What Are You Stitching?

15th July 2022

Most needleworkers love fabric as much as they love thread, and many can boast of a fabric stash to rival most good-sized fabric stores! Perhaps the needleworkers who have the greatest love of fabric are those who also enjoy quilting.

It is often said jokingly that quilting is just cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again, but when you see how it is sewn back together, you won’t be laughing – you’ll be gasping with amazement.

Linda Stephen

‘The inspiration for this hanging came from A Trip Around the Wool by Ségolaine Schweitzer a French textile artist. This piece includes embroidery, wool work, vintage textiles, collected buttons and ribbons from various trips to Australia, Japan, England, Scotland, France and elsewhere. There are 52 different hexies and each has a story associated with it.

I had no plan when I started it – I just allowed it to do its own thing.

The backgrounds are mostly wool and are bound and backed with Japanese textiles.  I started it in 2019 and I completed it in the autumn of 2020.’

‘I had just returned from a special trip to the Japan quilt show in Tokyo when the pandemic hit in Canada. With lockdowns and such, I had extra time to play with this project. Sadly, as I completed the final arrangement of hexies and had shown it to my wonderful gentleman friend, he passed away suddenly, so now one hexie is especially dedicated to him.’

What a magnificent project, Linda. It must be wonderful to see it each day and remember all of the journeys and people that inspired it.

Marla Redding

‘Some projects get set aside and we may not remember exactly why. Was it the colours that didn’t seem quite right? Were we lacking the skills to complete the project? Did life just intervene? For me, it was probably all of those.’  

‘I had begun the embroidery on this kit quilt, but barely. Over the years I looked at it in its box many times, but never picked it up again. I often debated about passing it on to someone who might complete it.’

‘On December 26, 2021, I picked it up, deciding now was the time to either do this project or let it go. The original colours no longer appealed to me, so I decided I needed more colour. I began by ripping out my previous work. As I did so, I debated whether I should continue. But each time I spread out the piece, something held my interest, so I kept going. As I began putting the new colours in, the spark of excitement ignited.

I found a receipt in the box that held this project.   

I bought it on 5/4/1982, so my goal became to complete it by 5/4/2022, a mere 40 years later.

You can see I succeeded.

The embroidery skills needed for this project were certainly easy enough, but with the quantity it was very time consuming. I stitched up to 6-8 hours a day! Then I began the quilting, by machine, which took another month. After all these years, I am happy I went ahead and finished this project. Now I can say, I have never taken more than 40 years to finish any project.’

This is a wonderful story and a truly fabulous quilt, Marla. A mere 40 years in the making – not many of us can say that! Congratulations on finally getting it finished and thank you so much for sharing it with us. No doubt your story will inspire many to never give up as we all feel your joy and immense sense of satisfaction which was only possible because of your perseverance.

Stephanie Murphy

‘I made this crazy quilt vest using an old, crocheted doily. It was wonderful to use those vintage crochet pieces in crazy quilting. I have also seen completely lined outfits – jackets and skirts – made from vintage lace tablecloths!’

‘I always say we should re-use what we can to preserve the past. Those people worked so hard in dim light and poor conditions. Even with limited materials, they created works of art that brought them peace of mind. We can then use them in our own masterpieces and preserve them forever.’

What a unique and fascinating vest, Stephanie. This is a wonderful way to use old, crocheted doilies and give them new life while at the same time honouring the labour of a previous generation of stitchers. 

Do you love quilting in all of its forms? Do you love fabric as much as thread and do you get excited by combining the two together in gorgeous, quilted creations? Or do you reserve your stash cupboard purely for embroidery?

Whatever it is you like to stitch, we’d like to see it. Send us a picture of your work with a bit of information about the project and your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com 

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