What Are You Stitching?

10th February 2023

Reflecting on the stunning purse ‘Treasure’ by Margaret Lee and the beautiful dresses showcased in the Zay Initiative article in this week’s issue, we have put together some more glamorous and sparkly pieces from our readers for you to enjoy in this week’s ‘What Are You Stitching?’ below.

Masha Reprintseva

‘I enjoy different types of embroidery and make my hands busy with numerous works where needlework can be applied, from couture embroidery to some simple things like quilting stitch.’

‘Here are pictures of the ‘Song of a Thistle’ a couture gown that I finished. Like the other gowns I design, tailor and stitch, it has a ‘story’. I believe flower symbolism and the eloquence of flora can describe a person’s portrait simply by using some of the flowers and colour palette derived from nature.’ 

‘I have also made a short video showing some of my design and stitching processes, which is on my Instagram HERE.’

Thank you for sharing your beautiful gown with us Masha, it truly is a work of art. From the design to the amazing number of techniques you have used through to the quality of finish, it’s a breathtaking piece. We’re sure whoever gets the pleasure of wearing it will appreciate its glory.

Stephanie Drehs

‘I used to be employed in a government office that was headed by a man who was involved with the County Historical Society. On a particularly quiet day, he came into our office and asked if anybody sewed. All eyes turned to me. I had only ever quilted so I hesitantly answered that I did.’

‘He announced the Historical Society was hosting a local Native American woman who would be teaching a form of raised bead embroidery and wondered if I would be interested in taking her class.  

The beadwork was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was flowing, raised and not geometric at all. The motifs were mainly floral.  I knew I had to learn to do this.’ 

‘I followed the woman who taught us, a master bead worker from the Tuscarora Nation, for the next 10 years. During that time, I not only learned this unique form of bead embroidery but I also learned about the culture.’

‘We became good friends. She proposed that we combine our efforts to make quilted-beaded items. We worked together for about 5 years. After which our lives began going in different directions. She decided that she wanted to stop teaching and so began my own teaching career.

I am meeting new people, seeing new places and enjoying every minute of it.’

What a great story of passion, Stephanie. Such a lovely reminder that our needle and thread can take us on incredible journeys and introduce us to amazing people. We can see why you have now become a teacher, your beadwork is exceptional and you will no doubt do an amazing job passing on all the skills you have learned.

Sandra Tickle

‘Last year I was searching for something different to learn how to do. I like trying new needlework skills. I found some pictures of drawn thread forests and decided to try it.’

‘I couldn’t find any books with instructions, so, going by any pictures I could find, I taught myself how to do it. I decided to make a purse with drawn thread forests on the sides.’

‘I put a different season on each side and I am pleased with how it turned out. I started with the two smaller ones, and I improved with each different season.’

‘Then I made a type of Dorset button for the zipper pull, which was also a new experience for me. It was fun and fulfilling to learn a new skill. Now I need to figure out what I’m going to do next.’

Sandra, what a triumph your project is! Not one but two new techniques to add to your ‘stitching’ belt. We especially love all the small details on each season and the addition of beads on your Dorset button which look like delicious apples. 

Holly Jackson

‘I’ve been working on this mini-Mardi Gras float all spring and recently finished. It’s based on a watercolour by a female float designer named Jennie Wilde from the 1880s and was used in a Tennyson poetry-themed parade.’

‘I loved making all of the layers of stumpwork pieces for this and adding lots of sparkle to it! This was the Lady of Shalott float.’

A fantastic project, Holly. We’re sure Wilde would be thrilled to know her watercolour design has influenced your work, a few hundred years on. We love that you loved doing it and all the added sparkles are an excellent touch. 

Do you like to stitch with beads or sequins? Have you made any stitched clothing? Or have you found your needle and thread ‘calling’ in an unexpected way? 

Whatever your stitching story, we’d love to see it! Email photos of what you’ve created with needle and thread along with a few details about the project and your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com 

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