The Excellent Exploits of Mr X Stitch – Knitting & Stitching Show 2009

Hello, Mr X Stitch here. I thought I’d tell you about my recent Xploits. It is a life less ordinary.
The Knitting & Stitching Show ran from 8th to 11th October at the Alexandra Palace in London. I was fortunate to attend for two days and it was fantastic.

Knitting & Stitching at the Ally Pally

As well as a large hall full of stalls catering to all your stitchy needs, the show featured a terrific assortment of artisans showcasing their works and exhibitions to capture the attention.

Inside the main hall at Ally Pally

The Pfaff exhibition of machine embroidery featured a varied array of pieces inspired by the concept of landscape and really showed the breadth of possibilities that can be realised using a sewing machine. From large quilted pieces to three dimensional textiles there was work to inspire where ever you looked; highlights for me included the photorealistic work of Carol Shinn and Rosie James’ people studies.

Rosie James machine embroidery

There was an inspiring range of new talent on show, including design graduates and award winning textile students. I was particularly taken by the portraits of Lisa Connelly, whose hand stitched work explored multiple personalities and had that blend of macabre charm that I do so enjoy.

Lisa Connolly Embroidered Portraits

I’ll be honest, I spent a lot of show meeting people that I want to do future posts about, so I won’t give away too much information here, but here’s a quick selection of shots to tease you:

Lee Mattocks' awesome quilted work

Above: Lee Mattock’s machine stitched frieze. Below: Lindsay Taylor’s silk sculptures.

Lindsay Taylor's amazing sculpture

Louise Baldwin's mixed media work

Above: Louise Baldwin’s mixed media work. Below: Tom Lundberg’s hand embroidered pieces.

Tom Lundberg's hand embroidery

Kerry Mosley's wire embroidery

One of the great things about the show was the opportunity to meet with the artists and talk to them. Kerry Mosley’s embroidered wire portraits (above) were terrific to look at, but the accompanying narrative to the work brought the pieces to life. Having chats with the artists and discussing how their work made me feel was a great privelege.

As well as the artists mentioned before, it was great to be able to see works from Alice Kettle and the Embroidery Guild, and to visit the stands of Emily Peacock and the Royal School of Needlework. And I even got to hang out with Curegreed (and Eilidh!) as well, so it felt good to be there.

It was pretty busy in places

It seems that the Knitting & Stitching show is somewhat unique in being so focused on those crafts. It was clear from the number of stalls in the main area that the industry is still going strong, but I must admit, I was very inspired by the time I spent on the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge.

Were you there? What did you think?

Mr X

Mr X

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


The kingpin of contemporary cross-stitch and embroidery -
RT @womensart1: US illustrator and textile artist Angela Pilgrim, Afro Puff ll, 2015, print. #womensart - 2 years ago
Mr X
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9 thoughts on “The Excellent Exploits of Mr X Stitch – Knitting & Stitching Show 2009

  • SOMEday i will come to the UK JUST for Ally Pally–there is NOTHING like that in North America, never mind Canada!!!

  • i’m such a sorry person, i used to live in muswell hill and never made it to the stitching show! i would’ve liked to have gone this year but i had guests from the states that were un-crafty. thanks for the pics and updates so i can catch up on what i missed! maybe i’ll see ya there next year 😉

  • I was there on the Saturday. After about five minutes my brain just stopped processing new information. There was just so much going on!

  • Hello! Thank you for posting this stuff. I can’t tell by your post though, who is the artist responsible for the linear portraits on what appears to be silk organza (or some other transparent fabric). Please let me know! I do work on silk organza that’s hung away from the wall to cast a shadow and this artist is the first person I’ve seen who does anything remotely similar. I want to learn more about them! Thank you!! 🙂

  • Those portraits were done by Kerry Mosley and are embroidered wire – there’s a shadow behind them that gives it an organza feel, but it’s just a shadow. Her work involves knitting with embroidery wire, and is something I’ll feature in a future post. You can see more of her terrific work at

  • Thanks for the fab photos – since I killed my camera en route I’m so glad you took these. The wonderful thing about the explosion of stitch creativity at this show is that it runs right across the board, from people buying their first kit to people pursuing Stitch As Art – we’re all in this together because we all love needlework. I came home absolutely buzzing and inspired.

  • Thanks Mr. X Stitch!
    truly inspiring work your showcasing!

  • Great to see you at the show Jamie, and thanks for the hug and the chewing gum on my very hungover Sunday! I work for the Royal School of Needlework and this years show was the best, and busiest ever! Like Helen said before me we’re all in this together because we all love needlework- and what a brilliant opportunity to all come together! Do come and say hi to me next year people!

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