It seems there’s lots of stuff going on in the hand embroidery world these days, and I think that’s an excellent sign! You really can’t convince me that hand embroidery is a dying art. No, no, no! I think it’s definitely a living art, and I think it’s growing in popularity by leaps and bounds! This is wonderful – but it also poses certain difficulties, which I’ll talk about some day soon. (I have something brewing in my head, you see!)
For now, here are some things in the World of Hand Embroidery that have caught my eye lately and I thought worth sharing. Kick back, pour a cup of your favorite morning brew, and let’s slog through this journey together, shall we?
Lady Anne’s Needlework Exhibition is an off-shoot of Phillipa Turnbull’s needlework tour. The exhibition is in June of this year, in Appleby-in-Westmorland (in Cumbria, in northwest England), so if you’re in the area, you might check it out. The Lady Ann’s Needlework tour that Phillipa Turnbull organized for this summer is full up (you can read about the tour here – it’s the embroiderer’s dream vacation!), but the exhibition is open to the public, and is free. Here’s a PDF of the exhibition information, if you want to take a look:
And, speaking of historical needlework and castles and whatnot, did you know that Jacqui Carey’s book Elizabethan Stitches is now available in the US? You can get it through Hedgehog Handworks. They sold out of their first inventory of the book, but are restocking it. The book isn’t on the site at the moment, but if you use their contact page, you can inquire about getting a copy, if it’s on your wish list. If you aren’t familiar with the book, but you are twitterpated by historical embroidery, you can read my review of Elizabethan Stitches here.
Country Bumpkin’s Beating Around the Bush is right around the corner. I’d love to be going, but alas, I’m not. Even if you’re not going, you can still take part in their Village Fair on Wednesday, April 18th. You’ll find designers, needlework supply venders and so forth their selling their wares and introducing you to new techniques, to hand embroidery products, kits, books, and whatnot! So if you live in the Adelaide area or are traveling in Australia in the next couple weeks, you might slot that into your schedule! You can find information about the Stitches Village Fair on the Country Bumpkin website, or you could probably contact anyone at Country Bumpkin for information.
The French Needle has some new surface embroidery kits out that are really darling! They’re these little gals, doing different things: there’s a ballerina, a city girl, a bicycler, a seamstress, and a shepherdess. The kits come with printed cotton, floss, needle, and instructions. Each figure is about 4.5″ high. The whole set would be fun to collect and stitch and frame. I haven’t seen the kits myself, but I really like the look of them finished, as collected in the photo above. They look fun!
Have you seen the Royal School of Needlework’s flyer for day classes? For those of you who get out and about on the travel scene in the summer, maybe you should look up a day class at the RSN? Even if it’s not quite in your budget to vacation abroad, you can do what I do – look at the flyer and dream! I love seeing what’s on offer, and just looking at the beautiful close up images of some gorgeous embroidery. But if you live in some proximity to the RSN or England – or if you are traveling abroad – it could end up being the icing on your holiday cake!
If crewel embroidery is your thing, Talliaferro Designs has released a couple more kits, which you can find at Wooly Thread, including this Tree of Life kit. If you don’t know it, I’m a pomegranate fanatic – I like the fruit itself, but I love it as an element in embroidery better! So this caught my eye right off the bat! Talliaferro designs are stitched with Appleton wool. The design kits come with the design and complete instructions, and Wooly Thread sells separate Appleton wool packs to go with the various kits.
I’m enjoying Janet Granger’s blog a lot lately. She is the Janet Granger of miniature needlework fame – she designs and sells dollhouse embroidery kits. (Incidentally, she has a really nice list of miniature embroidery tutorials on her website, if you are into tintsy-wintsy needlework!) On her blog, Janet is working through An Elizabethan Stumpwork Bride’s Bag. It’s been interesting following this project as it develops. If you like 17th century embroidery or stumpwork, you’ll love watching her work out some of the techniques!
There aren’t a lot of books on my wish list for this year, but Yvette Stanton’s upcoming book, Portuguese Whitework is definitely one of them. If you haven’t seen her video preview of Portuguese Whitework yet, you might want to take a look at it! it’s lovely! And the whitework? It’s exquisite! Remember the piece of whitework embroidery I wrote about the other day? It is heavily covered with bullion embroidery, too – though not of the Portuguese Guimarães style – and it can give you a little idea of what this type of embroidery is like. Yvette’s taking pre-orders for the book now, and it should be available by the end of this month (fingers crossed!).
Wow – I had some other tidbits for you, but I think I’ve outworn my welcome! Hope you enjoyed the journey, though, and that something here struck your fancy! Now, I’ve got to get back to stitching!
Enjoy the day!