I think it was as a Christmas present that I was bought a book called "Slow Stitching: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art" by Claire Wellesby-Smith which is a gorgeous book just to hold before you even open it. For me it is what stitching is all about, enjoying the whole experience of hand stitching - the holding in the hand, taking your time to make simple stitches, the thoughts that go through your mind and the feeling of calm, forgetting your worries. So with the Norwich EG workshop coming up in April on Rolling Landscapes I have collaged lots of scraps of fabric that I have by the box full left over from other embroideries and dying days and now I am in the process of "slow stitching" - letting the fabric tell me where I need to place the stitches.
I work the simple stitches across the collage of fabrics and papers left to right making adjustments as I go. The stitches are either running stitch, seed stitches or French knots, the fabrics mainly silk - organza, habotai, chiffon, sari ribbon and a strip of calico - all of which I have dyed myself and then added some print detail.
There is an Indian spotted block print fabric running under the bottom edge that slowly changes into another spotted fabric - detail below - which was given to me by my friend Gill and which will always remind me of her.