One of my favourite themes in hand embroidery is based on cottages and their rambling gardens.
Hand embroidering a garden allows you a lot of freedom. Often I free hand work the garden area which means I do not rely on a pattern very closely. I usually mark the outline of the area to be worked with a washable marker and then proceed to fill the area with the plant. I find that the garden begins to take shape right before my eyes. Having a knowledge of common garden plants helps when choosing colours for the design as well as deciding on the scale. Both these design considerations bring a sense of realism to the project.
One of my other favourite things to do is to paint the background fabric with a diluted paint. This gives a much greater depth to your embroidery work and contributes further to the realism of the design.
Don't be afraid to experiment with your hand embroidery. If you make a mistake simply undo it or I often work over the top of my mistakes. This is another advantage of embroidering cottage gardens. Because plants overlap each other it is not a problem to rework an area.
If you enjoy hand embroidery I know you'll love stitching a Cottage embroidery design. To find out more about the cottage embroidery design pictured click here.