Anatomical Heart Embroidery


 11cm x 6cm

Another embroidered piece taking its inspiration from the scintillating subject of human anatomy. I find biology fascinating – a small part of me still wishes I’d trained as a surgeon instead of putting my nimble fingers to a textile-related use of needles. Since seven years in medical school would have likely drained my financial savings as well as my opportunity for pure creativity, here we have my alternative.

(Apologies for the rubbishy picture, I’m defaulting right now to the back-up camera which is, at best, less than desirable.)


An initial original sketch was refined to a simple outline drawing, blue and red segments highlighted. A felt padded base was covered with couched metal thread in red and blue, outlined in silver. An appliqued silk insert covers the lower body of the heart. Smaller veins are subsequently worked on top of the red silk, padded so as to give a protruding ‘juicy’ effect. Areas of muscle worked in chips of orange-brown rough purl.

I’m kicking myself for using the precise shade of red bckground silk I used – I believe the red veins are ‘lost’ within it, and would have more clarity had their background been a paler pink or even a flesh-coloured silk. What do you think?

As for the background fabric the entire piece has been worked on – well, this can be entirely ignored, since this heart is destined to be cut away leaving only the embroidered ‘patch’. it will then feature in an upcoming photoshoot wherein all the model’s ‘tattoos’ are in fact exquisitely worked metal-thread embroideries.

Now where’s that organ donor card?


  1. Shiny!

    Btw, I love that you do modern embroidery with such a high level of skill. I get quite irritated by all the stuff for sale on etsy with three inch long stitches, as is modern design is an excuse for bad workmanship. YOUrs is always exquisite

    1. Thankyou so much! Yes, I share your irritation with badly worked things – whether historical or new I see no reason not to execute it beautifully. 🙂

  2. I have oft been tempted to start something similar to cake wrecks devoted to shit embroidery on etsy, cos if they’re selling it it counts as professional and should be shamed, save for the nagging reminder that there’s no bad publicity…

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