It’s raining again! Let’s visit an Auricula Theatre

Remember the song from My Fair Lady?   “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain..”  Well I think that the rain in England falls mainly here in Devon – this week at least.  The garden is knee deep in mud, the skies are grey and Ben and Daisy are bored.  But poor old Ben is in the wars again – now he is limping heavily on his left front paw, so he is off once more to his least favourite place.  (sshhhh, whisper – the V-E-T)   I don’t think Daisy is to blame this time – when he was a youngster he broke a bone in that paw, so he’s had a weakness there ever since.

But today is after all the first day of spring, and there’s a definite spring-like feeling developing in the April issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  Auriculas have long been a spring favourite, with their myriad of colours and variety of blooms – did you know there are more than 1,500 named varieties in the UK?  Many of their flowers are dusted with an icing-sugar like powder – which is very beautiful – but easily washed away by – guess what – RAIN!!  So over the centuries the idea of an Auricula theatre developed to display them at their very best – possibly the most famous being at Calke Abbey – a National Trust property in Derbyshire….. 


 And so I thought it would be fun to create a mini Auricula theatre to enjoy all year round – mine is a combination of freestyle machine embroidery and hand stitching, using a collection of felt and furnishing fabric scraps….

Auricula Theatre Applique

Mounted on an artist’s canvas block.  And being me – there had to be some animal life in there too!  Can you spot the two little ladybirds? Auricula Theatre Applique

 Here’s one of them (sorry it’s a bit blurry – it’s such a dark grey day for photography).  The Auricula Theatre pattern (together with a little more history about how these theatres came to be) will be in the April Issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – out next Thursday.  To learn more and subscribe, please click here to visit the magazine page on this website. 


I Love Auriculas, they are so pretty and you always know when spring is here when they are out. Have to say I have never heard of Auricula Theatres! They must be very pretty when all the flowers are out. When I was a little girl a flower arranger showed me how to make a little posy using Auriculas, you only need about five stems and you have loads of flower heads on top!
Julie xxxxxxxxx


How pretty, Helen! And the perfect choice of fabrics. I had to look extra close to spot the second ladybird…
Hope Ben will soon be feeling like himself again…
X Linda


I love this, it’s so different and very beautiful. You must have so much patience.

Poor Ben, I hope he’s better soon.x


The NT one is very grand but your more intimate version has a charm of it’s own – plus no maintenance and all year blooming – win,win!!


What a lovely idea, and I’ve always loved the idea of an auricula theatre. We’re getting pretty fed up with the rain here in Somerset too, so I’m enjoying getting back to sewing again. Poor Ben, hope he recovers soon.


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