Here we go...

So, I've decided it's time to do something different. I'm hoping that my long history of writing a diary will mean I'm more likely to keep this Blog thing up?

Why I am writing this:

  • I want motivation to keep doing my embroidery
  • I want to keep a record of my techniques, thoughts, processes, materials, inspirations and anything else that comes into my head while I'm creating a design - and I hate visual diaries (remind me of Yr 8 art)
  • I want to connect with other people who are fascinated by embroidery and want to do more than cross-stitch.

I have been embroidering since I was 5. Not that I was any good then, but I remember being totally focused on getting the stitches neat. Design and creativity were not a factor then - I just wanted to 'colour inbetween the lines' if you know what I mean.

I did a few of those kitsch long stitch with a plastic frame numbers - I think mum had a miss piggy one on her wall for a while but it's been mercifully hidden for the last few years. I progressed to cross stitch and spent ages doing kits of flowers and bunny rabbits.

Mum had an 'encyclopedia of needlework' from the 70s which I started delving into for more ideas which is when I discovered canvaswork. To start with I liked that you still counted stitches and followed a basic pattern, and I starting doing a form of 'paint by numbers' with designs - find a picture I liked with numerous small areas then fill them in with a different stitch in each one.

This then led into using small stitches on finer fabric. I started using a very regimented form of stem stitch, as I was still counting threads all the time. It was about this time I moved to Sale (Victoria) for work and was introduced to the work of Annemeike Mein. This was like a revelation - she did whatever she wanted with fabric and thread, didn't follow any pattern and went outside the lines! I both liberated and a little daunted - how could I ever hope to be able to produce anything like what this incredible lady did?

So I started looking into Jacobean crewelwork, which is still quite regimented but allows you to be a little more creative.

OK, so it's 10am on NYE and we're off on a relatively kidfree (still have the baby, mum and dad are taking the bigger two to Questacon) trip to the Art Gallery so I will have to continue this later. I never realised how complicated my journey has been so far!