French Knots, Podcasts and faux pas

Embroidery class at Fabrications

Second round at Fabrications and it’s such a pleasure. There’s something truly special about a full day of embroidery: the pace, the conversations, the funny moments. Like when I picked up my messy sketchbook to show a tip for embroidering text quickly – a technique that I borrowed from outsider artist Lorina Bulwer – and was blatantly unaware of the text I was sharing with them as well. It started with “I like to work in my pants…” and ended with “…the truth is that I’m in my pants now too“. And you know what, now my class knows it and you know it: we’ve cleared the air. We know each other better. I see a lot of positive in this.

For instance, you might be reading this and be going: ‘ ooook, too much information.’ or ‘ that’s awesome, I like to work in my pants too!’ And we could go and hang out in our pants somewhere together as friends (this is sounding a bit weird now! I didn’t suggest any of these things to my lovely students, rest assured).

Aside from my awkward sharing of sketchbook truths, we talked about different embroidery artists we liked, Katherine reminded me of the amazing and super inspiring Louise Gardiner, whose Cape of Empowerment is simply mind blowing and whose story is even more moving and exciting. I mentioned Tessa Perlow, because of her bold wild flowers; Tanya talked about how she’s travelling the world and going to a different embroidery workshop wherever she goes, which is so bloody awesome and it made me really want to get my thinking hat on for my embroidery tour idea, something that I have vaguely started planning, but which I need a little bit more free time to organise. My first place would be Scotland, then maybe Newcastle, Leeds, York, Manchester, who knows…Seeing the whole of the beautiful UK whilst teaching or sharing my skills, wow. I’d simply love it: meet lots of different people and share stories whilst embroidering. That’s what it’s about.

And I didn’t miss the opportunity to ask about people’s favourite podcasts, of course. It’s almost a ritual now. I’m obsessed with them, and there’s so many good ones out there. Sarah recommended ‘Bande à Parte’, I talked about ‘The Craftyplanner’ and tried my best to explain ‘The Amelia Project’, which is a rather surreal fictional podcast about a service that offers to fake your death (I said it was surreal!), anyway, I’lll put some notes at the end of this quick post.

Ah, it went too fast and I hope I got them hooked, or at least, that they went home and thought: yes, that was good for my soul and body! And if it didn’t happen, at least they all know how to do a French knot.



I will be teaching another full day workshop on the 11th of August, so if you fancy, get a ticket!! I’d love to meet you. Here’s some notes from the workshop.

And don’t forget that I’ve started the Embroidery Loop for embroiderers to hang out, chat and embroider together. It’s totally free and in its early days, next one is on the 30th of June. Join the group on FB, if it sounds like something you’d like to be part of!! 🙂



Louise Gardiner, go and check her work now!

Tessa Perlow, basically an Instagram legend



The Amelia Project Podcast 

Bande à Part

I also referred to Bengali Kantha quilts and their use of the running stitch. I have a few in my folder on Pinterest, if you want to take a look.

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