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Did you know that every year, 2.3 million children die because they don’t get enough of the right food?

In recent years, millions of children have been saved from preventable diseases by the world taking action. But despite major progress, hunger is still the root cause of a third of all child deaths.

We all know, and are experiencing the rises in food prices. It feels bad to us, but try to imagine just how bad it must be if you are one of the world’s poorest people? How hard must it be?

Our Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced that he will lead the way in the Race Against Hunger. Save the Children want him to use his G8 presidency in 2013 to set ambitious plans to tackle hunger and save millions of children’s lives. 

Do you support this? Sign the petition here . Thanks to Save the Children for the facts and for coordinating the petition.

Crafters who have want to be part of the solution, not the problem, have been working hard to get hunger towards the top of the G8 summit agenda. They have been doing this by joining the Craftivist Collective Jigsaw Project. Crafters are invited to make a jigsaw piece with embroidered with a provocative message to support Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger campaign.

The project will create an art installation using all the jigsaw pieces to raise awareness of the issues of world hunger and injustice. It will be displayed in London initially then the plan is to for it to be displayed at the G8 to raise awareness and show how the craft community wants the government to use it’s power.

If you want to join in, you can find jigsaw piece templates, a story to reflect on and suggested phrases here.

All over the country craftivists are organising stitch ins to help publicise the cause. When I found out through Jelly that Roo from Little Stitch Blog was organising one in Reading, I had to take part. We were very lucky that jigsaw pieces had already been cut out and we were provided with a pretty tin full of embroidery thread to use.

My embroidery after a long day at work wasn’t anyway near as well stitched as other people’s, and as I started small, I had to continue small, but it seemed appropriate for the phrase I chose:

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The lighting wasn’t great, which made threading a needle and taking a photo difficult!

All together we made all of these:

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There were some more experienced embroiderers there! I will share better photos if someone posts them…

I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, helping to make a difference piece by piece. Many thanks to Roo for organising!

Button Heart Wedding Present

Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I have been collecting red buttons. I have given away that I wanted them for my sister, but not much else. Well, this is it:

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My little sister is getting married on Monday and this is her wedding present. I’ve also bought them a few bits, but wanted to give them something handmade and personal.

The buttons are from a variety of places. Some are brand new and others are not. I have some left over, but soon realised I would have to leave gaps.

To get the shape I wanted I drew a heart on the reverse of the fabric using a water soluble fabric pen. Using embroidery thread I first of all sewed buttons around the edge, keeping roughly to the shape I had drawn. Then I filled the inside, which took longer than I thought! I could have easily left it there, but decided to embroider their names and the date. I wasn’t quite sure that this was the right idea (as I disclosed on Facebook and Twitter), but once I started I couldn’t really go back. I am quite pleased with the result. Hopefully they will be too…

The World’s Longest Embroidery!

I could write so many posts about the wonders I saw and the fun I had yesterday at The Big Stitch at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. I am going to focus posts on the two main bits I took part in: The World’s Longest Embroidery and Raised Work Embroidery. As you can probably tell by the title of this post, this focuses on The World’s Longest Embroidery.

I got to the Ashmolean before the Big Stitch started, so headed to the cafe for a quick, refreshing drink. I looked at my map and planned my day, then headed across the floor to see this huge bit of embroidery. Now I knew it was long obviously, but I didn’t expect to see it running up the wall a few times!

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Over 7000  people from all around the world have added their mark to this piece of embroidery and were doing so when I arrived.

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I sat down towards the end of this table and spotted a huge roll of the fabric next to me!

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Contributions on the quilt are completely open to the stitchers. Here are some of the contributions near where I sat:

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This is what I added:

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As you can tell, I’m feeling the Christmassy vibe a bit at the moment! I did it completely freehand, as you can tell as it’s not perfect straight, and the angles are off. It took me far longer than I realised, but it was great fun. You know I enjoy sewing, but this was very social, talking to other people from near and far. Lots of people beside me were making their mark:

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So, I hear you ask – why is this the world’s longest piece of embroidery?

Well according to Mr X Stitch it is all due to the continuing line running through the whole piece:

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Finally I’m going to leave you with a picture of the floor! It will give you an idea of just how long it is – over 600m and counting!

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The Big Stitch

The joys of twitter and facebook mean we can keep up to speed on what is going on, if you follow the right people of course! I follow Mr X Stitch (@MrXStitch) and he tweeted about the Big Stitch at the Ashmolean in Oxford, on December 1st.  I read a bit about it,  after all, Oxford is a relatively short train journey away…

As well as a special exhibition there are:

  • Interesting sounding lectures
  • Young Embroiders’ Workshops
  • Creative Workshops For Adults
  • Tours
  • The World’s Longest Embroidery
  • Crowd Stitching
  • Embroidery Demonstrations
  • and more…

All of this is free!

