One of my many little passions concerns the use of text in visual art. I’m particularly fond of embroidering words. For some reason, the act of stitching a word feels incredibly powerful. Text … textile … texture … it’s all there.
So back in August, when it was suggested that I propose a workshop for the super-fabulous handmAid Craft Day, it’s not too surprising that I ended up teaching a beginners’ embroidery class where we used some simple line stitches to work wordy patterns.
(The Craft Day was unspeakable amounts of fun, incidentally. My class had five participants – all uncommonly quick learners – and it was such a buzz to see their skills improve over the two hours.)
Those are my four designs up there. I brought along two copies of each so that people would have a choice.
And nobody wanted to stitch “EGO”! I was surprised. Are you surprised? I think that one is deliciously subversive.
I have leftover traced designs. I have more fabric. I have a fineliner pen and a makeshift lightbox, and I’m not afraid to use them. So I’m thinking … kits.
Each kit will include the following:
- A square of vintage white linen with the design hand-traced on it
- A 6″ / 15cm wooden embroidery hoop
- Two embroidery needles
- Pre-cut discs of wadding (aka batting), card, and cotton fabric, for finishing
- Full printed instructions
To complete the project, you will also need embroidery threads and a short length of ribbon or cord for hanging the finished piece.
(I thought about including these elements too. But colour is such a personal thing – I prefer to leave those choices up to you.)
I will be selling sixteen kits in total – four in each design. Each kit is priced at US$27 – including postage anywhere in the world.
Speaking of postage…
This year’s posting deadline for parcels sent worldwide from Ireland to arrive in time for Christmas is 6 December. It’s later for places closer to Ireland, of course, but I’m not keen on going down to the wire with these.
Therefore, I’m setting a cutoff date for orders, of Friday 2 December. I’ll guarantee dispatch by 6 December, and we can all rest easy. (Also, this way you’ll have more time to make the project as a gift, if that’s your game.)
So, to repeat, order your kit by Friday 2 December
(Gosh, you know, that’s less than a week from now. Eek!)
Here are the designs:
It’s the Ultimate Answer! To the Ultimate Question! Of Life! The Universe! And Everything!
With its open shapes and absence of fiddly bits, this is the simplest of the four designs. Rather like the Answer, really.
42, man. Deep Thought would definitely want you to stitch this.
I think this one is my favourite (today, at least). I love the way it quietly turns the social history of embroidery inside out, matching the Victorian ideal “feminine” activity with that indecorous allusion to the self – writ LARGE, and all.
Bold curves, straight lines: “EGO” is more of a challenge than “42”, but not by much.
Do you have what it takes to stitch this?
This design was the most popular at my workshop in September. I love the simple exhortation. Unassuming, yet assertive. Quietly exciting.
Tighter curves and more complex letter shapes make “dare” a little more challenging than either “42” or “EGO”, but it’s still well within the reach of a beginner.
Dare. Do you?
Oh, you know me. Nobody could call me dishonest. But I do have this tendency –
The Revolutionary Horde: Oh … I just got that. Oh dear.
*sound of thousands of thighs being slapped in paroxysms of uncontrollable mirth*
Geddit? Oh, go on. You know you want to. (This is the trickiest design, obviously, what with the twiddles and the tight curves. Worth it, though.)
NEW! Someone suggested a bundle, and I said to myself, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?”
You can now buy all four designs for the price of three. That’s $81, instead of $108, saving you $27.
Please tell me in the PayPal “notes” field if you’d like the kits packaged separately when I send them to you (for instance, if you’re giving some or all of them as gifts). Otherwise, I’ll do the sustainable thing and use one set of packaging for all four.
Deadline is still this Friday!