Wednesday 2 March 2016

A textile workshop...stitching memories.

I'm currently on an enforced break with carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand. Sewing, drawing, writing, even typing this post sends my thumb and forearm into a strange mix of tingling/numbness/ache/ burning... and I have to stop.
The word 'pants' comes to mind! 
It's been a challenging couple of weeks, not being able to do anything creative. So today I want to focus on some lovely stitching...keep my mind on things to look forward to when my body decides it's ready...... (please be sooooon!!!)

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to do a little intimate workshop where we played with a transfer technique along with some embroidery to stitch up a little memory, using a personal photo and a mix of neutral fabrics and vintage linen.

I stitched a couple of 'sentimental stitching ' samples which I shared on my blog here and here.

I opted for a neutral colour theme for a few reasons. The main reason being that each person coming along was to send me a photo in advance so I could edit it and print it out for the day. Knowing that these photos would vary in quality and colour I reckoned turning all the images to black and white would help get the best transferred images.
This also helped reduce the amount of fabric to bring which was necessary as we were working in a small intimate studio space.
(Which is helpful as I've discovered from experience that it's impossible to cater for everyone's colour preferences! A limited palette means I don't have to worry about missing someone's preferred choice out.)
This also presents an opportunity to try something new and work outside the go-to colour choice. (never a bad thing me thinks!) 
Saying that however almost everyone managed to add in a little pop of colour!

Above are the ladies busy stitching away which you can tell by the glasses balanced on the end of noses . Love that :) 
Below are the beautiful pieces sewn on the day....

You can't tell from the photo, but the darker fabric was a gorgeous, sumptuous, deep purple velvet. It was inspired from the clothes that Kate remembers her Great Grandmother wearing, depicted in the photo on the right ...she lived to be over 100 years, and was quite a character by all accounts. Really like the variety of textures in this piece....sumptuous like the velvet.

This is Karen's work (below) in progress, with her Grandfather in his milking gear. A lot of time went into her beautiful stitches...I love the little white running stitches which contrast with the black lace.
And I love how the stitches follow the fabric shape and create a little arc. I'd like to see this piece when it's finished.

This is Sharon (below) as a young girl with her family, and some fantastic floral wallpaper in the background! I really enjoyed seeing the layers build on this piece and the addition of blue stitches and ribbon are such a great compliment to the tiny seed beads that were on the recycled lace.

Dorothy's photo was the most recent....a sweet embrace of her husband and son. She created a super composition, combining a mix of shapes and textures with fun pops of blue....feels quite reminiscent of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 
All unique and gorgeous, I think you'll agree.

And while we are on the topic of these stitched memories,or 'sentimental stitching' as I like to refer to it,  one of the samples I created caught the eye of Amy who hosts Friday instagram finds for the popular sewing blog 'Feeling stitchy'. So some of my stitched bits and bobs got a wee feature....that made me smile :)

Hope all is good in your world...and if any one has the urge could you do a couple of stitches for me ;)xx


  1. Hi Jenny! I have just discovered your delightful blog from reading the interview on Anne's blog - My Giant Strawberry. I am so glad that I 'found' you and look forward to reading some of your older posts.

    1. Hi Simone, so glad you popped by. I really enjoyed doing Anne's interview, she asked such lovely thoughtful questions. So great to 'meet' you :)

  2. I would stitch for you but would you want me to once you saw it?! looks like a lovely 'battenburg' kind of a day - i'd have come x

    1. Aww thanks Claire, i'll take any kind of stitching ...i know you are a natural stitcher anyhoos ;) What a lovely thought, getting to stitch, natter and eat cake day! X