What Are You Stitching?
27th August 2021
Not every needlework piece requires traditional embroidery materials. The truth is, there really is no limit to the kinds of materials you can use to create textile art and pieces that are created from a range of items are often called ‘mixed media’ pieces. This week we bring you inspiration from some amazing projects we have received, along with some wonderful stories that accompany them.
‘I thought I’d share with you a piece I recently finished that I call ‘Memories from Childhood’. I have no photograph to help me recall this memory but was fortunate enough to find a photo online of a park in New York that my grandfather used to take me to where we’d feed the ducks and swans on the pond.’
‘I remember him always wearing a fedora and a grey sweater, slacks and leather dress shoes. I wore a green wool coat, bobby socks and saddle shoes, which were in vogue at the time.’
‘The challenge for me was to incorporate the memory in my head with the photograph of the park. I completed this piece at the beginning of 2021 and when my father fell ill and was in a hospice I brought it with me to his bedside to share with him.
I hadn't told him about it in advance, but when he saw it, he started nodding in instant recognition and reached out to touch the figures.
I was so fortunate to have been able to share this memory with him before he passed. As I feel strongly that embroidery and art in general is meant to be shared, this piece will be on display in Chicago for the EGA National Seminar in September.’
What a beautiful heart-warming story Lynette. We’re so pleased you were able to re-create your delightful childhood memory and then share it with your father in his final days. Such a compelling testimony to the power of needlework to bring memories and emotions to life in a vivid way. Your project is both a beautiful piece of art and a precious moment captured in time. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
‘Before COVID-19 we travelled on the Rhine, Germany and we passed the rock of Lorelei. During the lockdown I would just sit in my cosy little room and stitch. And I thought of Lorelei.’
‘As I stitched, I sang the song of Lorelei:
I don’t know what it can mean that I am so sad
A fairy tale from ancient times which I can’t get out of my head
The air is cool and it’s getting dark and the Rhine is flowing peacefully
the mountain’s peak is glittering in evening sunshine.
The most beautiful maiden is sitting up there wonderfully
her golden jewellery is sparkling
she combs her golden hair
she combs it with golden comb and sings a song
which has wondrous tremendous melody.
The sailor in his little ship is seized by a wild woe
he doesn’t see the rocky reefs
he is only looking up into the heights.
I believe the waves will engulf the sailor and the boat in the end.
And that with her singing the Lorelei has done.’
What a fabulous accompaniment to a unique and lovely project, Maria. We hope both the stitching and the singing brought you solace as you remembered fondly your recent trip down the Rhine.
‘I have been using my knowledge of painting to try and achieve depth in my embroidery projects. This is my latest mixed media piece I call the Lady of Spring.’
‘The figure is stumpwork. I used Barbie doll arms again and I made the hair using synthetic doll hair. There is a stumpwork bunny hiding in the grass. Bird and butterfly buttons are added to finish the whole scene.’
Your pieces are becoming more and more creative every time, Nina. You have created a truly mesmerising scene here, drawing us in as we long to go on the enchanting adventure that awaits. Brilliant work, we can’t wait to see what you design next.
Do you love to add all kinds of materials to your projects? Do you see a button or a thread, a feather or a piece of fabric and immediately start dreaming about how you can incorporate it into your work? Or do you prefer to stick with floss, wool or thread?
Whatever it is you like to stitch with, we’d like to see it. Send us photographs of your work with a bit of information about your inspiration and stitching journey to firstname.lastname@example.org