From 1893, whilst classified as a 'lunatic', Lorina stitched long samplers of letters from recycled and 'used' materials to tell her story and solidify her existence in a 'lockdown' world. It is not known whether Lorina had a mental health diagnosis, or was just placed in the workhouse by her family when they could not afford to take her in
Lorina was one of the inspirations for this project as she used stitch as a powerful communication. Embroidery became the means to vent her inner self when no one wanted to listen and she had nowhere to go to
I often feel like I cannot communicate my true inner workings and turn to stitch. I want you to notice that perfection was not important to Lorina, expression was paramount
Why not stitch your piece in this embroidery pioneer's spirit by following her method, shared with the kind permission of Lisa Little who worked out the letter structure when she looked after the collection
Lorina only stitched upper case letters as they were faster and easier to embroider being more angular. She worked each letter with a minimum of stitches as seen in Lisa's photographs below or handout download
I Can Tell
We're now full but you can never keep a cunning woman down!