Community Stitch Challenge week six: Anne Kelly -

Community Stitch Challenge week six: Anne Kelly

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.

Take a look at Emily stitch challenge video here.

And if you missed any, you can browse all five weeks’ worth of challenges here.

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’.

What to do next

Monday 25th, January 2021 / 04:46

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe


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8 comments on “Community Stitch Challenge week six: Anne Kelly”

  1. Rosmarie Müller says:

    Sorry, I’m not good at English but I would like to say – thank you very much for your supporting during the last six weeks.
    Sincerely Rosmarie Müller

  2. Laurie says:

    Please, not just a bonus – keep going! The videos & pdfs are great! Don’t stop. Would a small donation help ( like on Patreon) ? Online embroidery classes are so expensive and different from this challenge. You have created something valuable here – a great formula & following so please don’t let it go. And thanks 🥰

    • charlotte says:

      Hi Laurie,
      I’m so pleased to hear you’ve been enjoying the weekly stitch challenges, the response to the challenges from the community has been incredible. We have some exciting plans in the pipeline, keep an eye on our newsletter over the next couple of weeks to find out more.
      Very best wishes,

  3. Teresa Gutwein says:

    Thank you for this Challenge. I have learned much.It has been a gift to be part of this community at this time

  4. Angela Harding says:

    These Stitch Challenges have brought new meaning to LOCKDOWN!

    New to textile art, I have learned SO much..!
    Most of all, having the courage to experiment..which has been thro’ the amazing and varied ways the community has responded to each challenge and to the generosity of spirit in all the comments.

    I think you will HAVE to arrange an exhibition once this worrying time is over..
    I hope there will be new and inspiring ways to ‘keep the Community going” ?
    Warmest thanks…!

  5. This stitch challenge has been a mental health lifesaver during lockdown. We are due for another month of lockdown and I am so wishing that you had another 4-5 weeks of stitching challenges. It’s been wonderful and I’m very sad that its over.

  6. Grainne Doyle says:

    Thank you all so so much for the inspiration and support during the past weeks. It has felt like a big supportive family that gives an amazing amount but asking nothing in return so there is no pressure to do or not to do. I was slow to start but enjoyed every piece that other participants shared and then started slowly but surly and am now sewing away happy and content and just getting on with life at a pace that is good for the soul. Learning something new every day. So much wonderful talent out there and wonderful hands and hearts sharing it openly and kindly, thank you.

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