Stitching with kindness

Eight years ago, when Hetty was a puppy, our Farmer neighbour very kindly gave us permission to walk in the fields that surround our house. I’ve always loved the countryside and being able to get to know a piece of land and watch it change through the seasons has been such a joy. And I have often thought about stitching a map of our walks.

So when The Makerie announced a three day Zoom retreat called Stitching with Kindness, with map making at it’s heart, I couldn’t resist. Well, actually I did resist and did the sensible thing of sleeping on the idea. It sold out within hours! Fortunately a second date was organised and I joined that one.

The teachers were Ekta Kaul, Heidi Parks and Adrianna Torres and each led one day. Ali DeJohn, the founder of The Makerie, looked after us all. It was the most beautiful experience. I often think back to those three days and remember the lessons I learned about creativity and self care.

The retreat dates happened to be at the beginning of The 100 Day Project this year, so I decided to make my project #100daysoftextilemaps. As I post every day, there are many progress shots of this map.

I’m so happy with the finished map and it now hangs on the wall at home.

I couldn’t stop there, so stitched a second map! This one is of Bridwell Park, which is three miles away from us. The owners have been so generous, and invited local people to walk in the grounds during the COVID pandemic and our several lockdowns. There is a pop up cafe so we can buy coffee and delicious cake, and even benches to sit on now we are allowed to do that.

I tried a new way of stitching trees on this map. I draw a small circle (around a 5p coin) and filled in with a chain stitch spiral. I think it gives an idea of how grand these trees are, in a more formal parkland. I also enjoyed stitching a line of parked cars – it brings a little more colour into the map! The lake is stitched with lines of running stitch in different coloured threads, including silver. It sparkles in the light.

Hetty loves walking there. There is a herd of Red deer and one of Fallow deer, which she is very excited by. She may not be able to see them, but she certainly knows they are there!

This is the map before and after quilting. I especially enjoy quilting the lines of our walks, that’s when the map comes alive for me.

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