Monday, August 22, 2022

Embroidering a seascape

I've finally gone back to's stitch club. There are so many new wonderful workshops and never enough time 😊

Stitching a seascape

The latest workshop is with Bethany Duffy. Her workshop is about using seashells (or other found objects) and incorporating them into an embroidery. I really love her work (see Related links below).

By the sea

I started with two pieces of light blue hand-dyed fabric and a 4" embroidery hoop. The shells that we use need to have a hole in them to stitch through. That was actually difficult to find! I searched through all of my shells and found two since we generally collect unbroken shells.

My collection of shells in my hand-made bag.

After finding the perfect shell, I added three layers of padding using left-over batting. This helps give it a cascading effect. Then I started stitching, and stitching! There are a lot of long and short stitches. I ended up using two dark blue embroidery floss, then two light blue and finally a very light blue-green for the edge.

Adding padding to the shell

Once I finished stitching the first shell with short and long stitches, I added loopy French knots at the edge, like sea foam.

Finished stitching on the shell

Since there was still a lot of space left in the loop, I thought of adding another shell but then remembered the small bag of sea treasures that my niece and sister-in-law brought back from Prince-Edward Island this summer. There was a perfect little piece of driftwood that would be a great addition.

I added the padding in front of the driftwood but only attached the driftwood once the stitching was completed. You can faintly see the brown silk thread that I used to attach it. I was going to add glue under it, but it seems secure enough.

Driftwood attached with brown silk thread

What I learned

  • It was so enjoyable stitching the sea through the shell. 
  • I'm really glad that the driftwood seems to be quite secure.
  • I learned that adding padding in embroidery is called stumpwork. It gives it a 3D look.
  • I want to learn shisha mirror embroidery since my sea treasures were mostly pieces of sea glass. I would love to add this to my next piece....yes, I really hope to make many more of these 😊
  • I was hoping to give this first piece to my niece who is now studying in Denmark. I didn't get it done on time, so maybe she'll have many to choose from when she's back at Christmas.

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to many fun linking parties this week. You may want to check them out! Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Free Motion Mavericks with Muv this week, Patchwork & Quilts, Off The Wall Friday,  Put your foot down with True Blue QuiltsPeacock Party

Project details

By the sea
4" embroidery hoop
Materials: hoop, shell, driftwood, hand-dyed fabric, batting, embroidery floss and silk thread.
Techniques: stumpwork embroidery, long and short stitches and French knots


  1. Beautiful work and so interesting to use bits of nature combined with stitching. So many fun aspects to textile arts! Have a great week, and thanks for joining the Put Your Foot Down Linky Party :-)

    1. Thanks so much Andi. There are so many wonderful things to add to textile arts. It's great to learn the techniques :-) Thanks for hosting for Denise. Have a great week.

  2. Hello Andrée, The stitched sea water is brilliant! I am always collecting shells and never know what to do with them. Using them for embroidery is a stroke of genius.

    1. Thanks Muv, I wish that it was my idea :-) and it's great to share. I'm working on my second one and having lots of fun! Take care.


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