What Are You Stitching?

16th November 2018

In this week’s issue of All Stitched Up! we featured Jane Nicholas’ project ‘Life Cycle of the Swallowtail Butterfly’ from Inspirations #100. When you think about Jane Nicholas, one of the first things that comes to mind is stumpwork and her incredible ability to reproduce almost anything using this technique. This week we share the work of some stitchers who may just become as renowned for their own stumpwork abilities…

Karen Friscia Zoback | USA

We first saw the work of Karen in All Stitched Up! Issue 126 and heard how, after seeing stumpwork at a quilt show, she bought a book and taught herself the technique. This week we feature two more pieces she’s created with this very challenging, but captivating of techniques.

Again Karen, your meticulous approach to stitching has created another two spectacular pieces! We can’t wait to see what stumpwork is next from your needle and thread.

Mavis Brown | Canada

‘Attending a Beating Around the Bush seminar is so inspiring and I came away with so much enthusiasm from 2016! I took Hazel Blomkamp’s class and it was a wonderful challenge and so satisfying to complete. So much so I am currently working on Roger the Rhinoceros! I completed each project from the conference. I enjoyed the networking, the chance to chat with such amazing teachers, whether in their class or not, and the impeccable organization of the conference. Our guild is a teaching guild and I have been honoured to pass on some of the techniques learned at BATB 2012 and 2016. I love the challenges in the projects and have just finished my kookaburra, a Rajmahal design. I am having such fun!’

Mavis, not only do we love your kookaburra and the interest your stumpwork elements have added to the piece, but we love your enthusiasm for all things needle and thread!

Terry Mullen | USA

‘I love boxes, in fact who doesn’t?! A few years ago our local Embroidery Guild Chapter gave each member a packet of materials – hand dyed wool pieces, buttons, beads, etc and issued a challenge to make something. The colors of the materials immediately spoke to me of the seasons. I pondered for several months, taking out the materials and looking at them often. One day I was in my work area and I noticed a nice oval paperboard box that I had had for a couple of years. I got the idea of a Box of Days, with symbols of the four seasons running around the side of the box. I was off and running!

‘I had a wonderful time choosing how to depict each season and designing how they should flow into one another. Sometime into the process I knew that I wanted a tree on the lid. My wonderful husband provided wire and I constructed my windswept tree, then covered it with cotton string. I stitched small leaf beads to the branches and hung a tiny birdcage charm on it. I padded the top to make hillocks and used flower-shaped beads on them.’

‘A piece of iridescent material made a pond, complete with turtle bead and then blue and white beads made a waterfall over the edge. This is mostly done with wool applique, but there are several specialty stitch techniques included. I see many things I could have done differently and/or improved on, but I had so much fun doing it and am quite proud of how it came out!’

Terry, you have right to be proud of what you’ve created with needle and thread! Your box is unique and colourful and beautifully constructed.

Have you taken to stumpwork like Karen, Mavis and Terry? We’d love to see what you’ve created with needle and thread. Email photos of your work along with a few details about your stitching journey to news@inspirationsstudios.com

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