The Great Lady’s Magazine #StitchOff!

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Chawton House Library

Twitter can be a very surprising place! Through a recent conversation with the RHS Lindley Library, I connected with a whole world of history, literature and creativity! Andrew Bentley joined in the conversation about Elizabeth Blackwell’s ‘A Curious Herbal’ (I studied the illustrations from this beautiful book during my degree). Andrew is currently designing a garden at Chawton House Library in Hampshire inspired by ‘A Curious Herbal’. Chawton is an internationally renowned centre for early women’s literature. It houses a large collection of writings from 1600 to 1830, in a beautiful 400 year old house, which was once connected to the family of Jane Austen. This year it is 200 years since the publication of Emma, and Chawton has its first large exhibition to celebrate this.

Naturally I did some research on Chawton, and stumbled upon something marvellous, and very relevant to me! As part of the #Emmaat200 celebrations, Dr Jennie Batchelor, (who is working on the Lady’s Magazine Project) was organising an exhibition of stitched work inspired by a collection of 240 year old embroidery patterns once featured in this historic publication. Having discovered this with only 3 weeks to go until the opening, I just had to drop everything and take part!

The brief was to create a new piece using embroidery (hand or machine) which somehow incorporated these patterns. I quickly had a sense that I wanted to make a 3D piece, and while researching on Pinterest, found this Sevres plant pot from the same period.

Sevres Plant Pot

I felt that I could make a ‘pot’ from wood, and apply some embroidered panels to create a similar look. Here are the sketches I made for the embroidery, inspired by a combination of elements in the the muff and waistcoat patterns from the Lady’s Magazine.

After a little sampling, I decided to use a traditional linen ‘scrim’ fabric, which I painted white. After tracing the pattern on to the painted scrim, I set to machine embroidering the pattern. These four panels alone (see above right) took me several days of hard work, resulting in a very sore neck and shoulders! The final pieces were then hand stitched onto the ‘pot’, (made from shaped pieces of hardboard).

Having made the pot to my satisfaction, I knew I wanted to make a stitched ‘plant’ to go inside it. I had found out that Jane loved gardening, and Oriental Poppies still grow in the garden she tended. Poppies of course also mean remembrance in the language of flowers. So I set to making 5 large poppy heads with leaves using my handmade linen paper as a base, together with 4 leaves for each poppy. Once everything was stitched, the flowers and leaves were assembled and stitched onto wire. Here is a selection of images of the finished ‘Oriental Poppy Pot Plant’, which is around 45cm tall. The final image is my Poppies in situ in the Oak Room at Chawton House Library!

I am thrilled to be taking part in the #StitchOff Exhibition with many other talented stitchers. The show opened last weekend (21st March 2016) and runs through until September. It very much feels like the start of something really exciting for me, and hopefully the beginning of some important and long lasting connections. I am hoping to make the long trip down from Yorkshire to Hampshire later on in the year. Do click on the links and read all about the fascinating projects connected with this beautiful place. Huge thanks go to Dr Jennie Batchelor, the Lady’s Magazine Project and Chawton House Library.

Seedheads and stitches

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How lovely to have so many of you on board my new blog – thank you so much for joining me.

As you may know, I live in rural East Yorkshire, with my family and cats, and a large collection of textile paraphernalia. I love antiques and am pretty much as far from a minimalist as it is possible to be!

For this post, I thought I would show a pic of my house, and tell you about the artwork displayed in it.



This picture is a detail of my hallway. The sideboard is one bought from auction, which dates from the art nouveau period. I think it was about £25! The artwork on the top has been made by me, and is displayed together with some vintage accessories and bits and pieces found on the beach. The little boat sculpture was made by a lovely artist friend of mine – Shirley Vauvelle.

The large box framed artwork, and the long thin canvas on the right are inspired by my love of seedheads. The two types of seedheads featured are from two european native plants – Scabious ‘Paper Moon’, and Molucella Laevis ‘Bells of Ireland’.

Hortus Eyestettensis – Basilius Besler

I am fascinated by historical botanical books and drawings, and during my degree (Bradford College completed in 2003) and since, I have taken every opportunity to study the collections at the RHS Lindley Library, Kew Gardens and the British Museum. The plates above illustrate the two plants I studied, and are from a book published in Germany in 1613 by Basilius Besler called Hortus Eyestettensis. There is a copy of this wonderful book at the British Museum.

Here are some details of the pieces I have made using these two plants as inspiration. The pieces are made using machine embroidery on the handmade linen paper I taught myself to make during my degree. The large pieces on the left are made as ’embroidered wallpaper’ and are 8ft x 2ft in size. Their advantage over actual wallpaper is that they can be moved around, and if placed slightly away from a wall, they cast shadows when a light is placed near them. There are some little seed packets on my website, which are also made from this linen paper.

Degree Work

‘Bells of Ireland’ Collage of artwork by Corinne Young

3D Paper Moon by Corinne Young

Close up of 3D Paper Moon by Corinne Young

That’s it for today. I hope you found all that interesting. Please comment to let me know what you think. Bye for now, Corinne x


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Welcome - Collage

Welcome to ‘The Stitched Garden’. I am so excited about my new blog, and look forward to sharing my interests and passions with you all.

As you may already know, I am a textile artist (please visit Corinne Young Textiles to see more of my work). My 3D machine and hand embroidered work is inspired by the flowers and insects I find in my garden in the Yorkshire countryside. I am a keen gardener and also a fan of antiques and vintage.

What you may not know is that before I took my textile degree, I had a long career which has included interior design and decoration, soft furnishing and fabric design, fashion construction and retail, and arts organisation and curation. As a result I have wide ranging interests in many different subjects.

This has led me to think that a lifestyle blog with a floral/garden theme will allow me to indulge all these passions while hopefully providing interest and entertainment to all of you.

Some categories and ideas for future posts are interiors trends, styling, fashion, gardens, DIY/upcycling projects, guest artist posts, book reviews, cookery and of course details about my own work.

Welcome - Collage

I can’t wait to get to know you all. Please feel free to comment on and share my posts with your friends and colleagues. If you add your email address to the list here you will be notified about new posts as they are written.