What Are You Stitching?
14th May 2021
This week ‘What Are You Stitching?’ is all about stumpwork, a technique that never fails to inspire, and results in some of the most amazing, embroidered pieces we’ve seen.
Due to the variety of techniques and stitches, giving dimension to embroidery brings with it a range of challenges. However, the incredible stitchers we are featuring today have all risen to the challenge and succeeded beautifully.
‘This is one of the largest projects I’ve done, being a 20” x 24” (51cm x 61cm,) stumpwork/mixed media piece. The rocks were created using model magic then painted, and I used Swarovski crystals for the stars which are so much prettier in real life when you can see them flash and sparkle. I also used the arms of a Barbie (who, according to my youngest grandson, had a fight with GI Joe and lost!)’
‘I’ve also completed a winter wreath recently as well.’
Nina, you are a prolific embroiderer and your stumpwork pieces never fail to amaze us. Your inventive and very clever use of different textures and materials (such as Barbie arms!) gives your work a depth and intrigue that really stand out. We eagerly await the next project from your talented fingers.
‘My husband and I spent 4 years in Australia living in Cairns, Queensland and Port Macquarie in New South Wales. To commemorate our trip, I designed and stitched two stumpwork embroideries – one as a reminder of all the things I loved in Cairns and the second for all the things I found so special in Port Macquarie.’
‘For Cairns, it was the Ulysses butterfly; the coconut palms; the wild cassowaries we saw hiding in the fan palms in the Daintree; the Heliconias in the Flecker’s Botanic Gardens; and, of course, the beautiful, fragrant frangipanis. It took me two years to design and stitch this piece.’
‘I was more confident with designing and stitching my second piece. Across the road from our home was a golf course and at any time of the day we would see kangaroos on the fairways (or in our front garden), sometimes standing tall and at other times resting under the shade of the eucalyptus trees.
The magpie’s beautiful song followed us on many a walk around our neighbourhood; the Bird of Paradise is also very common around this area; and the cute koala is at home in its natural habitat in Port Macquarie. This embroidery took me just over a year to research, design and stitch.’
What incredible pieces, Valerie. We don’t know whether we’re more moved by the skill of the stitching or the stories which have informed the design process, either way congratulations on the creation of such brilliant souvenirs.
‘This winter everything in Denmark was shut down, including my embroidery courses. So, I drew and embroidered this stumpwork rose so I could practice various 3D stitches. It is embroidered on linen with DMC Cotton a Broder and Japanese gold thread. The finished embroidery is mounted in the lid of an empty chocolate gift box.’
What a stunning piece – so rich and vivid in both its colouring and detail. You have produced a superb project Dorte with a lovely finish and mounted absolutely beautifully. You should be very proud of it.
Do you love doing stumpwork? Have you tried a whole lot of different methods to achieve a 3D or raised effect? Or do you prefer surface embroidery, without the added raised elements?
Whether you’ve designed your own, worked a design or kit from one of our publications, or found your stumpwork patterns elsewhere, we’d love to see the results. Send us a picture of your project and a bit of information about it and your stitching journey to firstname.lastname@example.org