What Are You Stitching?

10th November 2023

The history of the world has been told using needle and thread throughout the decades, with each stitch laid acting as an artefact of events, people and places. This week’s What Are You Stitching? features projects that reflect history, help preserve history and even create history in the future…

Cathy Lysnes

‘Here is my latest project from one of the summer courses presented by the Royal School of Needlework. Kate Barlow was the designer and teacher. She was fabulous, so patient. I would take more of her classes in a heartbeat.’

‘I chose the course because my husband had given me a large collection of WWI postcards that were stitched by women in Belgium and France and sent home by the soldiers during the war. I wanted to make the postcard in order to see how the originals were done and to test myself by using Pipers Silks threads on silk organza.’

‘The use of the silk threads was a real challenge for me. I never realised how much of a mind of their own they had. There were many times when I rethreaded the needle over and over again when making the same stitch as the thread is so slippery and the needle just slid off without any warning.

It was a very slow-going project as I was trying my utmost for a perfectly executed piece.

I wanted to finish it for Remembrance Day on November 11 as a tribute, not only to the soldiers, but to all the embroiderers of the WWI postcards who worked so hard to bring joy and hope to the soldiers.

I am pleased with my finished project and have framed it in a shadow box, instead of tucking it away never to be seen again!’

Cathy, your stitched postcard is exquisite and a lovely way to commemorate Remembrance Day. The silk threads on organza look so dainty and fine, your patience has been well rewarded with an outstanding finish.

Michelle Thompson

‘These pictures are of the beautiful church kneelers at a Newcastle Cathedral in New South Wales, Australia. Along with my friend Brenda Dryden, we have been cataloguing the 400 prayer kneelers.’

‘Over the years Brenda has made 204 of the kneelers, she is now 88 years old. The other kneelers were made by church members or donated from various parishes in the diocese.’

‘Brenda thoughtfully did themes throughout the Cathedral. In the Warriors Chapel there is a series of Army and Naval scenes with other scenes including Bible stories, stained glass windows, Cathedrals of each State, Australian birds, wildlife, flowers, State emblems, transport and church symbols, just to name a few.’

‘It’s a wonderful story of dedication, creativity and beauty.’

Wow, Michelle, Brenda sure has been busy! With so many intricate and thoughtfully designed pieces, what an amazing task you have been given to catalogue all the stitched work. We’re sure you will enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Monika Hartig

‘I am a journalist from Switzerland and like to stitch in my free time. Here are some photos of my stitching from an airmail letter to London. I have stitched one for Paris and Rome as well.’

‘The pieces are 50 to 70 centimetres (19.7 x 27.6 inches) in size, and I make one every year. Since I have to spend so much time at the computer, I cannot stitch very fast. But the idea, to create something long lasting, keeps me going!’

‘The airmail letter ‘London, Great Britain’ is stitched on jute, the other two on linen, which a friend found in a vintage shop.’

Your stitched letters are beautiful, Monika! We like the motifs you have added on each letter, making them unique and representative of the country. A wonderful yearly tradition that we’re sure will be quite the collection one day!

Have you stitched a project in honour of Remembrance Day? Do you have a yearly stitching project? Or perhaps you have been a part of an embroidery cataloguing project?!

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

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