Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Henry VIII and his six wives

This Henry VIII mini cushion has been a long time in the planning and was great fun to both design and to stitch.  I really enjoyed researching the paintings of Henry VIII and his six wives to try to capture the style of each one, and then re-creating each character in cross stitch, aiming to design each wife differently using their recognisable costumes and giving each one a slightly different facial shape and features.  I used rich but earthy shades of thread such as the browns, beiges and greens, in the design with flashes of oppulence in the use of the bright red and blue with a deep cerise shade surrounding the old-gold lettering that makes up Henry VIII's name.

I wanted to add the names of each wife onto the mini cushion to give the design a kind of 'family tree' feel and so I needed to make sure the areas of the design that would be underneath the writing would be of a paler colour so that the black lettering would stand out.

As I had first thought of designing this mini cushion many months ago, I had also given some thought to how I wanted the photo of the finished piece to look.  I like setting up little scenes in which the mini cushions can be placed and I wanted to include some old silverware and jewels for this one so I scoured a car boot sale and found these two brooches, a snuff box and a little spoon (although the latter is Victorian, it still seemed to capture the Tudor spirit), which would be ideal.  The goblet is one that has been in my house for years and as it had not been cleaned for all those years it had just the right patina for the age.

On setting up the photo I realised the snuff box and spoon would be too much so I just kept the goblet and two jeweled brooches in the shot.  I used creamy beige backing papers for the background which helped the mini cushion stand out in the image.  Then it was a case of adding the product to my webshops and promoting the mini cushion kit on my Facebook page.  I also found many other pages dedicated to the Tudor period and I added news of my little cushion to those pages too, to help spread the word of my latest mini cushion kit.

I am now working on another Tudor mini cushion, this time featuring Queen Elizabeth I in a jewel-encrusted dress set against a background of green pattern.


  1. I love it! Definitely my favourite period in history.

  2. There will be an Elizabeth I 'portrait' mini cushion to follow, and I'm thinking about creating portrait mini cushions of Henry VIII and each wife too so that their fine clothes can be seen, as only their head and shoulders feature in this mini.