Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidered Bugs – The Perfect Touch


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I’m not exactly a bug fan, though I do like to look up close at some of the stranger buggy creatures inhabiting God’s earth. Caterpillars have always been fascinating to me – and this one, sitting atop his embroidered leaf, content in all his bullion-knot-pudginess, is quite appealing, as far as caterpillars go.

I’ve managed to add a few more stitches to my Breath of Spring project – and among them is this little fellow. He cracks me up.

Breath of Spring Embroidery Project from Inspirations Magazine

After I stitched him, I was pretty pleased, though some of the bullions are a bit wonky in the middle. But he is just too cute. I love his little legs.

His body is made up of bullion knots in alternating yellow and red, and his head is satin stitched in black, with French knots for the (rather large) eyes. His legs are little black straight stitches.

Breath of Spring Embroidery Project from Inspirations Magazine

I was observing with pleasure his colorful addition to the garden, when my sister stopped in. After expressing her approval, she told me a story. You see, my sister is a kitchen-garden-fresh-food-and-veggies fanatic, and each year, she plants an elaborate kitchen garden. To keep fresh herbs handy for cooking, she has a line of small clear vases on her kitchen counter, in which she places bundles of fresh parsley, basil, and whatnot from the garden.

She noticed a small caterpillar on some of her inside parsley one day, but decided to leave it there to see what it would do. While I pictured caterpillars in her soup, she continued to tell me how the thing, over several days, molted, then molted again, getting bigger, changing colors, and on and on.

The very day of her visit, she had been working at the sink when her gaze fell on her vase of parsley. It was moving and shaking! Low ‘n behold, the caterpillar (which had originally been the size of a tiny inch worm and now was progressing towards finger-sized) was wriggling about in great consternation. Then – bam!

It’s skin popped off and hit the counter! (I don’t really mind my inanimate caterpillar…)

Within a short time, it had worked itself into a kind of question-mark shape, and had formed around itself a chrysalis – the recognizable chrysalis of a swallowtail butterfly. I thought that was pretty neat.

I know my caterpillar can’t compare with the swallowtail that will eventually emerge on the salad on my sister’s counter – and in fact, unless the colors run, my caterpillar won’t morph into anything else…

Breath of Spring Embroidery Project from Inspirations Magazine

…but I still think, as caterpillars go, he’s pretty swell.


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(9) Comments

  1. Ah, I see that you were at the frame as I wrote. I’m hoping that tomorrow I too will manage a little stitch.

    I love your caterpillar and your sister’s story especially the bit where bam! – It’s skin popped off and hit the counter!

    This and ‘content in all his bullion-knot-pudginess’ made me smile. If I can’t stitch, I can at least enjoy hearing what my cyber friends are up to thanks to blogging.


  2. I'm so glad that you are back & recovering well. I'm not surprised that you're embroidering while recuperating from the surgery. The caterpillar did crack me up too.
    Lots of hugs!

  3. Hi, Carol-Anne – glad you enjoyed the story! Kinda … gross…. but still, neat.

    Sorry to hear about your mishap, and I hope you’re back on your feet and threading up soon!

  4. Love the caterpillar, and the great story about your sister’s experience.
    Also, I think the thistle looks quite realistic and more natural stitched randomly as you have done it.

  5. Just love the bug. I was just out in my flower bed taking pictures of the bugs and butterflies. I wasn’t able to do much work in the beds this year so it has been interesting seeing what came up.

  6. Love those pom-pom feelers!!!!

    Your sister sounds just like my aunt. Just the other day she tricked me into holding a chrysalis with the inhabitant writhing vigorously. EWWWW!

    I like my bugs better embroidered.

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