“You seemed so far away,” Miss Honey whispered, awestruck. “Oh, I was. I was flying past the stars on silver wings,” Matilda said. “It was wonderful.” – Matilda, Roald Dahl
Cally Youdell is a textile artist and writer originally from Chester, now living in North London.
Her unique textile art is made with free motion embroidery on a 15-year-old Janome sewing machine. The pieces are whimsical and joyful, and Cally enjoys exaggerating the juxtaposition between serious and silly (for example, the latin plant names that are scribbled playfully).
Cally stitches her Houseplant embroideries from the plants in the flat she shares with her fiancée. She finds that each plant has it’s own individual personality, and she can’t stop sewing until it’s full character shines through. Sometimes that means stitching the same plant over and over with different fabric pots, to find the perfect match. Or it might mean unpicking the threads of a leaf several times until the lines are wonky in just the right way.
Cally’s work is a celebration of nature in an urban environment. She chooses to use recycled cotton canvas and fabric scraps where she can, as she feels this focus on sustainability and low-waste gives the art a stronger connection to the subjects they depict.
She teaches free motion embroidery at the Islington haberdashery Ray Stitch, and via online workshops. Cally is a member of The Society for Embroidered Work, as well as the Crafty Fox Market Directory and Pedddle.