The Magpie Anthology

Stitch in Bloom : Botanical- inspired embroidery projects for you and your home

I am a great admirer and follower of Lora Avedian, mixed media textile artist and RCA graduate. Like many designers her work looks deceptively simple. However don’t be fooled by this, as like the work of other great textile artists such as Marimeko, Orla Kiely, Zandra Rhodes, Lora can take a technique and a motif and work with it over a long period of time coming up with new fresh contemporary designs time and time again. This is her first book and in it she explores the versatility of a traditional embroidery technique called couching or cording. The inspiration comes from her Armenian heritage.

As she describes, ‘This way of drawing using a single line of embroidery, seemed to be the perfect means for me to translate my designs into stitch. While creating samples with different materials, I realized that it’s possible to get a really broad variety of outcomes with this one simple technique. The projects in the book are inspired by British flowers, from those found growing wild to the more traditional tended flowers found in formal gardens.

The book opens with the usual practical chapter getting started, covering the meaning of couching, working with colour, threads and fabrics a stitch index and transferring your pattern onto cloth. The stitches as fairly basic and yet depending on the cord, yarn or ribbon used, the range of finished effects are very broad.

The projects are all very different but have the undeniable handwriting and style of Lora. I love her use of colour and I am itching to start on some of the projects. There are projects for both the home and to wear including a beautiful flower stem basket design embroidered onto a vintage woolen blanket. I particularly love the child’s waistcoat design and the Flower Garden Jacket. 

A great book, thoroughly recommended. Happy embroidering everyone.

Review by Juliet Bawden from www.creativecolour.org

Stitch in Bloom by Lora Avedian (Hardie Grant, £15) Photography ©Matt Russell

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