Enjoying Embroidery this week

Blanket stitch and cross stitch on a hand-stitched piece for Stitch Camp from TextileArtist.org

An embroidery project

Alongside my own textile work this week, I did an extra activity for pleasure: ‘Stitch Club’, an embroidery project led by Gwen Hedley, organised by TextileArtist.org. Delivered via a series of five short videos, there were also excellent accompanying notes to download. The activity formed an introduction to TextileArtist.org, which is a membership site, but the project was open to all.

My introduction to embroidery

My journey into textiles began with embroidery. I went to an embroidery class in a local college (where there was a creche) when my youngest two children were small. Soon after, we relocated and I went on to do a City & Guilds course in Design & Embroidery one day a week over two years. That work went into my portfolio and helped me gain admission onto a Textiles degree course, where we were taught many different hand-embroidery and machine-embroidery techniques. I still have three huge files of samples from that time!

Nowadays, I am more likely to be concentrating on machine- or hand-quilting techniques for Amanda Jane Textiles. So it gave me a lot of pleasure to thread up a needle with embroidery thread for the ‘Stitch Camp’. I have admired Gwen Hedley’s work for decades, so it was a pleasure to follow her instructions day by day to explore mark-making, first with fabric paint and then with stitch.

Exploring embroidery stitches

It was pleasurable to explore stitches in quite a free way. In different areas of the work, you can see different stitches. Yellow and gold were my two colour choices. The thread I chose to couch down was a warm coppery-gold colour.

I used a fine gold thread for backstitch in this section.

Some sections were joined together by herringbone stitch.

Elsewhere, I joined sections with blanket stitch. There are some cross-stitches just below.

A two-strand gold thread was used for a curvy chain-stitch line.

Here, a fine gold thread used detached chain to make a ‘lazy daisy’ flower.

The finished embroidery piece

Here is the finished piece, which has quite a ‘patchwork’ look to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this experimental and exploratory way of using paint and stitch. I now need to back the work and finish the edges. Perhaps it could become some kind of bag or case for tools or art materials?

I’m so glad I took the opportunity to do this activity. Big thanks to TextileArtist.org. You can find their website here: https://www.textileartist.org/

Amanda Jane Textiles offers unique fabrics for sale here, quilt patterns here, classes here and quilts for sale here

Free Machine Embroidery does appear in one of my patterns, the ‘Pretty in Pink’ patchwork bag. You can find it in the Etsy shop here.

Are you joining me in making a ‘Watch the Stars’ mystery quilt this year? The introductory post is right here. The January star quilt block instructions are here. The second star block will appear at the beginning of February – subscribe to the blog if you don’t want to miss a post!

Watch-the-Stars Mystery Quilt 2022 with Amanda Jane Textiles, white lettering on a dark blue background, four yellow on blue star blocks at the bottom

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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