The LoveCrafts Blogger Awards – #WhyIMake

Well, that was a surprise. I’m only vaguely aware of competitions and awards at the best of times, and with a good many things in my offline life distracting me and a good deal of embroidery swirling around in my head, I wasn’t in the least prepared for an email asking whether I would accept a nomination in the LoveCrafts Blogger Awards “Stylish Stitching” category. And having accepted the nomination – just you wait until you see the company I’m keeping! Wow! *cue music: “If they could see me now, that little gang of mine….”*

I suppose I should say “Vote for me!“, and I do, but really, go look at everyone’s blogs, have a rummage, and see more wonderful, delightful ways of using needle and thread to create magic than you ever imagined!

On to #WhyIMake…

Japanese Crane Design
Japanese Crane Design

Why do I make? To tell stories in stitch. Really, I think it is as simple as that.

Sometimes the story is purely one of delight in fabric or thread or stitch.

The Japanese Crane here was worked purely because I love Hungarian Braided Chain stitch, which I’d just discovered. It’s variation on broad chain stitch, and the intricacies are particularly well suited to showing off the colours in the variegated thread.

Leaving The Tyne 1915
Leaving The Tyne 1915

Sometimes the stories are much more complicated and emotional.

“Leaving The Tyne, 1915” relates to my Swedish Great Grandfather, and his service as a merchant seaman during the First World War, but elements of the design and stitching, and even the choice of that story to tell, are all part of my own response to the world around me now, the demonising of “migrants” or “others”, who yet contribute very greatly to our life and culture. I don’t think I’m a political person, but in this one, however subtly, I’ve nailed my colours to the mast.

Cover for the book "Nefertiti Lived Here", by Mary Chubb
Cover for the book “Nefertiti Lived Here”, by Mary Chubb

And as for “Dreams of Amarna” project that has been taking my mind for the last ten years, nearly – that’s a response initially to a book I read, called “Nefertiti Lived Here”.

It’s an enchanting book, about a dig in Amarna in the nineteen-twenties, seen through the eyes of the secretary of the dig, who was also a student of sculpture. Her sympathetic imagination peoples the site with ancient Egyptians, and her interest in everyone she met, the local labourers, the Gufti excavators, Museum officials and her colleagues brings life to everything she encounters. My embroideries seek to convey the delight she found there, and that I found in her book.

So, um, yes Vote For Me, please!