The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace - October 8 - 12

You may remember the beginnings of this lovely stitched pieced from the last post about the Malmsbury Embroiderers Guild workshop. 
This is it stitched, finished and mounted. 

Chris Taylor and Laura Strutt on the Vilene stand. 
Boy did we have a good time.

The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace was, as usual, stunning. it was also very long - FIVE days, with a late night opening on Thursday. It was fabulous to see so many friends - new and old. We had a very busy time on the Freudenberg Vilene stand. There are still people out there in Textileland that dont know you can paint Bondaweb - so my work here is not yet done!

The exhibits at the show were fantastic. I have two series of work I would like to share with you.
The first is by Mary Flynn - The Shore Archive.

Her work celebrates the beauty of the sea and shore and communicates her feelings about our responsibility for the environment

Over a period of years Mary Flynn's work has involved regular visits to the beaches on the Isle of Wight to gather evidence from the shoreline to try to make sense of human experience. A process of collecting, photographing, archiving and selecting from found objects, results in art that speaks indirectly about the problems of the environment and also responds to an ancient and elemental engagement with the landscape.

The art is a direct response to objects found by chance and the significance they hold for the artist.

Researchers are examining pollution in our oceans and the impact on marine life, the food chain and fertility, it is one of the most pressing issues of today. Covering 72% of the Earth and supplying half its oxygen, the oceans are the planet's life support system and they are in danger. Mary Flynn communicates her concern through her work.

A cabinet of just some of the sorted rubbish Mary has collected over the years.

Coastline debris collected over five years shows a variety of objects washed ashore - as Mary says - The finds are material evidence of a dark future.

Having read through the catalogue of the show I have discovered a few horrifying facts - How long will our rubbish last at sea?
Paper towel 2 - 4 weeks
Newspaper 6 weeks
Cigarette filter - 1 - 50 years
Foamed plastic cup - 50 years
Tin can - 50 years
Aluminium can - 80 - 200 years 
and worst of all
Disposable nappies 450 years
 nylon monofilament/fishing line
600 years

The exhibition consisted of several large hangings constructed from detritus Mary has collected from the beaches around the Isle of Wight - mainly tarpaulins, plastic sheet and synthetic fabrics - these have been sorted into colours and stitched together.

Mary is looking for a permanent home for her her body of work, if you have any ideas or wish to contact this is the email address and Facebook link.

This is the Facebook link - more photos of the exhibit can be seen here.


The other body of work that caught my eye was Precious Memories by Jo Beattie. Exquisitely simple and thought provoking. The outlines of the design are free machine embroidered onto polyester organza. The shapes are then cut out with a soldering iron. 

The shadows created by the work are beautiful.

There were various ways of displaying the smaller pieces of work - but this was my favourite - just between glass - again, simplicity itself.

There was so much to see at the show and I didn't have a lot of time to escape from the stand. I will be at the Dublin and Harrogate shows and will continue to report back. 


My next trip will be to Redditch next week to teach my ExTex courses - 
it is always the highlight of my month.

Watch this space.



  1. I loved the show too - it was full of vibrancy and inspiration.


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