Thursday, April 5, 2012

Of Needle and Thread

The other day I was asked 'what do you do' - in relationship to craft/art.  The description listing all of the needlework types I have been involved with over the years would take forever -- it's quite a long list.

My 'handwork' began with my husband's grandmother teaching me embroidery.  While I was pregnant she bought me little flannel gowns from Woolworth's and I embroidered their printed designs.  My next step into needlework came many years later when I worked in needlepoint.  Still I worked from a printed pattern.  From needlepoint I went on to counted cross-stitch. 

After cross-stitch I began making cloth dolls.  Finally I was making my own designs and patterns.  I soon became surrounded by dolls - paper, fabric, painted and stitched. 

One day I discovered "Somerset Studio" and then "Cloth Paper Scissors" and my stitching life took a tremendous turn.  No more carefully constructed patterns and lots of improvisation as I spent five years creating book art.  Mixed media became my mantra but still there was plenty of stitching both by hand and by machine.

From book art I moved on to beading.  I couldn't string jewelry I had to stitch it - and so beaded embroidery became my 'new best friend'.

These days I feel the tug toward using more fabric and embellishments, the need to put more of 'myself' into a piece rather than regulated loops.  We'll see where this journey goes -- but I know quite well that I will always be holding needle and thread in one form or another.

"A line will take us hours maybe; yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught." - William Butler Yeats


  1. I can relate to this post. There have been many days that I wished just one technique would fulfill my desire to create and I would focus on it and would achieve perfection in it.

    I have become more focused and don't let a new craft take me over to dabble at.

    One thing for sure, I love your art.

  2. Yes, can definately relate to this--all true for me too. I love all your work. That book is cool!
    And, now, with some help from YOU, I can add punchneedle to my list of things! Got my AMAZING box today!! Thank you a million! It is my mission tomorrow. Those little pincushions and bookmarks are cute. I think I'll start simple--a good way to begin! hee!
    Big hug! Thank you Penny!!!

  3. You've had an interesting stitching career - like most of us, the full tale probably has many turns and ramifications as your ideas have developed.

  4. Nice journey! Just go with the flow or at least the loops!

  5. Creativity in any form is always such a wonderful journey, isn't it? I myself have been morphing for years, pursuing varyied art forms. Even now, ensconced in encaustic, I know that I will never lose my love of stitch and fabric - continue enjoying the journey, Penny - I love the beauty that you share!

  6. I know I also do need to switch gears, and your post reminds me that growth almost always comes with that switching. It's to strive for!



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