If anyone’s visited me at an event recently, you may have noticed these beautiful Dropcloth Samplers for sale on my stand. I’m delighted to announce that they are now available online!
Dropcloth samplers are designed and printed by US artist Rebecca Ringquist. I first saw Rebecca’s work at the Rijswijk Textile Biennale in the Netherlands. Her work is exuberant and multi layered (literally and metaphorically) and seemed to burst from the walls on which they were displayed. She learned how to embroider in college in a feminist art history class and has been inspired by the history of American needlework ever since. Her work is far from traditional in approach and you can see how she delights in the use of thread as a drawing medium.
The idea of a Dropcloth is something that is not precious, somewhere you can make a mess. Colour guides or thread are not included, the idea is to play and experiment. Of course you can find instructions on basic stitches in embroidery books old and new, or why not get together with friends to share and develop skills? Rebecca also runs classes at creativebug.com, but the underlying message is to take the rule book and throw it out the window to make something that is truly unique.
Dropcloth Samplers are a great way to introduce someone to embroidery, or refresh your skills. Start off with the Original or Colour Wheel and work your way up to the Sequel, with more complex and improvisational stitches.
I’ve started my Original already and have really enjoyed revisiting embroidery, it’s a very different way of sewing to dressmaking but I like the portability and slowness of it. I hope you’ll like them too.