Guest Bloggers

Textile artist Sunrita discusses the solace and beauty to be found in needlework

Doing needlework is a beautiful way to spend time, and be with oneself. It is a habit I have grown with, along with cats and dogs. So much of knitting done, knitted and tatted doilies made, so much embroidery done on clothes, I never really thought at that time I would be exploring needlework as an art-form later.

Having done both needlework and watercolors, it is easy for me to combine the two, or just start pell-mell with stitches, which are like brush-strokes. They can be small quick dashes, or long trails of couching.   ‘Me and my cat’ was done long back from my own photo.

Me and My Cat by Sunrita Basu

Me and My Cat by Sunrita

Landscapes and florals are my favorite themes, my work growing the same way as a less-tended garden, stitches moving haphazardly all over. The idea, I find is not so much to depict nature as to be like her, spontaneous, free-flowing and reckless, even unknowing. I might start without a firm idea, but I always move towards a balance, a harmony in color and aspect that is pleasing. ‘The gathering dusk’ is worked over a watercolor wash on net. ‘Window floral’ has some patches, a little zig-zag using the sewing machine, and hand-stitching.

The Gathering Dusk by Sunrita Basu

The Gathering Dusk by Sunrita


Window Floral by Sunrita Basu

Window Floral by Sunrita

Times I start with a watercolor wash, times I don’t (when I work on rug canvas) I also make up all kinds of stitches and others as I go along. It is always better to get some speed once a work is started and finish it before the onset of boredom.

Landscape in Jute by Sunrita Basu

Landscape in Jute by Sunrita


Yellow Florals by Sunrita Basu

Yellow Florals by Sunrita


Spring’ and ‘brown seedheads’ are worked on rug canvas using wool, and fabric fragments, putting my old clothes to good use.

Spring by Sunrita Basu

Spring by Sunrita

Brown Seedheads by Sunrita Basu

Brown Seedheads by Sunrita

The only idea is to make something beautiful and lovely 🙂 I have always loved and made and lost pretty things like lace handkerchiefs and doilies and my art is also on the pretty side. I have no truck with reality which is too harsh, and neither do I have any of it in my work. Not that it makes my work unreal because beautiful wide open landscapes with flowers do belong to this world in faraway places, one may not have seen them, but it is nice to dwell on them and make artwork that captures the spirit and beauty of such places.

A Knitted Landscape by Sunrita Basu

A Knitted Landscape by Sunrita


All this knitting and so many years spent doing needlework and painting might give the impression that I have had an idyllic life. Nothing is further from the truth.  A lot of pain, stress and suffering has gone into it.

Living in one’s inner world with art, books, music and feeding the crows and squirrels is so nice, and I’m glad I found solace in the sweetest things in life.


Words and Art by artist Sunrita

@StitchySunrita )

7 replies »

  1. Rich and detailed work and a lovely article describing the process 🙂

    Very impressed at the skill that it must take. There are similarities to Impressionism.

    Is it practicable with needlework to add perspective, as Monet did with his painting, to give further depth?


    • Hi ! Thank you for appreciating 🙂 🙂

      Yes, I manage to convey an impression of a landscape or a floral using colors and stitches, and I’m so glad that ‘there are similarities to Impressionism’ in my work. I shall elaborate on perspective with particular reference to Monet’s Sunrise in my next blog.


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