This volunteer textile art group is on an exciting and evolving journey to create a permanent collection of textile works for the Garden.
Set up and facilitated by Marilyn Caruana in 2014, the members of Stitching Botanical meet every month at the Garden to select fabric and threads, to design and plan projects and to share skills. Most of their exquisite textile artwork is created over countless hours at home. During the 10 years since it was started, special collections of stunning and evocative embroidery have been produced. These feature Welsh Medicinal Plants – The Plant Pharmacy Patchwork, Fungi in Fibre, The Natural Habitats of Wales, wonderful work on Pollinating Insects – especially The Honeybee Foraging and much more….
These collections are used to enhance public events and displays, aid adult and child education and promote the National Botanic Garden of Wales to a wider audience.
The latest two projects for Stitching Botanical are The Local Rivers – nine exquisite panels commissioned by the Corporate Department to enhance Ty Melin and Edible Botanicals (a display for 2024) to celebrate vegetable and fruit growing history and future in the Double Walled Garden.
There is no structured teaching at the Stitching Botanical sessions, but guidance, sharing skills and a supply of materials (almost all donated) are available to all our members. It is the buzz of ideas, energy and enthusiasm that is infectious, stimulating and productive. Stitching Botanical is tapping into a long tradition of textile work in Wales, and believes this group may be the first of its kind to be working in a botanic garden on commissioned projects. Please tell us if you know of any others!
Many different techniques including appliqué, fabric colouring and manipulation, fine hand embroidery, machine embroidery, patching and piecing, raised embroidery and wet and dry felting are utilised.
The volunteers use the excellent collections in the Garden’s Library which provides them with botanical art and photographic references, plant and insect details – including their uses and their habitats. Many members of the Garden have donated books, fabric and thread thus continuing support for the Garden’s Library and the fine creative textile art of Stitching Botanical.
You can follow the group’s progress on the Stitching Botanical Facebook page, which shows all the work created, as well as photos of the monthly sessions. During 2019, work commenced on uploading images of all the textile creations to the People’s Collection of Wales.
New members are always welcome and anyone wishing to join the group should contact Volunteer Coordinator, Jane Down at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01558 667118 for details.