Community Stitch Challenge week six: Anne Kelly
In these unusual times, it’s been heartwarming to see the free community stitch challenge grow and connect stitchers from all over the world. So many of you have been in touch to tell us how much you’ve been enjoying the challenges:
“During this most difficult time in the world, you are truly lighting up so very many lives with learning and sharing creativity! We truly appreciate all you do!!!”
“The community you have created is an incubator for bringing out the best in everyone. My heart is full!”
“I am so glad I found this group. It has greatly challenged my concept of creativity with textiles and has opened up my creative outlet in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine.”
We had originally planned five weeks of the stitch challenge but we’ve had so many emails and messages telling us that it’s providing great solace in dark times and asking us to continue. And that’s why we asked regular featured artist Anne Kelly to get involved.
Stitching at home, stitching together
Since the first stitch challenge at the end of March with our mum Sue Stone, the Facebook group dedicated to these challenges has grown to over 16,000 members! We’ve been thrilled to see new members joining in and sharing their work with the community, having the opportunity to ask questions to a new textile artist each week.
Last week, Emily Jo Gibbs introduced a challenge that was all about appliqué. Using just a simple object found around the house, you created beautiful still life illustrations of twigs, paintbrushes, leaves and more, focussing on light and shade and observation of small details.
Now it’s time to find out more about our new bonus week challenge with Anne Kelly.
Who is Anne Kelly?
Anne is a UK based artist, author and tutor with her work in private and public collections in the UK and abroad. She says about her work: “I love to honour and repurpose old textiles, using hand and machine embroidery, vintage thread and string to add texture and character.”
She trained as a fine artist in Canada, where she won two consecutive Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation awards, before moving to the UK to continue her studies and career as a textile artist. Her work has been described as ‘small worlds’ trapping and preserving pieces of embroidery and objects within it. Anne often uses a ‘netting-like’ machine embroidery stitch over the whole surface of her works, further embellishing with hand stitching and couching using a variety of media.
Anne is the author of four books for Batsford Press which represent her project and collaborative work. Her third book, ‘Textile Folk Art’ was published in 2018 and this week’s stitch challenge is based on the themes in it.
What is this week’s challenge?
The challenge that Anne has created references folk art and the Pennsylvania Dutch ‘fraktur’ style. For Anne, folk art is a wonderful vehicle for repurposing fabrics, as it combines her love of nature with a simple but effective narrative. She was heavily influenced by folk art when growing up in Canada. As she researched the medium more in later years, she was struck by how closely linked folk art from different cultures all over the world can be, through the motifs they use and the issues connecting the stories in the art.
This week, Anne will be asking you to create your own beautiful piece of textile art using simple slow hand stitching and fabric scraps to make folk art style flowers, which will also encourage some much-needed ‘emotional repair’.