What Are You Stitching?

19th April 2024

Kate Anderson

‘At the end of each issue of Inspirations magazine, there is a regular article titled ‘Loose Threads’ written by Ansie van der Walt. In one issue Ansie wrote: ‘I rarely come across a person who has made embroidery their calling who has not been exposed to creative needlework throughout their childhood’.’

‘I do not know if I have made embroidery my calling, but I certainly enjoy it. My mother did not do anything similar. Neither of my grandmothers did anything similar. I learned to quilt by taking classes when I was 49 years old. Through a quilting magazine, I was introduced to redwork and from there I have moved on to other forms of surface embroidery.’

‘Perhaps it would be interesting to find embroidery artists who did not have any early exposure to embroidery? What brought them to embroidery and what attracted them to it?

I enjoy making small embroideries and turning them into cards. Above is a photo of a piece that is waiting to be turned into a card. Also, a photo of a table runner that I made – it combined my love of embroidery with my first love, quilting. The pattern is ‘Woodlands Table Runner’ from the book ‘Stitches from the Garden’ by Kathy Schmitz.’

This motif is lovely, Kate and will make a delightful card! We love that you combined your love for quilting with stitching to make the table runner, showcasing your wonderful talents in both. Also, these are interesting questions you pose and maybe they will encourage others to share their similar stitching journeys…

Denise Nelms

‘I fell in love with a Trish Burr threadpainting at Piecemakers in Costa Mesa, California. The class was taught by Karen Fraser.’

‘I have done the giraffe, elephant, cardinal, owls, and cat. I am also a needle turn appliqué quilter. I love to embellish with embroidery stitches.’

So many pleasurable hours stitching Trish’s designs, Denise! Your threadpainting is gorgeous – thank you for sharing it with us.

Holly Jackson

‘I’ve recently completed two more textile Mardi Gras floats designed by another formerly anonymous female parade designer.

My inspiration was two floats from an 1892 parade called ‘A Dream of a Vegetable Kingdom’ by Carlotta Bonnecaze, who was the first female Mardi Gras designer in history as well as the first Creole designer.’

‘I mixed modern materials and traditional stumpwork techniques to create these pieces, including using antique copper mesh as part of the stumpwork leaves.’

‘I love the idea of bringing the worlds that these women created to life in 3D and in miniature, as well as showcasing how well stumpwork translates to modern fine art.’

We’re sure Carlotta Bonnecaze would be thrilled to see her designs shared over 100 years on! Holly, your floats are charming. What an intriguing way to re-purpose the copper mesh. The bright red thread you have used on the second float is striking and we also like the use of blended colours on the leaves. We look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

Like Kate, was your introduction to needlework something that happened later in life? Have you threadpainted a Trish Burr design? Or have you brought an artist’s previous work to life in stitch?!

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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