Next week at Knottie's Helen is hosting a 101 embroidery session - great if you are wanting to learn some new stitches or just wanting to brush up.
Stitches include Back Stitch, Stem Stitch, Chain Stitch, Blanket Stitch, Bullion Stitch and French Knots. Helen will be explaining variations of each of these stitches to show how they can be manipulated in a number of different ways to achieve different effects.
Helen asks if you would like to join in please bring along:
Calico about 30cm + square. If you don’t have calico, please don’t go out buying anything. As long as the fabric is a plain colour, with an even and close weave, it will be fine
Bring along any sewing needles
Apart from that, bring along your sense of adventure
pencil, ruler and notebook.
Below is an image of Helen's work and also a recent interview
Your stitching is a delight - last time at knotties it was amazing to see your work jumping off the fabric with vibrant energy. Who was it that gave you the skills and joy of hand stitching?
I grew up with stitching of many kinds. My mother was always making something and embellishing it – wool embroidery on hand knitted gloves, lace flowers on dresses and all kinds of “fancy work”. She encouraged me to try hand and machine work, as when I was growing up, clothes were primarily made at home for children who were always “growing out” of something. If they could be embellished to make them a little more appealing, this set you apart from others! My grandmother was also a very creative needlewoman, so I suppose in many ways it is in the genes.
For a number of years, I didn’t stitch, but a move to Brisbane in the early 90’s introduced me to the Queensland Embroiderers’ Guild and I was hooked again. Since that time I have done a number of workshops in different techniques. I like to try as many different things as I can, but goldwork, white work and finer embroidery appeals the most. Most pieces end up as gifts as people still love and admire hand embroidery.
What is the project you are working on now?
I have a number of ‘UFO’s’ (Un-Finished Objects) and PhD’s (Projects Half Done) which I am reacquainting myself with and attempting to get finished. I did a course with the South Australian embroiderer Jenny McWhinney, and have a needle painting project of hers called ‘Resting Camels’ to finish. I am also planning a piece for the needlework section of the Bendigo Show in October
Looking forward to our next knotties session when you are sharing some tips and how to's on basic embroidery. What are the stitches you will be sharing with us and what do we need to bring?
People need to bring along a piece of Calico about 30cm + square. No smaller than this as it can become hard to work with. If you don’t have calico, please don’t go out buying anything. As long as the fabric is a plain colour, with an even and close weave, it will be fine (I will have a few spare pieces as well). Bring along any sewing needles you have, as we will be discussing the function of various sorts of needles. Needles make or break a project and I will explain that big is not necessarily best (no crowbars please!!). I will also have a supply of needles and threads for working with on the night. A hoop is not needed, but hoops in embroidery will be discussed.
Apart from that, bring along your sense of adventure and a pencil, ruler (if you have one) and notebook.
You are a regular face at knotties now - what does knotties bring to your sewing practice?
A pleasure doubled is a pleasure shared. To be able to meet with likeminded people and discuss what we are all working on is a privilege for me. And those discussions lead on to so many other topics of interest. I have only been in Bendigo a little over 12 months and work full time. So my opportunities to meet and find people who love to work with their hands have been limited. Knotties fills what could have been a huge void for me. It is also really inspiring to see how people use colour and texture in their work and genuinely love what they do.