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embroidery artist Liz Padgham-Major, known as The Accidental Stitcher

Meet the Maker: The Accidental Stitcher

by Folksy

Meet Liz Padgham-Major – The Accidental Stitcher

Liz Padgham-Major, known as The Accidental Stitcher, is an embroidery artist based in East Sussex who creates hand-stitched jewellery, art and accessories that show a deep love of nature. She makes her pieces using the finest of threads, usually sourced second hand and often combined with beads, lace and other fabrics, and even the occasional pressed dried flower from her garden. Here she talks to fellow Folksy maker Beam from Blooms By Beams about how she fell into hand stitching and where she finds inspiration…

Treat yourself to 10% off with code SPRINGSTITCH throughout April 2024

Shop The Accidental Stitcher on Folksy

Hi Liz! I am interested to hear about how you became an “Accidental Stitcher”. How did this crafting journey start for you?

I originally trained as a sculptor using metal and wood. When I graduated I lost my studio space and turned to making smaller pieces of art. I have always been interested in textiles and fashion and when my mother gave me some embroidery threads and wool I very quickly knew it was the right medium for my ideas. So I sort of accidentally fell into using much softer materials and hand stitching.

Hand-embroidered moon brooch by The Accidental Stitcher

The process of hand stitching for me is more like painting with thread.

Liz Padgham-Major, The Accidental Stitcher

Can you share the process behind making your incredible embroidered pieces?

I always start off by making drawings, I sketch lots of ideas first to get the shapes of birds and leaves right before I start stitching. The process of hand stitching for me is more like painting with thread. I embroider in a very freestyle and intuitive manner to build up my pieces. It’s a very exciting process for me.

Hand-embroidered owl brooch by The Accidental Stitcher

I absolutely adore your hand-embroidered birds with lace collars. What is your personal favourite product from your collection?

My favourite is the owl wearing the velvet collar. When I embroidered her I imagined her getting ready to go to the opera in her beautiful red collar, feeling confident and unique.

What and who are your biggest influences in your craft?

Nature is absolutely the main thing that inspires me constantly. I adore birds, when I walk each day I love to try and identify the birds by their singing. They are a constant thing in an ever-changing world.

My mother is a go-to for advice on anything embroidery, as she is a miniature embroiderer. I also find it fascinating to talk to my two daughters about my choices of colours and subject matters. The teenager point of view is very useful, as is their knowledge of social media and all things tech!

You’ve mentioned in your bio about the sunny room in your Sussex home that you work in. It sounds like a dream work space. Can you tell us more about it? Is it an organised art room or do you like creating beauty from chaos?

Well, I don’t currently have a separate studio, so the sunny room is our breakfast room. I love working in the heart of the home with a good view of my garden. My sunny room is not very organised and I do like having inspirational things around me whilst I embroider, especially books. Everyone in my family is very tolerant of my work, and my embroidery threads seem to spread around the entire house.

embroidery artist Liz Padgham-Major, known as The Accidental Stitcher

I don’t currently have a separate studio, so the sunny room is our breakfast room. I love working in the heart of the home with a good view of my garden.

Liz Padgham-Major, The Accidental Stitcher

What do you do in your spare time?

I am lucky enough to have a huge garden, which always needs attention, and we are renovating our house so DIY is always top of the list in my spare time.

How do you overcome creative blocks?

I honestly don’t ever have creative blocks, but if something isn’t working out the way I would like, I take a break and go for a walk.

Every maker develops and changes their craft over time. I’m looking forward to making some bigger wearable art pieces…

Liz Padgham-Major, The Accidental Stitcher

How has your practice changed over time and what can we expect from The Accidental Stitcher in the future? 

I think every maker develops and changes their craft over time. I’m looking forward to making some bigger wearable art pieces this year and taking myself out of my comfort zone.

embroidery artist Liz Padgham-Major, known as The Accidental Stitcher, and her dog

What does craft mean to you?

Craft to me means creating something with my hands using quality materials and to my best ability.

The Accidental Stitcher offer code

Use code SPRINGSTITCH for 10% off The Accidental Stitcher throughout April 2024

Shop The Accidental Stitcher on Folksy


Blooms By Beam paper flower sculptures

Meet the Interviewer

The maker asking the questions this time is Beam from Blooms by Beam. Beam creates lovingly crafted paper flowers that will last forever.

Shop Blooms by Beam on Folksy – https://folksy.com/shops/bloomsbybeam

Read more about Beam in her Meet the Maker interview – https://blog.folksy.com/2024/03/01/blooms-by-beam

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