Judging an Embroidery Challenge

Some entries to all buttoned up challenge

Last week I had a call from a fellow embroiderer who has been running a challenge in her embroidery group which was due to be judged by a ‘well known textile artist’.  Unfortunately due to the excessive heat and poor health the artist was unable to make it.  “Could I step in?? There is tea and cake included”  YES was my answer!

So yesterday I headed off to a very pleasant garden centre not far from Daventry where this group of lovely stitchers meet on a monthly basis.  During their meetings they stitch together either a planned project or they welcome a visiting tutor to instruct and inspire them.  The group are known as Heart of the Stitch and I think spun out of the previous Daventry Embroiderers Guild branch (when the guild closed branches last year) as that is how I made contact with them.

Earlier in the year each member of the group had been presented with an embroidery hoop and a button.  The challenge, ‘all buttoned up’ was to combine these into a textile picture.  The results were both impressive and varied, I am sorry I didn’t take better photographs.

Once the cake was eaten and the tea drunk I had to make my very difficult choice.  Every entry had included the hoop and button as required so I couldn’t eliminate any entries.  As always in creative stitch projects there was so much variety.  Each piece of textile art made a strong visual impact in its own way.  In their May meeting the group were taught to create Dorset buttons and so many of the entries included these in various forms.

all buttoned up entries
Heart of the Stitch challenge for 2022 – all buttoned up

One mono colour creation didn’t have a supporting fabric background so the embroidery hoop has been stitched around and then into in a variation of a Dorset button in super size!  Another had taken the spokes on the wheel in the button to create the tiles which make up the tortoises back, it was a wonderful piece of work and so life like.

Stitched tortoise
Amazing button inspired piece – tortoise


On reflection there were so many wonderful examples and creative use of buttons.  Two pieces which drew my eye and stood apart from the rest for their intricate and even stitching were : one with a penny farthing bicycle surrounded by buttons, bees and flowers – which I awarded 2nd place and the winning entry, a sea scape.  The subtle use of colour in the sea and shoreline with the most intricate Dorset buttons and rocks, the sea was filled with tiny bead like buttons.  it was very striking.  Congratulations to all the members of Heart of the Stitch who took part.

Some entries to all buttoned up challenge
More entries to all buttoned up challenge

Thank you to Karin for inviting me and allowing me to share some of my recent work.  It was lovely to be able to talk about Stitching Kitchen and the workshops we offer.  If anyone reading this is in the Rugby / Daventry region and would like to find out more about Heart of the Stitch the best contact is Janet Gosling you can reach her via email gosling456 at btinternet dot com

Perhaps we could explore buttons here too, the work was so inspiring.