Hello, Mr X Stitch here. I thought I’d tell you about my recent Xploits. It is a life less ordinary.
June was filled with quite a few adventures, some of which I really can’t say a lot about, but here goes.
I was in Cumbria on holiday at the start of the month and took the opportunity to visit the Quaker Tapestry Exhibition in Kendal.
“The visual impact and beauty of the award winning Quaker Tapestry inspires all those who visit. Often compared with the Bayeux Tapestry, this masterpiece of storytelling is a celebration of life, people and events across the centuries. A myriad of stories are revealed from within the 77 captivating and colourful embroidery panels.”
The panels illustrate the history of the Quaker movement and highlight some of the main themes about Quakerism. Each panel is hand embroidered in crewel work and the entire tapestry was created over 15 years with the involvement of over 4000 people. It is quite the piece of work.
If you’re in the area, it’s worth having a look at the Tapestry to appreciate the body of work. I won’t lie, I felt the entrance price was a little steep, but it was an interesting experience and echoed my handmade infographic experience quite nicely.
Thanks to my previous brush with TV stardom, I was invited to run a cross stitch workshop at the rear of a craft cafe set up to feature in the new Kirstie Allsopp TV series. I can’t say much about the show, which should come out in the Autumn, but on a warm day in the middle of the month six of us turned up in London and spent the day stitching in the background and being quiet while filming took place in the foreground.
The crew – Freddie Fraggles, Betty Beaufort, Floss & Mischief, thebluepixie and Lucy B – were great and we had a good time. We even managed to stitch a few subversive pieces while we were, and represented the Nu Embroidery movement with style and grace.
The following week, Floss & Mischief and I returned to film the Christmas show!
Let me tell you, there’s nothing like sitting in London on one of the hottest days of the year, pretending to be festive. But we did our bit and spent most of the day trying not to laugh while singing Christmas songs in between takes.
As if that wasn’t enough, two days later I was back again, this time with Dr Ellie, for more of the same. All I can say this time is “chocolate fruit bowls”. You’ll find out later in the year about those babies.
One of the advantages of sitting around all day cross stitching is that you get to finish work. (There’s an irony that the job of running Mr X Stitch keeps me so busy that I barely get time to stitch). I had decided to knock up a piece for Kirstie featuring her gangster name, and over the course of the sessions I managed to finish it and give it to her.
The following week I was off to Bath to visit the headquarters of Mollie Makes and Cross Stitcher Magazine! I got to see behind the scenes of the magazine, meet the team and they got the pleasure of my “Life on the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge” presentation*, where I dazzled them with amazing stitched things to look at and my own particular blend of humour.
It was a whistle-stop tour, but I managed to grab a shot of the awesome Charlie Moorby (Commissioning Editor) while I was there. If you look really hard you can see the mood boards for forthcoming issues of the mag. 🙂
And before you knew it I found myself in Oxford at Darn It & Stitch, where I ran a groovy two hour Cross Stitch 101 workshop, teaching a terrific group of people how to start and stop cross stitch and what to do in the middle. I brought along my best inspiration books, including PUSH Stitchery and Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for Men, and let them stitch whatever took their fancy.
The workshop had the right blend of stitching, cake, fizzy alcohol and laughter, and it flew by. Here are a couple of shots from workshop as well as one from inside the store, which is simply charming.
All in all, June was a good month to be Mr X Stitch. I’m really looking forward to the Autumn, because there are some big things on the horizon, but I’ll tell you more about them next time!
*If you’d like me to come and do the presentation with your stitchy group, email me for more information.
** And I can do this Cross Stitch 101 workshop with your gang as well. Drop me a line, why dontcha?