Hello, needlecrafters. As the inimitable Sister Sledge would say, ‘we are family’, and it’s that element of community within stitching, and creative circles in general, that I really cherish. Thanks to social media, those hours we spend with our hoops and needlecraft ephemera need not be quite so isolating. I’ve had the joy of connecting with lots of wonderful makers over the years, who are some of the kindest and funniest folk out there! Today’s featured maker is the embodiment of the best the needle crafting community has to offer, she’s both supremely talented and a thoroughly good egg. Her GIF choices alone can keep you amused for hours – I speak from experience! It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce you all to Tash Hatcher and her shop ‘Hatchling Makes’.
Tash was originally trained in stage management and technical theatre, in London, and was always the one the actors went to when their trousers split. Armed with a needle and thread, she was often found sewing back buttons on shirts – a skill taught to her by her mum who insisted that it was one of many important life skills to learn. When they were little, Tash and her sister were taught to cross stitch by their mum and aunt, mostly to keep them quiet during the long summer holidays. Although she didn’t cross stitch past the age of 12, owing to a tear soaked tantrum when she ran out of floss trying to stitch a table cloth, she still received cross stitch horse portraits from her craft loving aunt for years afterwards. In 2016, due to workplace stress and anxiety, Tash quit her job in theatre management and started stitching again. In February 2017 she made her first ever embroidery design as a birthday gift for a friend and in March 2017 she opened her Etsy shop.
What is your earliest stitching memory?
My earliest actual memory of stitching was stitching the table cloth that would eventually signal the end of my cross stitch endeavours! It was from a kit and had flowers in the 4 corners with a little vine embellishment in the middle of each side of the table cloth. I had just started a new school and had no real friends yet so I took my table cloth to school to stitch in my lunch break. I remember sitting in front of my locker facing the quad and some kids from my class being very confused as to what I was doing. I can still see the piece of card with all the floss separated out by colour and the realisation that I wouldn’t be able to finish it because I had no more of the floss for the flowers left!
What fires your imagination?
I’m very much driven by what I’m passionate about. I’ve always loved dinosaurs and animals and origami, so when it came to making work to sell in my Etsy , it just made sense for me to combine my interests! I love going to museums, like the Natural History Museum, to see the dinosaur fossils – some of my designs have actually come from photos that I’ve taken in museums. Growing up on a healthy diet of David Attenborough documentaries I’ve developed a certain fondness for particular animals, but when I see something that I’ve never seen before, like the documentary about the Sea Dragon (ichthyosaur) discovery, it really fuels my imagination! The origami folds always remind me of tangrams as well, the idea that by putting together seemingly random shapes you can create images of animals that we all know and love, (like horses or wolves!), has always been fascinating to me.
For someone who only opened their shop last year Tash has really hit the ground running, her dedication and creative flair are plain to see. I defy anyone not to fall in love with her designs and glorious colour combinations! Pop along to her fabulous shop to give your eyes a real treat!
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 Etsy shop.