It's the Mr X Stitch Make a Cross Stitch Pattern Every Week for 52 Weeks Challenge Thingy!It’s week 12 of the 52 Challenge!

We’ve got general elections coming up in the UK in May and it’s pretty crucial that change takes place for the better. At the moment, and this is my view (other views are available) the country is being run by a bunch of corporation serving buffoons who are systematically destroying precious things like the NHS, while doing all they can to make their rich friends richer by selling more guns and bombs. Magic. Recently Russell Brand posted a great video on his YouTube channel looking at how our main choices for a political party to run the UK are all pretty useless.

But there is hope. Thankfully there’s a party that has radical ideas like protecting the environment, providing social care and making sure that everyone pays their dues. I’m paraphrasing hugely, but with representation in 90% of constituencies across the UK I’m really hoping that people will vote for the Green Party and give the UK a chance to restore balance and goodness to the land.

In honour of the election and to help push forward the idea, I present…
Green Britain Cross Stitch Pattern by Mr X Stitch

Right click on the image and Save As to download the pattern!

 

 

 

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It's Blast From The Past From Mr X Stitch

I’m just gunna leave this here….

 

Aubrey Longley Cook - Runaway - Animated Hand Embroidery

SNAP OUT OF IT!! I know, it is hypnotising!

This amazing animation is made up entirely of hand embroidery and is by infamous embroiderer Aubrey Longley-Cook. You can learn all about him, this work and many of his other pieces over at the original eMbroidery post!

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The Funk Files: Embroidery Frontiers

Every year, Hand & Lock organizes a competition for the prestigious Prize for Embroidery to promote the use of hand embroidery in couture. The 2014 brief was Floral: Pattern and Geometry.

Myra Chung, 2014 Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery Winner

Myra Chung, 2014 Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery Winner

Twelve finalists were selected from nearly a thousand photographic entries. Each finalist was then paired with an industry specialist who mentored him/her throughout the design, development, and execution process.

On October 12, 2014, finished garments arrived at the Hand & Lock studios. On Friday, the 7th of November, London’s Bishopsgate Institute hosted the final of the 2014 Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery.

Today we’ll meet the first place winner in the Student Category.

Myra Chung

Location: Arlington Heights, Illinois USA

You’re a student, right? Where are you studying? A part time student at Harper College.

Congratulations, Myra, on your win! Please describe your Hand & Lock entry for us: A sumptuous garment inspired by Queen Victoria’s paintings and combined it with Lotus. I focused on staying within that historical period but kept it modern and futuristic.

Myra Chung, Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery competition dress

Hand & Lock 2014 Prize for Embroidery competition dress by Myra Chung. Model: Erian O’neil. Photography: Jutta Klee. Hair & Make Up Artist: Stephie Hoyle.

What made you want to enter this competition? Recommendation from my professor, Beata Kania, who is a two time winner at Hand & Lock embroidery prize under Open Category. But it was a challenge that I’ve always wanted to put myself into to test the limit of my creativity and passion for embroidery.

What motivated your choice for your entry? While researching through images, I found a painting of Queen Victoria in a gold dress with high neck collar. From there, I wanted to add an Asian esthetic, which is my background, so I chose Lotus to mix with the English historical period.

Myra Chung lotus flower embroidery detail

Detail of Myra’s embroidered lotus flower.

Are there any secrets you can now reveal about your entry? Although my strongest inspiration was the gold dress painting, the design I was going for was nothing like it. I planned to make a pink dress with repetitions of small flowers in gold colored beads, threads, and bullions. But everything changed when I suddenly changed my mind to order a random fabric that I did not even bother to order a swatch. From this experience, I’ve learned never to trust my computer monitor on fabric color choices. Maybe, I could have returned it and re ordered the ones I had in mind from the beginning. But I am glad I turned my mistake into one of the best pieces in my portfolio.

Who was your mentor, and how did s/he help with your project? Ms. Beata Kania. She was the one to open the embroidery class at Harper College. Ms. Kania focuses on every one of the students; what their strongest and weakest aspect is, and she knows very well how to bring out the talent in them. That was the case for me as well, and I am very grateful to her to find the passion for embroidery in me that even myself had not realized.

