Tag Archives: modern embroidery

Squares Together

Back in July 2020 I made a piece of crazy patchwork

Chopped it up and sent the pieces off to 15 members of the group Stitched Together – a splinter group from The Stitchbook Collective, made up of people who would like to work collabratively on pieces of textile art.

The aim is to make some pieces in a relaxed and enjoyable way and then to exhibit them to raise money for both national and local mental health charities.

I sent a little bit of sari-waste ribbon with each piece. This did not have to be used but some did.

Magic happened!

It seems like a miracle to see how all those 2″ squares have been transformed

I have had permission from all participants to share our work on my blog.

It was so exciting to open each envelope and discover a beautiful gem inside.

The eye suggested Egypt to me and the nearest I had to a parchment background was some reused teabags that I had sewn together in layers and painted with Gesso.

I painted it a pale sandy colour and started to arrange the pieces.

Each time I thought I had arrived at an arrangement I liked, I left it overnight and then in the morning realised something needed to change. I tacked the squares down and undid and rearranged them 4 times before I was satisfied.

Here they all are now sewn into place and ready for some surface stitching to complete the piece.

If you are wondering what has happened to the Wild Green Twinches, I will be working on them when I have finished this piece.

The Stitchbook – Ta Dah!

I signed up for this project in May 2019

150 of us joined Helen Birmingham’s STITCHBOOK COLLECTIVE and the journey began.

Who knew when we got our first box of goodies in September 2019 how important this project was going to be for keeping us busy, creative and connected.

Each month for 12 months we recieved a kit through our letter box, and even though we had paid for it, many of us felt like it was a present arriving through the ether to cheer us up – happy post!

We chatted via our Facebook group, encouraging and inspiring one another

We were initially working towards exhibiting the books at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. This was cancelled, but we kept on stitching – the cancellation gave some of us the much needed time to finish the project.

I get very excited at the beginning of a project. I loved the feeling as inspiration flooded in with each new box – but then I go off at a tangent and make a multitude of my own experiments and lose focus.

I am so good at NOT finishing things – anyone else out there like me?

I wonder if I ever would have pushed myself to complete it if it hadn’t been for Helen’s flexibility and gentle encouragement to get me over the finish line.

The covers done and the book bound together with bead spacers – it sat there – it did not feel finished – bizarrely, it did not feel mine.

It was a huge effort for me to focus on the covers, make them to Helen’s specific instructions and get the book exhibition-ready. The front cover has tabs on it so that it can be displayed for exhibition. The effort to get the covers made took away some of the joy, so it had to sit in a corner for a while.

Seeing other finished books online and a few text messages with Cathy (thank you Cathy!) gave me the kick of enthusiasm I needed – out came the beads, the stamps and the paint brush

and here it is – Exhibition-ready!

AND £3,344.00 has been raised by Helen and the purchasers of her kits for the mental health charity, MIND. 

Feel good project all round.

You can see other posts about this book by typing Stitchbook into the SEARCH box and here is a video of the finished book.

A HUGE thank you to Helen Birmingham for this project and to the other members of THE STITCHBOOK COLLECTIVE community.