Pandemic Treat Workshop, Week 3

Week 3 began on monday last with a video talk and demo from Australian embroiderer and theatrical costume maker Susie Vickery Susie has a strong commitment to environmental issues, and a preference for using found and repurposed materials, especially plastics, in her exhibition work, community group projects, theatre costume and installation work.

The workshop project uses several basic crewel embroidery techniques as found in Jacobean embroidery, traditionally done in wool on linen, fine canvas or wool twill. The repurposing aspect is to cut plastic bags into approx 1-2cm strips and use these as the thread for embroidery on a looser woven fabric such as a loose canvas or burlap. This all reminds me so much of a mind boggling craft project a friend’s mother did decades ago in the Country Womens’ Association craft session. Did you know that you know that if you start cutting a bread bag at the open end, and continue cutting and spiralling round and round, wind it into a ball as you go, and repeat 5-6 times, you can then knit or crochet it all up to make a bath mat or a hot water bottle cover? The pattern is probably still available in the archives of the CWA, as I’m certain that thrift and frugality have been some of the cornerstones of the CWA creed, since the dawn of time, long before ‘recycling’ became an important word. I acknowledge the anti-plastics and recycling appeal of materials and goals for this workshop, but decided to sit this one out.

This is a wonderful thing about these Stitch Club workshops – we have the opportunity to ‘attend’ 3 x 1 week workshops per month, with none scheduled in the fourth week (designated ‘catching up’ time) I’ve signed in and watched the video, and will check now and then to see what people are doing with it, plus I’ll tune in to the live Q&A sessions on friday, because you always learn at least something from every teacher you come across.

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