World Embroidery Day 2015


It seems to me that every day of the year is a national or international something day but I was interested to discover that today, 30th July, is World Embroidery Day.  The day was established in 2011 by the Sweden Embroidery Guild whose manifesto is “The importance of embroidery must be made known and World Embroidery Day will spread around the world. Make 30th July a day filled with creativity for the sake of Peace, Freedom and Equality.” I discovered this fact via Inspiration magazine which sends out a weekly email with all sort of information and gossip from around the world relating to embroidery – and there you were thinking it was a quiet past-time of ladies from yesteryear. The purpose of World Embroidery Day is obviously to raise awareness of the craft and to encourage people to have a go.  The Sweden Embroidery Guild encourages sewers to take their embroidery out into cafes and other public places which would be very nice if I didn’t have to work plus I don’t think I want to take my work into an environment where there is potential for it to be damaged. Inspirations magazine also share this view but they are encouraging their readers to take to social media to raise awareness of this  almost minority craft.

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I first embroidered as a child and into my teens.  Above is a tray cloth I must have worked around the age of 12. I have always been somewhat of a restless soul particularly when I am meant to be watching television and so I have always had some sort of handicraft to occupy me. If I don’t keep my hands occupied I end up chewing my fingers without realising which causes callous, not a good look.


Back then I always did my embroidery from kits with the picture pre-printed on the material and following instructions.  Above is a picture I must have done around the age of 15 when I was obsessed with Australia.  Anyway, I grew up, life got interesting, children came along and the embroidery stopped.  It was replaced by various things like knitting and sewing particularly making things for my children.  Now, as I near 50 I have re-discovered my love of embroidery and with it a sense of calm.

I started again with a cross stitch sampler and some other kits which were interesting but not challenging at all and I need a challenge.  I have a mind that is thirsty for new things – it occurs to me that I may be slightly hyperactive! Anyway, for Christmas my sons bought me Hazel Blomkamp’s Crewel Twists and I have been slowly working on the Spring Trellis design which I have blogged about from time to time.

However, as I said I have recently discovered Inspirations magazine which is based in Australia and published four times a year (I think) and it really lives up to its name. It seems that there is a very active embroidery world out in the Southern Hemisphere which is intriguing.  You quickly realise that cross stitch and the printed kits are only the beginning, there are so many techniques and styles to learn.  I have even managed to find a couple of fellow embroideries on twitter and facebook and through them I have learnt about the benefits of using a stand for my work and also I have witnessed, via videos, the stunning constructions of some of the hauteur couture creations which feature embroidery.  It makes me wish I was a teenager again and could maybe follow a career in this area.

My passion for embroidery is growing so rapidly that it is beginning to via with my gardening and blogging.

So I do support World Embroidery Day as embroidery lets me channel my creative energies and helps me to relax and recharge after a stressful day  – why do have a go yourself?


9 Comments Add yours

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    Hello fellow embroiderer. I love to embroider too. I have stitched throughout my life but now I have retired am planning on spending more time with my embroidery. Today I shall do some stitching and think of others across the world stitching.

  2. Linda k says:

    Happy world embroidery day to all fellow embroiderers and crafty folk. Have a creative day!

  3. I am hoping to get to some embroidery later today. Slight hitch – I can’t decide which stitch to use!

  4. Exquisite work, Helen. I admire such skill and only wish I had a modicum of the patience, not to mention dexterity. I was still on cross stitch when I was 12! What you’re producing are heirloom pieces.

  5. homeslip says:

    I think gardening and sewing are complementary interests and like you I’m really enjoying finding more time for both.

  6. Artnunymiss says:

    Very interesting post. I am also interested in Australian art and would love to see more about their stitching. I will check out Inspirations, thanks for the tip. You could still make a career of it. Even the work you did as a child is lovely.

  7. Gina says:

    I’ve started embroidery again as I plan to use it in my quilts. is doing a Take a Stitch Tuesday where she profiles a stitch each week and how you can play with it. There’s a FB group aswell and the work shown on there is inspiring.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Gina
      Yes I follow Pintangle. Also check out Needle n Thread, she has video stitch tutorials which I find really helpful.

  8. Cathy says:

    Your current piece is looking good Helen – I trust you are pleased with it…?!

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