As you can see from my Blog name, I trade as It Started With A Stitch (try singing it as you say it, it’s catchy right?) which kind of harps back to what got me here in the first place – Sewing.
I’m new to all this crochet malarkey and I can get frustrated, being self-taught I’m not quite down with all of the lingo and following some patterns fries my brain a tad too much, even for my liking. Sewing is much more calming and therapeutic to my brain and I find it so rewarding to look back at hours of tiny stitching and see how patterns, colour and words evolve from such simple and basic techniques. This is kind of where the beginnings of It Started With a Stitch were formed.
I used to watch my Mum cross stitch when I was little and always bugged her to let me have a go – she instilled in to me how important it was that all the stitches were done properly, all the crosses sewn in the same direction, no scrappy knots hidden behind the fabric, all the ends finished off – even if it was on the back she would always say ‘I’ll know it’s not right’ and it’s stuck – that annoying little niggle that I must go back and undo something that’s not right, I can see her looking at me even when she’s not there when there’s a knot in the thread and she can hear the sound of it struggling through the fabric!
I get asked all the time, ‘can’t you do it on a machine?‘ that question makes me want to grab the person and shake them – ‘NOOOO!’ Yes, there are lots of things that a machine can do, a machine can be very useful for making things stronger, or for boring straight edges, but where’s the love? Where’s the thought and time that goes into hand-stitching? Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hating on people who use a machine, but for me the enjoyment and love I have for what I do, comes from the contact I have with the fabrics, the threads, the beads and sequins and everything that I use to embellish and decorate my pieces of work.
Text has become something that I’ve found I love to include into pieces, handy for personalising items and also a way of theming a make, I worked on a Spring Swap project, and hand embroidered a poem that had been written about Spring to give the work the link that it needed to the project title. One of my first mammoth hand stitching projects was on a large hand made piece of felt, inspired by colours and patterns from India which involved hours and hours of teeny tiny little stitches.
I have a real love for hand pieced paper patchwork, done the old fashioned way, edged around the paper patterns, hand tacked to secure in place and then hand-stitched together, there is a sneaky sense of pleasure that I get from whipping up some quick pieces on a machine but I love to have the time to invest in almost invisible stitches, holding the little patterned shapes together. Once the patchwork is complete I like to decorate and adorn with sparkly bits, either crystals or beads and sequins, and then again with surface decoration in the form of more stitching, somewhere out there is a huge crazy patchwork that I made before I went to uni – it was a masterpiece of construction and decoration and paved the way for future makes, how it got lost is entirely forgotten but if anyone knows where it is – let me know 🙂
I’ve been making lots more gifts just lately, lots generated by the fact that I’m rubbish at buying Easter Eggs but also for Christmas pressies, new babies, and just because (always the best reason for a pressie I feel)
This post was written by Gemma