Hand Embroidery

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

towermoatpoppy

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.

1921poppy

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.

poppy

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It's another Stitchgasm from Mr X Stitch - the home of contemporary embroidery

I love a bit of glow in the dark embroidery and MrXStitch favourite, Robyn Enz has done a fantastic job with this piece, inspired by We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson :

Robyn Enz's Cup of Tea

A cup of tea, it seems to me, there’s more going on here than at first we see:

Robyn Enz's Cup of Tea

Crikey!

Robyn Enz's Cup of Tea

A fantastic job!

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Weave - A Social Network for Stitchers

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Exploring Etsy with loadofolbobbins!

Bună my readers and fellow needlecraft groupies, it is an honour as always to share the work of many a talented maker with you all and this edition of ‘Exploring Etsy’ is no exception. Allow me to introduce you all to the wonderful world of Alina Bunaciu and her shop ‘Hanaletters’.

Annoyed Urban Fox Pin - Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Annoyed Urban Fox Pin – Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

 

2014 Year of the Horse Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

2014 Year of the Horse Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Born in a small town in Romania called Arad, Alina runs a secondhand bookstore with her boyfriend. Despite never exploring the arts in her own studies she has always been attracted to all things handmade. Now spending her days surrounded by books and felt, (sounds like heaven to me!), her major interests are hand sewing and embroidery.

Giant Fish and a Paper Boat Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Giant Fish and a Paper Boat Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

 

Curious Bunny Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Curious Bunny Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

What is your earliest stitching memory?

I cannot say that I began stitching at an early age, as a teenager I remember that I loved to do needlepoint but at some point I stopped. Then after graduating from college I discovered felt and decided that it was time to put my creativity to work, the beginning was a bit slow but as I was getting to know more about felt I realised that the possibilities were countless and that I can create my own world out of felt. It took me four years to get where I am now but I enjoyed every step of the process, from sketching to sewing.

Daily Knitter Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Daily Knitter Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

 

 A Girl Who Loves Cats Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

A Girl Who Loves Cats Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

What fires your imagination?

I am mostly inspired by illustrated children’s books, vintage illustrated children’s postcards, cute manga and fairy tales. I also collect miniature portraits, miniature objects, small animals, dolls, toys, wooden toys, rubber stamps and Korean stationery. All these put together represent a small world which fascinates and inspires me to create my own characters.

Fox Mind - The Paved Way to Hedgehog Love Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Fox Mind – The Paved Way to Hedgehog Love Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

 

Forgotten in the Garden Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Forgotten in the Garden Brooch by Alina Bunaciu (Hand Embroidery)

Alina’s shop is full of fun and colourful characters that are clearly made with a lot of love and attention to detail. Why not give yourself a treat and head on over there, maybe even buy a piece or too!

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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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Kreinik Calling! Exclusive to Mr X Stitch!

I type, text, email, click, tweet, post, Instagram, snap, chat, google, and post all day, using some kind of electronic device. Yet I covet those hotel pens left on the nightstand (for years, those were my young niece’s “present” when I returned from a trip). I paid $12 for a disposable “Indy 500″ pen at the Indianapolis airport, and probably way more than that for a “Van Gogh paint tube” pen at the Amsterdam airport. Tradeshow booths giving away company pens, doctor’s offices with logo pens on the counter, and those custom print companies who send incorrect versions of what they think you want to promote (“Kreinik Dena of Manufacturing, West Virginia”)—these places feed my pen hunger with their offerings.

Boring pens

Yes, they are pens, and most were probably free…but they are kind of boring.

I need another pen like I need another tote bag (so many fun designs!), except, actually, we all need pens. Chances are that at some point, someone in your day was looking for a pen. And let’s be honest: have you ever hesitated to loan someone your “good pen” for fear of never getting it back? We need pens, most of us love using a pretty or souvenir pen, and we are protective of our pens.

In celebration of the pen, I present a gallery of stitched models. Wait, “how do you stitch a pen?” you ask. Well you can’t stitch the ink (hmm, idea for Doug Kreinik: thread that’s ink! turns into ink? ok maybe not), but you can stitch something and put it around the pen part. Then you can look at some pretty stitches while writing, or make a high-end-looking gift for someone (they don’t need to know it took so little time and money to make).

Stitched pens make classy gifts.

Simple stitches, worked in beautiful threads, in a customizable pen = great idea (classy gift idea too). These are Kreinik Stitch-A-Pen kits.

Shameless plug: At Kreinik, we’ve made stitching pens easy with the aptly-named Stitch-A-Pen series. You can get pen kits with various designs, or blank pens to stitch your own. They take the embroidery techniques we love and put it in a daily-use form. I have stitched so many of these because they are quick, fun, and different. Writing with something made of colorful fibers and interesting stitches really does transform you mood, even when writing checks and paying bills.

In addition to Stitch-A-Pens—which are full kits featuring threads, perforated paper, chart/instructions and the pen—you can also buy the pen itself and create your own designs.

In addition to Stitch-A-Pens—which are full kits featuring threads, perforated paper, chart/instructions and the pen—you can also buy the pen itself and create your own designs.

Pick any stitch out of your repertoire (or a needlework book) and work it in colorful or glow-in-the-dark threads.

Pick any stitch out of your repertoire (or a needlework book) and work it in colorful or glow-in-the-dark threads (choose Kreinik threads, of course, for sparkle and special effects). Pick colors from school, sports teams, holidays or special occasions.

For these, I crocheted tiny shells and circles out of Kreinik Tapestry #12 Braid and Japan #5 thread (both good weights for small motifs). I added some photos for the backdrop, and glued them all into the Kreinik Make-A-Pen.

For these, I crocheted tiny shells and circles out of Kreinik Tapestry #12 Braid and Japan #7 thread (both good weights for small motifs). I added some photos for the backdrop, and glued them all into the Kreinik Make-A-Pen.

"Winter Stitches" is a Kreinik Stitch-A-Pen kit featuring snowy colors of Kreinik metallic threads stitched on black perforated paper.

“Winter Stitches” is a Kreinik Stitch-A-Pen kit featuring snowy colors of Kreinik metallic threads stitched on black perforated paper. The paper is an ideal size for fitting inside the pen barrel (Aida cloth is too thick).

From simple to sublime, use a variety of stitches and threads on your pen. We recommend perforated paper for the base, and of course Kreinik threads for the sparkle and flair.

From simple to sublime, use a variety of stitches and threads on your pen. Stitchers of all skill levels can make a pen. (Kreinik threads on perforated paper)

With glow-in-the-dark threads, you can have unlimited fun in designs. These Halloween-themed Kreinik Stitch-A-Pen kits all feature easy stitches that glow and look awesome when the lights go out.

With glow-in-the-dark threads, you can have unlimited fun in designs. These Halloween-themed Kreinik Stitch-A-Pen kits all feature easy stitches that glow and look awesome when the lights go out.

Try doing something different with your threads and stitches: finishing as a pen. Better get a few—you know people will want to borrow your stitched pen, so go ahead and make some as gifts. Go here for more info on the Stitch-A-Pen kits.

These pens were made by wrapping fabric scraps and metallic threads around the barrel of the Stitch-A-Pen.

These pens were made by wrapping fabric scraps and metallic threads around the barrel of the customizable pen.

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Mr X