The Joy of Stitch

Thoughts about Pattern and Colour

Someone ,who had looked at the small cloth, remarked that it reminded her of Native American Weaving. In a conversation it opened  up the question of the relevance of the pattern and colors I have chosen for my three embroidery pieces. It has also led me back to reflect on the material I have chosen.


The Cloth

The  cloth is made out of hemp fiber, it is woven like a rough, rustic natural colored linen, undyed, unbleached, uneven in the weave structure, very unlike the usual embroidery canvas, which is even in its weave. The cloth comes from Poland. Hemp requires a third or a quarter of water in comparison to cotton, no pesticides and bring nutrients back into the soil, instead of leaving it Hemp is regarded as one of the most sustainable fibers. In the Northern hemisphere one crop is the rule, in the Southern hemisphere is two crops per annum. Hemp is hard wearing as well in cloth as other uses. The irregularities makes  the stitches are uneven, changing in width and length. The embroidered surface becomes more lively to me, with all the changes, while the cross stitch still provides a structure . The Hemp cloth comes from the House of Hemp (Cornwall, Bude) and has been produced in Poland, it is unbleached and uncolored.

The environmental aspect behind the choice of this material is a relevant part in my work. I see a necessity to be coherent in striving to be environmentally mindful as much as I can in all aspects of my life and with this evolving art practice I have found a way of bring my way of showing environmental respect.

For more detailed information on Hemp  visit:

Exerpt from the website:

The House of Hemp
Is a small studio providing Natural and Hand colored yarn
Our Hemp is sourced in Europe
It is folded at Cold Harbour Mill in Devon
We prepare and colour the yarn in our Studio
Using a dye that we consider to be as environmentally friendly as is available currently
Our yarn can be purchased here online or
At the public shows we attend during the year

Tel: 44 (0)1288 381638

The Yarn and its Colours

As I am concerned about the material I use, I wanted to use British wool. What Air miles apply to the food we consume and the consideration that locally produced  is better for the environment, the same applies in my thinking to all areas of life and here to my art practice. appletone is a caompany, which produces yarn for embroidery since 1835 and the yarn comes in ove 400 shades. Luckily it is available at Truro Fabrics. (My equivalent  to an artist’s material shop!).

The yarn is known for it’s more muted coloures. Single colors often come in at least 3 shades. I started with a rather large cloth (1.50m square); the first environment was St.Mary’s church and I was influenced by the soft  tones of whites and grays, but also by the color of, the winter sky, and the sea, which was further enforced as the documentation moved outside onto the beach near Marazion.

Later on I felt like working with warmer tones, so the “Middle One”  started with almost pastel tones and moved on to , what I would call “landscape colors”, still warm and more mid tone.

It is growing....
It is growing….

The “Small One” went through a phase of several time unpicking and times of “not right” until it settles at a pattern and a colorful way , in which I feel content with.

The “Small One”

The three pieces have a different character to them and fell. What they have in common , is they emerge in the process of creating them, the pattern is very loosely based on Quilt pattern as a acknowledgement to a older Textile tradition.

The mainaspect was, to start in the middle , so that they could grow outwards in time. The exhibition will not be their end, only a break a pause. 

When I feel,  they are finished is a process in the making.

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