The Saltaire Arts Trail 2022 at Salts Mills, Bradford, was a brilliant weekend and I was delighted to be hosted in a wonderful textile shop nestled within the mill itself – the Stitch Society Shop owned by Charlotte Meek. As soon as she knew I was a stitcher, Charlotte kindly gave me access to her vintage cloth and garment off-cuts so I could start hand stitching a site specific piece as a memento of the weekend – and this included some of the iconic ticking from the shop. This inspired me to create the Charlotte Pocket Needlecase.
Before starting the project I played around with several cloth combinations and settled on blue and orange -then introduced some vintage Sylko red thread and vintage haberdashery found at the shop. My plan was to create a large pocket needle case to pin onto my apron.
The gorgeous text cloth mark needed a little extra stitching to enhance it.
The piece is embellished with handmade linen and cotton hexagons, a vintage button & handmade red cord, plus the iconic Stitch Society logo.
Inside the needle case, orange pages are filled with pins.
Finally touches – a label on the back of the piece.
Size: 16 x 14 cm and entirely hand stitched.
Thank you to Charlotte for allowing me to use your iconic cloth in this project.
This was my first ever visit to Salts Mill in Bradford. It’s a stunning former working Mill full of the most wonderful industrial architecture and a stunning setting to host the Saltaire Arts Trail 2022.
Down Victoria Road nestled withing the Mill at Location 10 on the trail is The Stitch Society Shop – a perfect setting for me to share my work.
Caroline at The Stitch Society kindly gave me access to her vintage cloth and garment off cuts so I could start hand stitching a site specific piece as a memento of the weekend – I’ll share more in another post.
Sound of the Mill #1 & #2 – created as companion pieces for ‘Worker Bees’ – feature Lancashire Dialect poetry from The Cotton Mill poem, first published in The Bolton Chronicle in 1864.
The growth of cotton manufacturing during the industrial revolution changed the landscape of Northern towns forever. Workers lived in rows of terraced homes within earshot of the Mill they worked in, each long day of work starting with the call of the factory bell. By 1860 there were 2650 cotton mills in Lancashire, employing more than 440 000 people and producing half of the World’s cotton.
This extraordinary poem, by an anonymous machine operator, with its onomatopoeic effects and rhythms echoed from heavy industry captures concisely the atmosphere of the working mill. It moves from the sounds of the machines to the behaviour of the human operators.
Size: each panel 13 x 9 cm. Hand embroidered and hand stitched using vintage Sylko threads onto cotton cloth which has been eco rust printed.
These pieces were created as a nod to James and Jane Nixon, my ancestors who worked as weavers in the Mills in Blackburn at the time this poem was written.