It seems like a lifetime ago I was sat in the London Embroidery School’s basement studio stabbing myself repeatedly with pins while doing some lace appliqué. Their in-person classes won’t be resuming until end of August but in the meantime the team have been working very hard to bring you some online offerings, including some Instagram stitch-alongs and a mixture of free and paid classes on their Youtube channel.
Recently, they advertised an online monogramming course that caught my eye which, at the price of £20 for three hour long videos I thought was worth taking a chance on.
I mentioned a few weeks ago how Bluprint, formerly Craftsy, had gone under, with a not insignificant number of jobs to be lost and plenty of panic about how people who had paid for hundreds of hours of video content were going to be able to access what they had been promised a ‘lifetime’ subscription too. Well, since then it seems there have been a few twists and turns in the story!
There is a new member of the family that I have yet to have the pleasure of introducing you all to yet… My new Bernina 790 Plus. (Complete with embroidery module because the thing wasn’t monstrously huge enough without it).
The Internet is a very dangerous place. You head online looking for a couple of embroidery hoops and next thing you know you’ve somehow found yourself with a new tape measure, some needles and… well… a whole new embroidery kit.
Last time, I’d managed to get all the preparation work done for starting the bulk of the embroidery on my Poinsettia Paperweight. This wasn’t too arduous as it was just preparing the fabric, transferring the design and getting the split stitch outlines of the petals ready. Now it was on the fun part – lots of silk shading!
After my recent ‘finish’ of the canvaswork pincushion (still needs constructing!) I wanted to get straight back on with some stitching, and with one project nearly out the door, no better time than to start on something new!
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Art? Handicraft? Women’s work? What is needlework to you? To Clare Hunter, needlework is not just a decorative frivolity but true skilled labour and a means of telling the stories of the individuals, countries and historical periods. To her, the act of sewing is to secure and trap out personal memories in thread and fabric. ‘Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle’ is Clare Hunter’s exploration of the oft-forgotten tales of the accomplished hands that created many different textile pieces, lost and preserved, and the political and social environments surrounding their work.
After my burst of inspiration to finish the embroidery for my canvaswork piece, I ended up signing up to a few craft courses, one on sock knitting, the other on lace embroidery, to try and learn a few new things. A matter of days later, everything was cancelled, but I did at least have the chance to go to a class and, as for the rest, we’ll try again later…
Thank you all so much for your incredibly kind comments on my blog the other day. I honestly was really touched by you all taking the time to be encouraging and sympathetic. I don’t know if it was the sheer loveliness that got me really wanting to stitch again or maybe that post was blowing off the last bit of the cobwebs for me to emerge out of the cave I’ve been hiding in. The best part is, here is all the embroidery for my lovely canvaswork piece finished with another great story of human kindness to go with it.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links meaning if you purchase the book through these links, I receive a small commission to help keep running the blog. However, any recommendations and opinions in this review are my own. For more information, please click here. I received a copy of this book as a gift. All images featured are from the book and are the work of the author, Ai Mizuta.
I’ve moved recently and one of the things that this always forces you to confront is quite how much I love books. This isn’t a particularly new realisation to me, I’ve always been a huge fan of novels, short stories or any form of literature, but I have really managed to amass quite a craft book collection over the last few years.