‘The act of sewing is a process of emotional repair’

‘The act of sewing is a process of emotional repair’
Louise Bourgeois

Before I get started, quick grab a cuppa, preferably a slice of cake and get cosy. I’m new to blogging, so be patient with me please.

The quote above really rings true for me. The embroidery I began with this quote at it’s heart was a new begining for me as an artist, and it has been a very interesting journey.

I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a needle and made a stitch and not felt better for it. There is something very basic and natural about working with your hands, that is fulfilling and calming at the same time. For me making stitches is like coming home to myself.

Before I made this embroidery, which is roughly the size of a tea towel ( and I refer to it both as a tea towel of life and a security blanket) I had tried to make money from my embroidery, and it went badly. I set up an etsy shop, and sold one item, I dragged myself to craft fairs and barely covered my costs. I began to work through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a wonderful book that I highly recommend. My health deteriorated and I found myself in a very dark place. It was a long, and heavy storm of depression which I won’t bore you with.

The journey out of that place was a long and painful one, but through it I became an ‘artist’ It’s taken me 20 years to call myself this, I don’t pretend to be a great or even a good one, but I am one nevertheless. Now why am I rambling on? well it’s beacause there are others like me I’m sure, and I want to say stand up and be an artist too.

This embroidery was inspired by the very talented Tilleke Schwarz whom I met at The Knitting and Stitching Show. Her work is quirky, amusing, colourful, and life affirming. It is a mixture of stitchwork, random wording, cats washing, appliqued pieces and cross stitch. I’ve always wanted to make a piece inspired by her. So,  as I came out of the darkness , I ironed a large piece of thin white cotton, and began.

I have included quotes I love about mindfulness which has brought a lot of healing into my life. The writing is wonky and imperfect, but I’ve let go of perfection a little. The metallic and blue jumbled threads above the main quote are directly inspired by Tilleke, and represent the knots and difficulties life presents. I have included cats and a bat which my son drew as a toddler, flowers I drew in my garden, some of the flower pieces that were free to take from the Alice Kettle exhibition in my previous blog post, and oddments of lace and buttons.

It is pretty much finished, but its such a lovely piece to add bits to and capture a brief moment of calm sewing with, I think I may just keep adding to it. It has made me smile and the yellow flowers brighten up grey days. I think everyone who loves sewing or stitched things, should have one. Go on, make your own!

January 2015