Happy Friday! This week we’ve had a chat with the lovely, map-loving Alex from Stitch City.
1. When did you learn to sew?
I learned cross stitch from my Nan when I was about 7-8 years old, and I sort of liked it but not especially! I started embroidery as a replacement for drawing when studying illustration at University of Westminster – I found that I was a lot more confident drawing with thread than with a pen or pencil!
2. Your work has a focus on being eco-friendly – how have you brought this into your creative practice?
It’s a consideration in every aspect of the shop, from the development of the products to packaging and promotional materials. My notebooks are made with discarded printer paper (I work in a library so there’s plenty whenever there’s a printer fault!) and this becomes a feature of the books, it gives the pages a nice texture! The earrings are made with vintage or scrap fabric. I am now trying to reduce the amount of textile waste I create, by using any waste fabric for pincushion stuffing. For my new range of printed cushions I’ll be using organic and Fairtrade fabrics for the backs of the cushions.
3. As well as environment, place is a big theme in your work. Does where you live and where you travel influence this?
Absolutely! When deciding which map to make, I am always drawn to places which are familiar to me. I’m trying to get back into making street furniture or “City Detail” pieces again, as I used to really enjoy making those when I lived in London. I’ve done a couple for Penarth, where I live now, but I have tons of photos and ideas, there just isn’t enough time to make them all!
4. Do you have a favourite map?
Probably Aberystwyth. I’ve made that one in a few different iterations now and it’s always fun, there are lots of interesting features. I love people’s reactions to it as well, some are totally bemused as to the randomness of having made a map of such an obscure place! But it’s a university town – and a lot of people love it and have such great memories of it.
5. Where do you want your work to be in a year’s time, and how will you get there?
Hmmm! Good question. I am still not selling as much as it’d like, but I hope that my recent adventure into the world of digital textile printing will help with that, I’d like to participate in more markets this year as well. By this time next year I would like to have more steady sales, and have a more simplified and consistent collection of products.
Alex has a beautiful and wide range of products on her Etsy shop, and she will be taking commissions in the run up to Christmas this year. From personal experience, she is a pleasure to commission – my parents love their hometown pillow!