Welcome to my blog! My name is Karen and I am the owner and designer at The Hawthorn Tree. You can find my patterns on Etsy and Payhip and here on my blog you'll get a look behind the scenes with inspirations and tutorials.
Did you know that in the UK, this date, 19th April, is known as Primrose Day? My Grandma told me about it when I was a little girl because this date was also her birthday. The day was instigated by Queen Victoria to commemorate the death of former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Grandma would have been 100 today. I always think of her when the primroses come out in the spring; they're such a beautiful flower.
Grandma knew how much I liked embroidery and she always used to remark on how neat my stitching was. I felt I had to make something special to commemorate this day so I have stitched a primrose that fits perfectly into a 5.5cm mini hoop by Dandelyne. I have decided to share this chart as a free pattern here on this page.
I spent many happy days with Grandma and I think about her every day. She and my Grandad were married in 1948. Pictured below is his diary from 1947 and as you can see, he has marked the day with 4 crosses, lest he forget!
The primrose is worked in whole cross stitches and a small amount of back stitch highlights the edges of each petal. Simply right click on the image below and you can save it as a jpeg file. This is for your personal use only. As well as being perfect for a Dandelyne hoop, this would make a great motif for greeting cards, pin cushions, coasters and other small projects.
In my first post of the year, mentioned that something exciting was going to happen in February. It has been a goal of mine to have some kind of feature in a major cross stitching magazine and very soon after the new year, I was given the chance to be part of the Best For Modern Cross Stitch feature in Cross Stitch Crazy. I feel honoured to appear alongside so many talented and creative cross stitch creators.
Look for the issue with a beautiful carousel horse on the front. You may have noticed that I love Celtic art and so the Celtic alphabet designed by Lucie Heaton is right up my street!
Why do I suddenly have the urge to make a whole set of egg cosies?
And don't get me started on the cuteness and practicality of this awesome freebie!
I haven't even mentioned that Lauren Bacall is this month's Celeb Stitch. I actually went on ebay and bought a back issue featuring Humphrey Bogart so that I can (eventually!) display this iconic Hollywood couple together.
I bought the back issue from this seller who is raising money for Midlands Air Ambulance. There is a stash of Cross Stitch Crazy magazines available so it's worth taking a look if you want to add to your collection.
If you get your hands on the latest issue - 214 - look out for the Best For Modern Cross Stitch feature on page 55 as several of the businesses featured are offering discounts for readers. If you find the code on my section, you can get 10% off all patterns in both my online shops until 31st March.
Don't forget, if you live in the UK, you can avoid a 20% EU VAT charge by buying my patterns on Payhip.
I have just added three more birds to my collection and I'm currently working on a Celtic-themed WIP. You can see progress shots by following me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
We're halfway through February which means St Valentine's Day (or as I like to call it, the day after my birthday) has come and gone. Of course, you don't really need a specific day to express your love for someone special. When hearts are entwined, they're entwined forever.
Inspiration for my latest design came from what you may consider to be a surprising source - a Celtic animal design in the Book of Kells. I could see straight away how the knotwork could be made into hearts that would be perfect for a wedding sampler.
To add even more romance, I worked the hearts in colours reminiscent of an English rose garden, with vintage pinks and greens.
I also added a few beads to give an extra-special finishing touch.
You can use the alphabet included in the chart to personalise your sampler to celebrate a wedding, civil partnership or anniversary.
I'm still working on other designs that will be available later this year and I'm also planning a few tutorials which I think you'll find to be lots of fun. After all, crafting should be about having fun just as much as creating something beautiful.
There's plenty of work for my fingers to be getting on with,
Is it me or did Christmas just fly by? It felt that one moment we were settling down to watch A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, the next we were opening presents and before long we were welcoming in 2016.
January usually gives me a dose of the post-Christmas blues but this year is probably the first time I haven't felt it. I was actually really excited to open my online shops again and get started on new projects. I'm using this pretty notebook to jot down or sketch all my new ideas.
One plan for this year is to add more patterns inspired by nature. I was so pleased to see how popular my little bird patterns became last year, especially with my personal favourite the Bullfinch Pair becoming my best-seller. I have three more birds coming to the shop very soon, one of the needs a little bit of tweaking first.
I'm also working on a new Celtic pattern designed to be a wedding sampler.
Something rather exciting is happening next month which I'll tell you more about at the time but it got 2016 off to a great start.
Well, how did this happen? We're just four weeks away from Christmas Day! It'll soon be time to break out the festive movies (if you haven't done already!) I'm already itching to get the decorations out and I thought you'd like an early gift. You can download this pattern FREE from my Payhip shop.
This sampler is a bit of a clue to my favourite Christmas film - It's A Wonderful Life. If anything's going to give you that warm and fuzzy festive feeling then it's the scene where George Bailey is reunited with his family and friends and is made to realise how loved he is by them all. Just then, the little bells on the tree start to jingle.
"Look, Daddy! Teacher says 'Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.'"
Clarence has finally earned his wings after saving George. Hurrah!
If you've seen this movie in colour, you'll know that the bells on the Bailey family tree are gold but I stitched this before I'd seen the colour version. Please feel free to stitch them in gold instead of silver if you wish.
The bells motif is also perfect for greeting cards and other smaller projects.
I feel I've really made progress this year in many ways so I though this would be a nice way of saying thank you for all the support I've had.
A littlewhile ago I was asked to make a special present for my neighbour Becki. Becki had seen my collection of bird designs and told me she wanted a version of the robin for her grandma.
I suggested a mini version that could be framed in one of the perfectly made tiny hoops from Dandelyne. These hoops are all hand-finished by Sonia Lyne at her home in Melbourne, Australia. Although this is on the other side of the world to me, it's well worth ordering these beautiful accessories and playing with ideas for them.
I'm challenging myself to do more freehand embroidery and this was the perfect opportunity to do something outside of my comfort zone. After all, this is the only way you can grow, isn't it?
I'm happy with how this one turned out but I need to keep to practising the technique until I'm more confident with it.
One of my plans for next year is to create more mini hoop pieces of various kinds so I'll be working on design ideas over winter. Some of them will be inspired by ancient Celtic art and others by nature. I'm really excited about this new endeavour and about being part of the awesome mini hoop community.