a few months ago i spotted a link on Ray Stitch's facebook page about collaborative embroidery project which intrigued me. once i had followed the link which stated that this was a 'pass it on postal embroidery project inviting collaboration through needlecraft between strangers' i was hooked, i signed up straight away for #needlesspost
my motivation for getting involved was that i love to collaborate. Also although i sew for a living i am not an embroiderer, so for me the idea of personal experimentation and engagement excited me too, you know, pushing myself outside my comfort zone, and of course i knew it would be fun. so i stepped into the unknown and made a start.
I wanted to use what i had. i am lucky to have built up supplies over the years of buttons and threads and it felt good to use them. Each participant was asked to choose some fabric, no larger that 50cms x 50cms and to embroider something. the project embraces the 'slow' so we were to hand stitch whatever we wished on to about a third of the cloth leaving space for two further contributors to add to the art work we had started.
I found a piece of cotton which had once been part of a bed sheet and starting stitching.
Faced with a blank piece of cloth is rather like a blank page. it can feel intimidating, yet also full of possibility.
i started thinking about waves and sea as scrolls, perhaps with words embroidered, but then i felt the need to add a few scraps of fabric to cover some of the white. on reflection perhaps i needed this to lessen my fear of the 'white page'. a spiral started to emerge * i love spirals* so i then decided the best approach was to work instinctively without over thinking and to allow a design to appear, and to enjoy experimenting with the type of stitching i am drawn to. My personal embroidery inspirations are Jude Hill's beautiful stitched stories. I also love sashiko and Japanese boro textiles and kantha quilting which all use little rows of straight stitches, to either mend or add decorative detail.
The large embroidery hoop i was holding the cloth securely in, once removed, left a contour of a circle which i defined with couched down thread. it started to take on a moonlike feel... i stitched some 'craters' and then decided to add fabric behind and cut away... it really was fun to just experiment, also adding rescued buttons from my stash.
i kind of didn't know when to stop then i wondered if i had used too much of the cloth, but no, two thirds were left.
when i had finished i packaged up the embroidery with some sunflower seeds from my garden for Steph who i was sending the piece to and dressed the parcel with some dried lavender also from my garden. i also made a card with one of my photos and wrote her a wee note.
round 1 was finished. i thoroughly enjoyed the process and loved that it felt expansive and non precious. Creating something that you know you will giveaway is really freeing, a gift. sewing love into each stitch.
i can't wait to see where Steph takes the piece next and how it evolves over the next two rounds.
i then waited for a delivery of round two of #needlesspost which i will blog about shortly, and share with you how the process for me continued.