Sequintial Art with Claire Barrett from Hawthorne and Heaney

All over the country, people have been coming together to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. Along with Church services, reenactments and flyovers there have been some beautiful and engaging works of art springing up for the public to enjoy and think about. One such project is an art installation at the Tower of London by Paul Cummins called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. Using the iconic poppy, the installation consists of thousands of ceramic poppies which sweep across the dry moat of the historic building. Over the summer, more poppies are added to the piece which will eventually burst over the walls and out the windows as well as across the ground until their number reaches 888,246 poppies on the 11th November which representing all the British or colonial military fatalities in the war. After 11/11/14 the poppies will be sold off individually for £25 each to raise money for charity.

TOL poppies

TOL poppies window


The poppy was first used after the First World War when an american academic, Moina Michael was inspired by McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ to make red silk poppies for Decoration Day. The British Legion first started selling poppies in 1921 with an initial order of 9 million poppies which were sold on the 11th November 1921 raising £106,000. Following the first years success they set up factory on the Old Kent Road in London where five disabled ex-Servicemen began making poppies. 3 years later the Poppy Factory moved to its current site in Richmond, Surrey and today produces millions of poppies each year.


In honour of this, The London Embroidery School is hosting an adaptation of the silk flower making class for poppies. 50% of the profit from the class will be going to be British Legion’s Poppy Appeal so we would love if you could help us to raise some money for them. The class will be taking place on the 29th October in our Islington studio from 6.30-8.30pm. Click here to book your place, spaces will be limited as all our classes are quite intimate.



Mr X Stitch brings Showtime Snippets

Showtime Snippets sweeps together all kinds of titbits from the interwebs into this handy digest for you. If you’re a stitch/textile artist, hopefully these snippets will help you find shows and exhibit!


The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X Stitch

Stacey Chapman is an embroidery artist from Margate, UK.

Stacey Chapman - Chihuahua - Machine Embroidery

I discovered Stacey’s work at the Handmade Fair and was blown away by her talent. Here’s Stacey’s story:

“Kirstie Allsopp’s “crack cocaine of the craft world” comment about freehand machine embroidery, proved to be utterly true in Stacey Chapmans world. A couple of years after watching said programme, she finally found the perfect subject matter to try out the craft that had firmly lodged in her brain – her Mums new rescue Chihuahua, deciding to make it for her Christmas present. She was studying dressmaking part time at Adult Education, so had a sewing machine, basic sewing/machine skills combined with her background in illustration, therefore thought the craft may suit her skill set.

Stacey Chapman - Sleeping Puppy - Machine Embroidery

“This first result was surprisingly pleasing, so after some research online, found that nobody else seemed to be selling freehand pet portraits in stitch. She found this astonishing as the craft lends itself so beautifully to fur and was thrilled to find and fill that illusive hole in the market. Hence Art Sea Craft Sea was born, the company name doffing its cap to the artist’s burgeoning artistic home town of Margate. She launched her business in November 2013 and has been overwhelmed with the response to the work ever since.

Stacey Chapman - Bulldog - Machine Embroidery

Stacey describes her method as painting with thread. She sees it as a similar method to the popular Impressionist movement of pointillism, if there were such a word, she would call it “lineism”, as the overall colour is created by a mass of multicoloured and toned lines of thread closely combined. Using any thread that matches the required tone and colour, regardless of texture, price or finish, getting the colour right is vital. The metallic thread is the only exception to the thread free for all, they are reserved exclusively for the lights within the eyes, utilising different coloured metallics to maximise the effect. Stacey sites using each photographic reference of the subject in tiny detail as the key to the work, ensuring every colour/tone is as accurate or heightened as possible, even if only two stitches are sewn at a time before changing threads.”

Stacey Chapman - Black Dog - Machine Embroidery

What’s remarkable about Stacey she’s only been doing this since November 2014. It’s exciting to see a talent like Stacey burst into life and start sharing her skills for the enjoyment of others. Without a doubt she is a gifted illustrator and the connection with machine embroidery has unlocked something magical. She has started with a focus on bespoke dog portraits, but I’m hoping she’ll spread her wings to embrace all manner of subjects. I don’t doubt she can handle it.

Stacey Chapman - Greyhound - Machine Embroidery

It’s early days for Stacey but I cannot wait to see what she does and in which directions she goes. Visit her website and place your orders!


The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.


As seen in Cross Stitcher Magazine

Hi! I’m Jo, Production Editor at CrossStitcher with a sneak peek at the November issue of your favourite cross stitch magazine. Jo Ryan - CrossStitcher Production Editor

This month, we’re bringing you heaps of Christmas stitching – from fast and furious small projects like cards and stocking fillers, to big makes you’ll want to bring out year after year. Here’s just a sample of what’s inside…

Our cover star is a stunning Christmas town designed by Emma Congdon. We love the huge snow-topped tree and colourful houses!

Cross Stitcher Cover

Once that’s complete, we’ll be moving on to our stylish snowflake cushion from Felicity Hall. Perfect for snuggling up with on wintry afternoons.

Snowflake Cushion

If your festive decorations aren’t complete without a Nativity scene, stitch up our plushies – and don’t forget to watch them in action in our mini movie at


We’ve also got your gift wrap sorted with a Scandi-style alphabet you can turn into tags and bands for your presents, plus lots of other festive makes!


Find these projects and lots more in CrossStitcher s November issue (285), out Friday 17 October. Buy your copy online at or find it in all good newsagents. Prefer a digital version? Download our app on Apple Newsstand for iPad and iPhone, or find it at for PCs and Macs.

Happy stitching!



Mr X