A Selkie Story: Reflections

A Selkie Story: Complete

Stitching a Story

Scotstoryfest on Instagram issued an art challenge – 14 prompts on the theme of the sea! The prompts were inspiring, and I decided I wanted to try answering one each day and use them to build up a complete story in a hoop.

The rhythm of stitching something new for the story everyday was really enjoyable, and really satisfying to complete a complex and original hoop in two weeks! I really enjoyed taking part in the challenge as well, and the community that quickly built up between everyone answering the prompts, and the enthusiasm and support of Scotsstoryfest. I’ll definetly look out for another challenge like that.

I love stories and story telling, and I’ve been wanting to find a way to capture that in embroidery for ages. This challenge gave me the push I needed!

I think I’ll need more practice in representing the story clearly (I showed the hoop to my mum and she struggled to follow it!) but for a first go I’m really proud! I want to practice stitching small figures with expressive movements more.


Embroidering water is something I’ve want to try for a while – I’ve looked at the different techniques other stitchers have used but this has been my first time! I’m really pleased with how it has come out – mixing chain stitch and coral stitch gives different textures which helps with movement and also perspective. I really like the perspective I achieved with the island, and the feeling of movement in the last sweep. The underwater diagonal lines were a last minute inspiration, but I think they really help giving a feeling of transition below and above water.



cotton and linen blend, painted with blue water colour and backed with cotton


  • Variegated threads by Threadworx used for the sea and seaweed. These threads have beautifully subtle variations. The surface of the sea uses a slightly different blue to the storm and underwater lines. Bought from London Bead Co.
  • DMC Perle for the spiral/seashell
  • DMC or Anchor threads used for everything else.


  • Felt for mermaids tail, island, rocks, and selkies
  • A scrap bit of interfacing for the fog!

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