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Finding Inspiration with Stitch in Bloom's Lora Avedian

The textile artist on found flowers, delicate details, and the joy of creating your embroidery ‘handwriting’.

Lora Avedian works from a little studio in her South West London home, but says Cornwall is one of her favourite places in the world. 

A regular visitor since she was a child, she has happy memories of summers travelling to St Ives. In 2019 she was even married in its town hall. Like us, it has a special place in her heart. 

And like us, she’s inspired by the abundant flowers and rich colours of plantlife that surrounds her. 

Specialising in embroidery and embellishment, she has created couture botanical textiles for interiors, arts and fashion, as well as creating installations and running workshops to share her love of slow stitching by hand. 

Now, with her book, she wants to inspire people to think about materials and embroidery in a different way. It contains tips and projects to help readers discover the joy of mindful craft while making clothing and accessories personal and beautiful. 

Where to start?

Some fabric, a needle, thread and some scissors, that’s all you need. Embroidery is a folk art, and anyone can do it, which is what I love so much about it. Don’t worry about it being perfect.  

It’s like learning to write. It takes time and practice to develop your style of handwriting, and it’s the same with embroidery. 

My book is a celebration of a particular embroidery stitch called ‘couching’, which is extremely simple and very versatile.  

Extracts from Stitch in Bloom:

I collect objects that spark my imagination, and when you are designing your own work, I suggest you look at the objects that you own as a starting point. It could be the colours, the shape or the texture of an object or image that inspires you, perhaps taking one small detail to recreate as an embroidery.

I have always looked to vintage clothing for inspiration, especially from the 1930s and 40s. I also really love going to markets and collecting odd objects and ceramics which very often inspire the materials or textures of my work.  

I sometimes go to my local flower market to see what is in season or seek out local growers. The joy of working with cut flowers is that you can create compositions with them by laying them out on your table or arranging them in a vase so you can draw from them in real life.

My fascination with flowers really started when I was working as a prop maker in between studying, and I spent a lot of time making paper flowers for photo shoots. 

If you live in an urban space and don't have a garden, keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers pushing up between the cracks of concrete. I often see tall hollyhocks or wild poppies springing next to gates, fences or brick walls.

Follow Lora on Instagram for beautiful images of her own projects, and more inspirational tips. As always, we’d love to see what you’re making this month. Use the tag #SeasaltArtsClub to share with us. 

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