The London Knitting & Stitching Show 2013

The Excellent Exploits of Mr X Stitch

The Knitting & Stitching Show 2013 took place in London last weekend, and I took a swing  by to check out the action. Unlike last year, I wasn’t exhibiting, so there was an absence of embroidered car doors this time, however there was plenty of good stuff to be seen.

Without doubt, the Tilleke Schwarz exhibition was my personal favourite, bringing together a dozen of Tilleke’s pieces from across the years. Jam packed with humour and intricate stitching, I could have spent an hour or more looking at the pieces in depth. As it was, I ended up getting the bus into London with Tilleke, where we shared cat stories, so there you go.

Tilleke Schwarz - Playground detail

The Graduate showcase, supported by the Embroiderers’ Guild, had a great collection of talent. From the whimsical intricate stitches of Adeline Schwab…

 Adeline Schwab - Hand Embroidery

… to Susan Sydall‘s machine embroideries of telegraph poles…

Susan Sydall - machine embroidery

… to Bella Leonard‘s embroidered perspex…

Bella Leonard - Embroidery on Perspex


… to Janet Steer‘s spun paper

Janet Steer - A Walk In The Mountains Arranged According To The Laws Of Chance - Spun Paper & Machine Embroidery

… to Bethany Walker‘s experiments with embroidery and concrete, there were some clever ideas and exploratory concepts.

Bethany Walker - embroidery in concrete

Sally Hewett had a stand packed with boobs and bums, which caused the occasional pileup of passers-by. I didn’t get a chance to chat with her and her husband, but it was great to see the work in the flesh, so to speak.

 Sally Hewett - Mistletoe Bottom

I got to catch up with Jane Greenoff, the wonderful Sarah Hatton, and my good chums from Sew-It-All, and spent quite a bit of time enjoying the other exhibitions on show. In particular, the retrospective of Margaret Nicholson provided a great example of what excellence in hand embroidery looks like.

 Margaret Nicholson - Visitors Book - Or Nue

If I’m honest, I’m not sure that there was as much edgy content at this year’s show as I might have liked. The exhibition spaces featured an interesting variety of work, but I struggled to get excited by much of it. There were some nice touches, including the Craftivist Collective working in the Upcycling Academy, and the selection of craft shops curated by Folksy, and there was the usual plethora of shopping options in the main hall.

The Knitting & Stitching Show is always a good day out for fans of needlecraft, and I’m sure the Dublin and Harrogate Shows will be great. Fingers crossed I’ll get another exhibition space for next year – feel free to ask the organisers when I’ll be coming back! 🙂

Mr X

Mr X

Director at Mr X Stitch
The Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery.
Mr X


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RT @womensart1: US illustrator and textile artist Angela Pilgrim, Afro Puff ll, 2015, print. #womensart - 2 years ago
Mr X
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