Needleprint Competition: A Mirror to my Art

Not long ago I wrote about the new book The Feller Needlework Collection: Volume 1 published by Needleprint.You may read my review of the book here.

Needleprint is one of the embroidery blogs I read regularly. There are always interesting articles, information about auctions and exhibits and, occasionally, a surprise. Earlier this week, Needleprint announced a needlework competition,“Mirror to my Art”. The objective is to design and stitch a cover for a handheld mirror – the sort of mirror you might pop in a handbag. What a delightful idea for a competition. The ideas started flowing and I signed up immediately.

The competition is for all kinds of needle workers. The piece can be worked in cross stitch, temari, sashiko, quilting, knitting, crochet, stumpwork…..anything with a needle.

Naturally, I began to look for inspiration on the internet. I found a mirror (granted, larger than one I’d carry in my bag…) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that’s beautiful.

Mirror with Jael and Barak, 1672

I found a table mirror from 1720 embroidered in silk from England on the Conor Fennessy auction site (already sold!)

But I could not find an image of an embroidered hand mirror. (Other than the one of the Mirror to my Art home page) So, this contest is a twist on an old idea. Long ago, mirrors were precious and handled carefully. Carrying a mirror around in a bag would have been considered foolish since it certainly had a high chance of being broken.Now we have better techniques for producing mirrors and our lives are less rough and tumble, so carrying a mirror is a less risky proposition. How lovely would it be to have an embroidered mirror in our purse, your backpack or even your pocket? A touch of old world, old fashioned elegance to enjoy briefly each time you used it.

The design process, including design notes, sketches and drawings will be judged together with the finished item. I’m inspired by this competition. The ideas are racing through my brain: mirror image, reflection, eyes as a mirror to the soul, images of Narcissus, through the looking glass, mirror mirror on the wall…

What about you? Does this take your fancy?


6 thoughts on “Needleprint Competition: A Mirror to my Art

  1. Yes, it does, but I’m going to stop myself from starting anything else new until I’ve got a grip on the projects that I put away over Christmas and have now forgotten about. It will take me at least a month to remember where I’d got to…!

  2. Oh, lovely opportunity. Why copy someone else’s ideas?
    Why not do a piece of Portuguese whitework with a piece of coloured silk underneath? Or a collage of flowers? Or something distinctively Australian? Or get permission from an Indigenous Australian artist to interpret a piece of their work? A portrait of your child? Just a little circle.

    • Hi Louise,
      Inspiration is always helpful and your ideas are great. I have a couple of ideas already and just love looking at what’s come before…all part of the unbroken thread of embroidery and inspiration.
      Liebe Grusse,

  3. Imagine my delight reading your post on embroidered mirror frames when I just finished one that is about 29″X16″. It was an absolute joy to do – all 400 hours of work! I still have to frame it, and decide how I want the mirror mounted in the frame. I did mine in the style of the late 1600’s, tho I did take some liberties. I used Appleton crewel wool on linen twill, instead of silk on satin, with gold and raised work. I did stay true to the kind of stitches used during the period, like detached button hole and such because, I wanted it to have the 1600’s look. By the way, your blog is a joy to read and an inspiration!

    • Hi Paula,
      Wow, I’d love to see a picture of the finished piece – it sounds fabulous and you know how much I love crewel work! I’m so pleased you enjoy the blog.
      Liebe Grusse,

  4. Kathy, I would be delighted to send you a picture of my embroidered mirror. Do remember it is still in the the working frame awaiting my decision on how I want to do the mirror and framing. Give me a day or so to get someone around here to take a picture. While I can pull thread in and out of fabric, I am not so good at pushing camera buttons and getting pics loaded.

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