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I started to embroider very traditional 'tray cloths' using simple embroidery stitches, with my grandma when I was about 7 years old and I still have the little book of Embroidery Stitches which she gave me as a birthday present. As a teenager I learnt to use a hand sewing machine and made my own clothes, mainly because we were not very well off, but it was not until I was a young woman with my own small child that I saw experimental embroidery and textiles at a Craft Fair. These were on a stall organized by the local Embroiderers’ Guild. I joined the Guild and took part in their exciting work shops and took evening classes, which gave me access to textile artists who were using interesting techniques and new materials. It was great.
I kept up my interest in Textiles while working, but always promised myself that I would spend more time working with textiles when I retired. I did it!! Although I was a mature student it was great to study the Advanced Diploma in Stitched Textiles for 3 years and very exciting to be alongside young graduates in the Embroiderers’ Guild Graduate Showcase in London, Harrogate and Dublin.
Now is such a good time to experiment with thread and fibre. It is a time of hardship and the personal gift using embroidery skills is always well received and adapting clothes with stitch or making new ones gives you a unique outfit, the envy of your friends who will be amazed by your creativity.
Now I have a new career in textiles and am now exhibiting and selling work around the world In the last 18months I have had my Stitched Textiles exhibited in Korea, Israel, Germany, France, Poland and of course at home. I run workshops and give talks. It’s great. Currently I am experimenting with knit and jewellery making and hoping to incorporate these skills into my textiles in the near future.