What Are You Stitching?
20th March 2020
Everywhere you look there are connections, and embroidery is no different. So, although we don’t have a specific theme to ‘What Are You Stitching?’ this week, what we do have is a lovely thread of connection which runs through them.
Judith Crabtree | Smocking
We’ll begin with some beautiful pieces finished by Judith Crabtree:
‘Here a few dresses which l smocked over the Christmas period.’
‘The pink bubble & hat are hand embroidered across the bodice, with no smocking on that one.’
You’re a prolific and beautiful smocker and dressmaker, Judith. We hope the lucky recipients of these gorgeous outfits are as thrilled to get them as we were to see them.
Susan Tigwell | Wedding Capes
While we’re talking about talented dressmakers, we received a great email from Susan Tigwell who shared with us the fabulous items she made with her leftover fabric from her daughter’s wedding, as well as the amazing things she did for the wedding itself!
‘I reside in Derbyshire, UK and I love all kinds of needlework. I recently combined the pattern from the project ‘Stepping Out’ (Inspirations issue #34) and the motif from ‘White Rose’ (Inspirations issue #100) to make this coat for my granddaughter. I’ve nearly finished a smaller one for her sister.
The two coats were made from the remaining material from my daughter’s wedding in December.’
‘The bride is wearing a cape with a cowl hood with the bridesmaids wearing boleros from the same material. I also made the dresses for all of the bridesmaids. Then two smaller capes with cowl hoods and a sash for the little dresses were made as well.’
Susan that burgundy velvet is so striking! And we’re impressed at how many wonderful things you managed to make out of one piece of fabric. The wedding looks like it was a beautiful occasion, with much love and work put in by you.
Jacqui Schuster | Heirloom Piece
While we’re talking about weddings, Jacqui Schuster shared with us how she commemorated her wedding by putting her embroidery skills to work.
‘Although I am not an expert embroiderer, I am very proud of this piece.’
‘In 1960 my husband, Marty, and I were married at The Hampshire House in New York City. Having saved my dress all these years, I decided to take it apart and make a wonderful heirloom.
I also had the hanky I carried and the dress my mother wore. What was missing was my sister’s dress.
I purchased some additional fabric and put together a 15” crazy quilt design using both old and new fabrics.
I embellished the piece with a button from my gown, a stud my dad wore and lots of embroidery using both silk and cotton threads.’
‘In the lower left corner, I made a flower using a piece of fabric from the inside of my grandson’s bride’s dress. The blue embellishment represents the colour of the dress my sister wore.
It took me about a year to design and embroider. I did it out of love for my husband, children and grandchildren. It is something I will always cherish.’
As you well should, Jacqui. Your project is a wonderful, thoughtful and personal piece which will be treasured in your family for years to come. What a lovely way to both remember and connect the family.
Courtney Cox | Portrait
Another way of connecting and memorialising family is through portraits, which is what Courtney Cox from Texas did with this gorgeous project.
‘My piece ‘Girl in Glasses’ was inspired by its subject – my niece. I began by applying a watercolour wash to the fabric and then stitching a base layer of skin, hair, and clothing.’
‘The portrait emerged through the following layers of cold and warm colours, her flyaway hairs, and the stitching of the background.’
Wow Courtney, what an incredibly creative and truly unique piece you have created. It’s amazing how an embroidered portrait can convey so much more meaning than a photograph.
Thank you to everyone we’ve featured this week for sending in your needlework. Are you a skilled smocker or dressmaker? Have you embroidered for a wedding? Or have you found ways to incorporate family memories in your work? We’d love to see the results! Just email us with photos and a bit of your story to firstname.lastname@example.org