After a lot of deliberating over the design, I’ve finally finished my latest piece of embroidery, called ‘My Mum’s Baking’, which you can see in the The Embroiderers’ Guild – UK ‘Home’ exhibition (along with ‘Time for Tea’ ) at the Knitting & Stitching Shows this Autumn. It’s all about my childhood in Rochdale and my favourite food. Wednesday’s tea was always Lancashire Cheese and Onion Pie. This is my Mum’s own recipe.
Hand embroidered on a vintage pillowcase that belonged to my Great grandmother – displayed on a vintage cheese grater, woven with vintage thread. ✂️
‘The First Day in the Mill’ is a piece that harks back to my Lancashire roots and the stories I heard as a child. It’s exhibiting in the Quilt Creations category at The Festival of Quilts 2019. It features 61 elongated hexagons – or cloth ‘weaving shuttles’ – each embroidered with a job in the cotton mill. The central panel features a poem by Louisa Bearman, written in Lancashire Dialect, about her First Day in the Mill when she was thirteen.
The cloth is a mixture of modern, preloved and vintage cotton – some from the Arnold’s Attic Collection – and some have been naturally dyed to create a soft mix of textures and tones throughout the piece. The centre of the work features a Lancashire Rose and a vintage weaving shuttle, given to me by my father.
This is a very personal piece. It shares some of the thoughts and emotions that my own family experienced in years gone by. My Grandad Nixon was twelve and his mother was ten on their first day in the mill.
It was still on the embroidery hoop, when I received an email about an open call for work in a local gallery on the theme of ‘Home’. After a quick email reply and a trip to the framers, the piece is now on display at Open Door in Berkhamsted until the end of August 2019.