This small square of 20cm was part of the Irish Guild of Embroiderers exhibition at the 2019 Knitting and Stitching Fair in RDS Dublin.
The canvas squares were a forerunner to the full exhibition of the guild in the Lexicon called ‘2020’.
The theme for larger exhibition to be started , teased and introduced at RDS.
At the time of making this piece I was thinking about the tools of embroidery.
I have many packs of needles, bought at trade fairs and in craft shops and even online.
Yet I realised that for over two years I had hand stitched with the one needle !!
It is a little bent and perhaps not as sharp as it was but I love the feel of it and it knows me.
So that was my starting point for this project and going forward into the main exhibition in 2020.
Like an old fashioned typewriter being part of the novel, or that special paint brush helping the portrait emerge,
my needle is very much part of my stitching progress and always influences my making.
Well that’s what it feels like to me !! It is my typewriter, my paintbrush . . . and the means by which I tell my stories.
Not wanting to actually put myself in the picture, I choose a bird to tell the tale.
But the central character in the story is the needle.
I started by drawing guidelines for my bird, which is a bluebird for happiness . . why not !
Making the sketch on a separate fabric gave me the option to place it easily and change my mind a few times.
The background fabric was silk noil . . so lovely to stitch into.
At bottom I added a flowerbed of silk that I had dyed with flowers and leaves and over that some lovely antique lace.
Once everything was tacked into place I could stitch.
I gave myself room in layout for the wording . . ‘ I am my inner stitch in and out of cloth the needle dreams my journey’.
I gave the bird a flower to stand on and the needle to hold.
I write this post finally in January 2021 . . still using the same needle !!