Category Archives: Textile

Sara Impey

The sewing machine is the writing tool of textile artist Sara Impey who specializes in machine stitched lettering. The UK-based quiltmaker originally trained as a newspaper journalist inspired by words and narratives. We get an insight on the artist in her interview with Molly Makes:

“I began stitching text in 2004. I had wanted to do so for some time, and tried to find a way of incorporating it into my existing working methods which at the time consisted of elaborate repeated patterns using machine appliqué set against bold geometric backgrounds. I didn’t want the text to be an add-on, but an integral part of the design. My first text-based quilts were simply lists of related words or reproduced verses from Victorian samplers. It was when I started stitching my own writing that I felt I had finally found my ‘voice’ as a quilter – more than thirty years after making my first quilt. It was a very long apprenticeship! The text on my quilts is all free-motion machine stitching, letter by letter. I mention this because these days a lot of people assume it is digital embroidery.”

You can follow the artist on her website. Her book, ‘Text in Textile Art’ is available on Amazon.

Images: Courtesy of Sara Impey.

Adam Pritchett

Botany and entomology are the predominant themes in the embroideries of UK-based textile artist, Adam Pritchett. He studied fine arts at a university and discovered a fascination with hand embroidery after graduating. We get a personal glimpse of the artist in an interview on The Collative blog:

“I’ve always had an interest in textiles in other forms, like knitting and weaving, so embroidery just seemed to be another that really captured my curiosity. It’s a very slow type of art to make, and although it may be relatively straightforward to learn, takes a great deal of time and practice to perfect. It’s taken me around three or four years from first learning, to now.”

“In terms of developing a style of your own, I found this difficult at first, the best way to find your style is to stitch subjects/images that you find interesting and that you want to interpret and just keep working on those subjects. My spiders are my most successful pieces, and I began them completely by accident playing around with fabric, and they continued to grow and change over the last few years. Experiment and have fun with it!”

You can follow the artist on his website, Facebook and Instagram. Some of his pieces can be purchased on his Etsy shop, The Old Needle.

Images: Courtesy of Adam Pritchett.

Debbie Smyth

Debbie Smyth is a textile artist known notably for her pin and thread drawings. She creates the artwork by stretching a network of threads between accurately placed pins. The artist has worked with high profile companies and has exhibited nationally and internationally. In her own words she describes her work:

“On first glance, it can look like a mass of threads but as you get closer sharp lines come into focus, creating a spectacular image. The images are first plotted out before being filled out with the thread, the sharp angles contrasting with the floating ends of the thread.  And despite the complexity of the lengthy process I try to capture a great feeling of energy and spontaneity, and, in some cases, humour.”

” I feel as if I am taking thread out of its comfort zone, presenting it on monumental scale and creating an eye-catching, and in some case jaw dropping effect.”

More of her work can be viewed on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

Images: Courtesy of Debbie Smyth.