Country Living tutor, textile artist and quilt designer, Hilary Jane has shared a hand stitching project with us for you to enjoy and make at home.


Hilary Jane has a passion for traditional hand stitched patchwork, quilting and sewing which she has been sharing since 1996 with beginners and experts alike, through her successful classes and workshops. She believes there are so many ‘clever’ sewing machines now, it is important to maintain the traditional hand sewing techniques handed down through the generations.

Hilary Jane teaches classes at the Country Living Spring and Christmas Fairs and we look forward to launching her slow-stitching workshops at the Christmas Fairs in the Autumn.

PROJECT 2 – Make a little blue hen embroidery

Fabric – background, muslin, fabric for hen, scraps of fabric for embellishing picture.
Threads – sewing, various embroidery threads – choose colours to compliment fabrics.
Needle (I like to use John James No.7 embroidery), pins, pencil

Methods used to create ‘The Blue Hen’ picture:
Appliqué, patching, embroidery stitches, slow stitching

Appliqué: Appliqué is the method of applying and securing one piece of fabric on top of another, either for functional or decorative purposes. Shapes are cut from a variety of fabrics, the raw edge is turned under and sewn onto background fabric with invisible slipstitch. This method is known as needle turn. An alternative method can be to attach fabric shapes using decorative stitches, in order to embellish the raw edges of the shape. Appliqué is one of the oldest forms of needle art.


  • To create the background – layer calico, muslin and shapes of fabric, pin. Secure fabric using small running stitches
  • Cut out chicken shape and position on background fabric. Secure using a small over stitch and complimentary single strand of thread
  • Using a single strand of red thread, embroider the chickens comb and wattle
  • With a single strand of black thread embroider the beak, eye and leg
  • Take a single strand of blue thread and using a small running stitch, create the chickens wing
  • The main areas of the picture are now complete so it is now time to embellish your picture by embroidering flowers and grass
  • To enhance your picture further, using a small running stitch you can stitch sky, hills and tufts of grass. Also consider stitching onto printed
  • To finish your picture roll over the side edges of the background fabric and slip stitch in place 

Stitches that Hilary Jane uses in her designs:

Remember to tag @CLFairs and #clspringfair in your projects. We look forward to seeing your designs.




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