Hi textile fans. It's been slim pickings for blog posts recently as I had a nasty accident at the start of January and sprained my ankle very badly. I was shuffling around on a crutch for a while and that put a spanner in my trips out to seek inspiration. The healing process has had some complications so while I wait to find out exactly what is wrong with my ankle joint, I have been banned from walking and have to wear a beautiful space boot thing on my foot. The start of 2015 has been a painful trial, but I am very happy to say there has been a good deal of sunlight breaking through the clouds in the form of progress with work and wedding plans for me and my wonderful, tea-making, painkiller-dispensing partner, Alan.
I am sharing with you today a design I made for our 'save the date' notification as I am rather pleased with this one. The inspiration for motif came from dried flowers and grasses tht grew everywhere on a special summer holiday we took last year on the beautiful Island of Paros in the Greek Cyclades. If any of you have been there, you will know the magical tinkle of the dried plants brushing together in the evenings as the famous Cyclaedic breeze weaves its way up from the sea. I just wanted to do something that was really, really pretty and meaningful for the two of us, just happiness in stitches.
I have had lots of questions about materials and technique for this piece so I am jumping at the chance to geek out on technical chat, as usual! It's entirely hand stitched on antique French linen sheeting, using my go-to hand stitching thread, Blomstergarn, AKA Danish Flower Thread. It's sold in small hanks in an array of pretty, harmonious colours all achieved entirely from plant dye. I am always amazed at what plant dyes can produce in expert hands and I think these threads are pretty much the pinnacle of the craft. The threads are 100% cotton and make for a very clean stitch with a soft, matte surface.They are kind of like brushed cotton. Thicker than Anchor or DMC, I reckon about the thickness of two Anchor strands. If this has inspired you to try them out for yourself, I will add a link purchase at the bottom of the page.
Being immobilised has taught me how much I feed off outside influences and enjoy looking at what the rest of the world is getting up to. Sounds obvious but you really don't know what you've got until it's gone (thanks, Joni) and knowing that London is out there, doing interesting things while I am stuck indoors is frankly, irritating. I know I am going to be so much more appreciative of the city that I have taken for granted when I am allowed to roam the streets again and I have plans to make much more of it than I previously did. On the plus side, being at home a lot has made encouraged me to explore the online creative world a lot more and I have found heaps of designers and doing interesting things around the globe that I really want to share with you. I have planned for plenty more posts so look out for more to come over the coming months. If there is any technique or aspect of stitch you would like an article on, do get in touch and let me know and I will enjoy putting that together for you.