Her Stitching

” I stitch therefore I am” should be my working motto; unimaginable as I hated Needlework at primary school so much that I used to be ‘proper poorly’ every Wednesday afternoon – until my mother found the repeating pattern and dealt with it. So the headmistress, Miss King, (who took the needlework classes while the boys did woodwork) knowing I loved ‘Art’ gave me a piece of Binca counted thread fabric and some coloured threads to embroider instead of hemming an apron – we were 7 years of age! But what brilliant thinking and well ahead of its time; and here I still am, some 60+ years later – a professional hand stitcher.

her stitched gardens

and flowers

Flowers are a specialisation of my work, particularly for the commissioned garden embroideries, where the flowers in their positions must be recognisable within the garden portrait. I am fascinated by the history and evolution of flowering plants, their myths and histories. I have made many flower studies and constantly refer to them when experimenting with different textile techniques and materials.

her stitched drawings

The stitched drawings below show a variety of different techniques, ‘long and short’ for the densely packed illustrative pieces, the hounds and the hand are typical of this stitch. But other favourite and essentially simple stitches used are running and whipped running stitch – this makes a more fluid line than back stitch.

her stitched materials

The different materials I also use for stitching have resulted in more decorative experimentations than my traditional stitching into cloth. Below are a variety of materials, they range from paper, vellum (antelope hide) and leather to porcelain and copper with vitreous enamel ( fused glass) that is my major alternative to fabric. I stitch in wire, linen or cotton threads and use traditional decorative stitches to both pattern and join the sections together. Having many flower studies I constantly refer to them when experimenting with different textile techniques and materials.

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