June 11, 2010

Violet Category Winner - Rainbow of Stitches Contest

The winner in the Violet Category is Lena aka LadyHazard !

Choosing my favorite in the "Violet" category wasn't tough (okay, it was a little tough). But, Lena's stitched version of "War and Peace" by Picasso was my immediate favorite.

Lena, tell us....

Describe yourself in 10 words or less.

Library school student and lover of beautiful things.

What inspired your entry?
When I was a kid, my mom had a comforter whose pattern was a few Picasso sketches repeated all over it. I didn’t know where the images came from, but I spent countless hours admiring it. A few months ago, I happened upon one of the images on the Internet and I gasped, recognizing it from that old blanket and I knew immediately that I had to stitch it up.

What is your favourite stitch?
I love the French knot; it’s such a pain but I love the texture it adds to a piece. It seems to look best when used either sparingly or entirely. Weird, huh?

Who or what inspires you to stitch?

The real question is what doesn’t inspire me? I look at things and can’t help but wonder if I could stitch a particular image or embroider on a particular surface. I have so many projects down the pike because of this—I only wish I had the time! Also, I just want to have and gift beautiful things to people I care about.

How long have you been stitching and how did you get started?
I picked up cross-stitching as a teenager because of my mother and my older sisters. They all did it. It’s an Albanian tradition to stitch up a bunch of things to decorate your house with, in anticipation of a future marriage. However, being the contrarian and feministy kind of gal that I am, for years I associated embroidery with this old-world style of thinking and refused to do it. I finally picked it up again a little over a year ago, once I realized that I could stitch up literally anything and for any reason I wanted. It didn’t have to be about biding your time until a man came along, it was about creating something you love with your own hands and being proud of it. Most importantly, embroidering flowers is not mandatory.

I still haven’t built up the nerve to try cross-stitching again, though. Maybe one day! =)

Are there any stitchers in the Feeling Stitchy Flickr pool you have noticed?
There are so many impressive (and frankly, intimidating) stitchers! I adore every single thing that lagidgette makes, and luckyjackson:: does some impressive things with fabric. Oh, and how funny are Stephanie Tillman’s What Party embroideries?!

Thank, Lena, and congratulations!


  1. Congrats Lena! So glad you won ;) I love this piece so simple but beautiful!

  2. Congratulations to my talented and fearless sister! With time your embroidery has continued to amaze me and remind me how fun it is to create something so beautiful. Your love for embroidery is rubbing off on me and now when I see something peculiar or interesting, I say to myself, "I gotta send this to Lena to embroider." I actually look forward to seeing your work and receiving your beautiful gifts which mean so much to me. As Idila would say, "Uood job!"

  3. Picasso as a source for embroidery -- that's just inspired and I wish I had thought of it. I've always loved "War and Peace," and it is so beautiful done up in your perfect stitching. Congratulations, Lena!

  4. this piece has such a serene & beautiful energy...and I loved the story behind the image choice :) congrats!

  5. I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently and the first thing I said when entering Picasso's exhibit was "Mommy's blanket!!" Congrats to my spunky little sister - your work is classic, beautiful, funny, and inspiring. Just like you. Good luck!