are delighted with the finished result! If you would like help with mounting or finishing the design, please feel free to get in touch. If you would like to order a frame, box or similar for displaying the finished piece, please visit the webshop.