When and how did you learn embroidery? <It was the Fall semester of 2012. I took beginner's class and since then, Ms. Kania has taught me various techniques that suits into my design aspects.

What was your first embroidery project? A bird using french knots and satin stitches. And a rose with any techniques I favored; chain stitch and bugle beads.

First embroidery by Myra Chung: Bird

First embroidery by Myra Chung: Bird

First Embroidery by Myra Chung: Rose

First Embroidery by Myra Chung: Rose

What made you want to pursue embroidery and textiles in school? Embroidery is always useful. Especially, the appreciation of hand craftmanship should be more recognized in this fast-paced technology industry. I have a philosophy that no fine piece of work can beat any hand work, no matter how well that piece is printed from a machine. Though the world is moving fast within all kinds of machineries, I still believe nothing can beat a human’s time and effort on hand work. I’ve learned this respect towards hand craftmanship from my father who is a Master Tailor, and he is the one who showed me what really is a finely tailored garment. And his appreciation towards embroidery made me to pursue deeply into this H&L competition.

To date, what’s been your favorite course of study? <Patternmaking and embroidery. I get excited when the patterns are perfect and clean. In any industry, the base is always the most important. If the pattern is off, there is no way your finished garment would be perfect. It is surprising how much people do not take pattern drafting seriously. Embroidery seems to have different characteristics from patternmaking, but the precision of each stitchings and spaces seem to be somewhat similar.

As you study embroidery, what has surprised you? <How much patience I have (ha-ha). I knew H&L garment would take long to finish, but it sometimes ate up my patience. But I was able to gain a lot more things from this experience. I feel confident to overcome any bigger projects ahead of me.

I hear that. Embroidery is very slow work.

What in your life influences and shapes your embroidery? The ideal of myself. I am somebody who does not like to stand out in crowds. As a fashion designer, I know I need to speak up for my garments. But rather than explaining who I am, I want my garments to be the spokesperson. I do not mind at all if people don’t recognize me. All I care is about my garments standing confident and proud to explain what they are without words. That is the reason I like rich and sumptous embroidery. But myself is not like that at all.

I like to marry embroidery with other crafts and use embroidery in places where you don’t normally see it. What non-embroidery skills do you bring to the table that you might like to combine with embroidery? A perfectly made suit. Finely tailored with the best quality woolen mixed with cashmere. Mohair is my favorite suiting fabric. The exellence of luster and sheen would be perfect with my embroidery aspects. I believe a classic should always remain as the classic forever, but I want to twist around the fine tailored suit with luxurious embroidery.

Describe your ideal embroidery or textile career. The best ideal is to work for a fashion house like Valentino, McQueen, Chanel, Givenchy, etc. I would love to be in the embroidery team to create the masterpieces that they all bring out every season.

What would you like your embroidery to do in the world and for the world? Someday, I hope to design embroideries for donations. It could be used for a t-shirt or a logo. I wish to help out whoever needs help in any ways, and I hope my talent can be part of the great cause. I believe that my talent is not solely mine and therefore, I wish to share it with others.

Do you have any projects or events coming up that that we should know about? I have an upcoming fashion competition in Chicago in March 2015. After that, I am planning to participate in Arts of Fashion 2015.

Where can we find your work? For now, my facebook page. I am working on updating the beginning to end of Hand & Lock competition.

Rapid-fire Round: (Don’t think too hard about these.)

Would you rather stitch with barbed wire, licorice laces, or bicycle chain? Barbed wire

Favorite thread: Any silk threads

If you could embroider with just one color thread for the rest of your life, what would it be? White

Favorite embroidery tool that isn’t a needle, hoop, or scissors: My hand :). I like the basics the best.

Name something edible that you can embroider: Horsefish

If your embroidery were cataloged with books, what genre would it be (romance, mystery, horror, history, psychology, something else)? Children’s fairy tale books

What stitchable motif would you choose to represent you and your life? Pinwheel

What’s your embroidery code name? Hide and seek

Well done, Myra! It’s been fun chatting with you. We wish you well as you continue your studies, and we look forward to seeing more of your designs in the future.

The Hand & Lock 2015 Prize for Embroidery Competition

All right, MrX readers, you’ve got just one more week to learn more about the Hand & Lock 2015 Prize for Embroidery competition and perhaps enter. The registration deadline is 31 March 2015.

