Happy World Embroidery Day, 2019

Close Encounters of a New York Kind. Created and stitched by Harriet Alonso.

Once again, July 30, is a day to celebrate World Embroidery Day. And once, again, I would like to recognize the origin of the day, reprint the “Manifest,” and include one of my own pieces that, I believe, reflects the meaning of World Embroidery Day. The initiative came from Skåne Sy-d, a local group of Broderiakademin, the Swedish Embroiderers Guild. The first World Embroidery Day took place on July 30, 2011 in Vismarlöv, Sweden. As the founders stated, “The importance of embroidery must be made known and World Embroidery Day will spread around the world. Make 30th July a day filled with creativity for the sake of Peace, Freedom and Equality.” (See the entire Manifesto and photos on www.broderiakademin.nu. )

Manifest for World Embroidery Day
Day 30th of July

Textile reflects our world; embroideries can show the expressions of our time. Embroidery and textiles can focus on the social injustices between countries.

By the means of embroidery we can draw attention to the necessity of engaging in the force of textile in global trade and with it in world peace. Textiles is a power and let us use embroidery as an inspiration for people to engage in creativity that leads to a better understanding between countries and between people.

To embroider is a peaceful occupation. It can be traditional made from a common remembrance, drawn designs, from a pattern, or from your own imagination. You embroider for joy, beauty, decoration and for the creation of identity.

Stitches can be decorative, beautiful, comforting, repeating, healing, telling, pleasurable, rebellious, caressing and perfect.

People embroider out of joy, as a hobby, professionally, for the bare necessities of life and as an act of freedom. You embroider together with others or in meditative solitude.
We want to acknowledge embroidery as an act of free creativity, which can lead to free, creative thoughts and ideas. We want to tie our embroidery threads from the privileged northern hemisphere together with stiches that are sewn by embroidering sisters and brothers all over the world.

We want to be part of a joyfully creative peace movement. (www.broderiakademin.nu)

This year, I have included a photo of my 1978 needlepoint, Close Encounters of a New York Kind. Originally, the piece was designed as part of the Embroidery Guild of America’s Master Craftsman program. The assignment was to applique one size of embroidered canvas onto another size canvas. In this case, I stitched a UFO on 18 mesh canvas with DMC floss and then appliqued it onto a 10 mesh canvas street scene done in Paternayan Persian wool. The canvas measures 13 ½” x 13”. My idea was whimsical, playing on the popularity of the film, Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Today, my work takes on new meaning. My home town, NYC, is a sanctuary city. We welcome all peace-loving beings (and others?) to make their home here. In that spirit, I wish you all a happy World Embroidery Day!

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