50% of the tickets for tours and workshops are pre-bookable.  I’m booked onto a workshop from 2 to 4pm on Raised Work Embroidery. I also tried to book onto the mornings workshop on making a Japanese Pocket Book, but all the pre-bookable tickets had gone. I’m planning to try to get there in time to get a ticket on the day. For some adults the tours may be of more interest. There are also lots of workshops for kids, as well as drop in sessions.

I am also hoping to help extend the world’s longest embroidery (currently 600m long!) and join in with the crowd stitching. They even have 1000 mini kits available to help you have a go!

To learn more about The Big Stitch see here.

It looks like fun and is incredible value. I will be travelling for approximately 1hr 30mins each way to get there and back, but it should be worth it. If you’re in the area, why not pop over/in?

Button Flower Card

My little sister has received two cards from me already this year. One had heart easy embroidery on and was sent with a little gift. The other one was also heart shaped and was an acceptance card for her wedding later this year. It’s her birthday next week, so she needs another card. I haven’t bought a card since I started blogging and don’t intend to!

Having seen some lovely embroidery on blogs recently I decided to do that for a change from my usual. My sister is actually the recipient of my only other embroidered card. Oops!

I raided my button jar to find flower buttons to make into flowers. I didn’t use any complicated stitches – only backstitch. I also didn’t plan the design really until I started stitching. All I planned before i started was the five flowers as I had five pink flower buttons. The sun and birds were spur of the moment ideas.

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Pity I can’t cut felt straight!

Bath Abbey and Embroidery – A match made in heaven?

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Bath Abbey is in the centre of Bath and is a beautiful place to visit. Whilst architecturally it share many features with other abbeys and cathedrals, some parts were a bit different. I was very impressed with the ceiling!

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I learnt to look up as well as around at a young age and you can be rewarded.

The big stained window over the altar is worth a look at too. It has lots of scenes from Christ’s life, in what is effectively lots of stained glass windows together.

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I won’t be making my stained glass anywhere near that complicated!

All the way down the left side of the Abbey, there is an exhibition of embroidery and lettering by one woman.

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Each piece of embroidery has lettering beside it linking it to a section of the bible. As they are hinged together they are technically diptychs.

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Both the lettering and the embroidery is very ornate:

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Excuse the reflections in the frames – it was quite bright outside! I preferred the embroidery to the lettering and took a photo of quite a few of them to share with you:

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I managed to get the shadow caused by my head out of most of the photos, but couldn’t take photos without my phone shadow being present. These photos show you only a selection of the embroidery on display and a minute amount of lettering. There is more to see if you visit in person. It is amazing that this was all done by one person in a year!

There are also a few more places you can see embroidery in Bath Abbey. One of the smaller chapels had this behind the altar:

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One of the women stood near me when looking at this commented that it is very pretty, but a bit dusty! I wouldn’t like to dust an abbey, I can tell you that!

The main altar cloth was also embroidered.

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I went into Bath Abbey expecting to be exploring the abbey, looking at stonework etc, but I spent more time looking at embroidery than anything else (we were in there for longer than we thought). I recommend popping in if ever in Bath to see both the abbey and the embroidery within.

Joining Two Hearts Together

My little sister is getting married this year. I’m sure she’s still twelve, but she’s more than double that and her fiance is really good to her. When I was getting bits together for our wedding I bought myself the necklace below to wear on the big day.

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I liked the symbolism of the two hearts linked together. I didn’t wear the necklace as I couldn’t find matching earrings and I always wear matching sets. I still like the necklace and have decided to send it to my sister. If she likes it she can borrow it for the day (I’m not sure it is old enough to be her something old). Having a necklace turn up with no accompanying note would be a bit strange, so I decided to make a little notecard to write a message in.

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I’ve been inspired by some embroidery outlines that I’ve seen on blogs recently. My sister’s favourite colour (and the colour theme for the wedding) is red so I dug out some thin red felt from my stash and some cheap white embroidery thread.

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I sewed two interlinking hearts completely freehand, taking inspiration from the necklace. The angles and relative sizes aren’t the same as the necklace, but that’s just how they turned out. I still like them!

Using my zig zag scissors I trimmed the felt to an approximate square, then used double sided tape to stick it to a square card blank.

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Hopefully my sister will like the necklace and appreciate the thought behind it. I’ll have to wait and see…