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Exploring Etsy with loadofolbobbins!

It’s that time of year again folks, the Easter bunny’s just popped to the barber for an extra special tail fluffing and the increasingly large egg shaped confectionery has started calling to us with their chocolaty siren song, (no? you mean that’s just me!), the Easter weekend is fast approaching. So much like the intrepid egg hunters each year I have once again traversed the wild Etsy forests to find yet another talented maker to share with you all, I present for your delectation Stephanie Lemay and her shop ‘Rivulette’.

Strawberry Sprig Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Strawberry Sprig Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Wildflowers Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Wildflowers Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Sunflowers Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Sunflowers Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Stephanie is an artist/maker based in Burlington, Vermont working under the name Rivulette, producing and designing a vast array of beautiful goodies. Everything from luxury yarns and embroidered jewellery to fine art paintings and prints. Traditional craft processes and folk art elements feature strongly in her work, and colour, surface pattern and antique/vintage textiles are a constant source of inspiration. She comes from a family of makers and tinkerers who can be traced all the way back to her great-grandmother’s busy creative hands, a maker of clothes, handbags and meticulous quilts. It was her own mother, a very talented seamstress herself who taught Stephanie to sew when she was 5 or 6. At the age of 14 Stephanie fell in love with hot glass while in high school, studying under Elizabeth Lyons, Brett Pierce and Jeanne Menafo at More Fire Glass Studio in Rochester, New York. In 2005 she graduated with a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, with concentrations in glass and printmaking. When it comes to all important free time she practices Jivamukti yoga and bluegrass banjo, (though she assures me not at the same time), hangs out with friends, cooks, schleps around the Green Mountains with her med. student husband and reads voraciously.

Luna Moth Necklace by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Luna Moth Necklace by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Red Folk Art Necklace by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Red Folk Art Necklace by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Tiny Arrow Geometric Necklace by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Tiny Arrow Geometric Necklace by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

What is your earliest stitching memory?

I remember watching my mother working on cross stitched pictures to hang on our walls. She gave me her first one – a hoop filled with hearts and scrollwork circled in lace. I love it and keep it hung on the wall of my studio. Her work and tastes have evolved over the years and she’s now making freeform stitched felt houses and other wonderful things. My mother’s creativity was certainly inspiring growing up. When I was tiny, I was given a beautiful redwork embroidered quilt that was stitched in 1907 by my great-grandfather while he convalesced. He was only eight years old when he did the embroidery, and what a treasure that quilt is! I remember admiring it and spreading it out on my bed or on the living room floor to look closely at the designs he made as a child. It really captivated me, and still does!

Crochet Lace Stones by Rivulette

Crochet Lace Stones by Rivulette

White Triangles Geometric Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

White Triangles Geometric Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Arrows Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

Arrows Brooch by Rivulette (Hand Embroidery)

What fires your imagination?

I get so excited when I look at textile works done by people long ago- I like to imagine what their lives were like and how many evenings spent by candlelight it took to complete their labors of love. I collect antique quilts and spend hours studying them and learning about how they were made. I feel it’s such a shame that most products out there in the world today are made without care and only for profit. I long for a world where that’s not the case, where things are made with intention and the makers’ works are vital to society and culture. One of my favorite things is to go to the library and get a huge stack of books about needlecraft, art and design and soak up as much visual inspiration as I can. This really fuels my creativity. I’m lucky that I’m a person who has more ideas than time…I’ve seen a quote online that goes something like “my brain has too many tabs open” and I can totally relate to that. I’m also inspired by vintage clothing and design, especially 1920s drop waist dresses, cloche hats, and 1950s aprons and housedresses. Going to flea markets is one of my favorite things. I’m always looking for antique packaging tins, embroidered textiles, old quilts, and interesting jewelry.

32 Flavors Yarn by Rivulette (Hand Spinning)

32 Flavors Yarn by Rivulette (Hand Spinning)

Snips and Snails Garland by Rivulette (Crochet)

Snips and Snails Garland by Rivulette (Crochet)

As always folks there is oh so much more lovely work to take a peek at in her shop so please make sure to head on over and check it all out!

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Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her new Etsy shop.

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Mr X