Category: Wonderful Words


Dear Little Lion,

Here is your name embroidery, let me explain it to you.

You are called Malka – Queen. Queens demand respect, they are self-assured, and they make their voices heard. So far, you are living up to your name in style.

I have been looking at the goddesses of Egypt for inspiration. Sekhmet is a lion goddess, a warrior and a goddess of healing. She is associated with Ma’at who represents truth, justice and fair dealing at all levels of society. The disk behind your name is both a crown and a dish on the Scales of Justice, you will have to wear both of them.

I know it’s a lot for a (fairly) small person, but I think you can do it.

Lots of love,


PS. If you feel hard done by, ask your brother how he feels about being named after someone who was given a job he didn’t want to do, ran away and sat in a fish for a while, and then was regurgitated and went and did the job after all.

To A Bodkin

The furniture rearranging continues apace.

Sewing Drawer - Misericordia

I’ve reordered my supplies by genre rather than work/not-work and realised that I had only been using the front half of my plan chest drawers. (I suppose that’s part of the challenge of a large drawer in a small space!)

Drawing Drawer - Misericordia

With the liberal application of hoarded fruit punnets and clicky-sticky tape, I’m slowly bringing a bit of order to things (no clear flat surfaces though, let’s not be too hasty).

Corded rouleau - Misericordia

I’m still itching to draw rather than sew, which hopefully explains the slow progress on anything involving a needle and thread (no matter how beautifully organised). I did get a bodkin out, which is always pleasing. I’ve been playing with corded rouleau to use as stems for the Ark Project tablecloth, and it’s been unnecessarily difficult.

Bodkin - Misericordia

In the end I’ve settled on turning the loops empty and then threading it with a homemade cord made of scrap fabric. I’ve managed to streamline the production so much that I’ve stopped cutting holes into the ends of the fabric in favour of slits so I don’t have to put the wee flappy pieces in the bin.

Corded rouleau with recycled padding - Misericordia

I’ve become very callous and started to cut up abandoned or unsold embroidery. I just don’t seem to have the energy spare to deal with shuffling it around or looking after it.

Recycled cording for padded rouleaux - Misericordia

I wish I could say it was helping me get more work done, but it’s been mainly infinitesimal updates to various baby books, half rows of knitting, and a pleasant return to regular Pilates sessions.

Recycle scrap fabric into yarn - Misericordia

This is my favourite bit of the cord-making process, when you pull the two ends and they lock together. I’m not sure what the emotional equivalent is, but I’ll let you know when I find it.

Use fabric scraps to make corded padding - Misericordia

2016 – A Year of Cake and Completions

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but I’m slowly emerging from under the warm duvet of festivity into the chilly resolve of 2016.

While I wait for my blood double cream levels to reach equilibrium, here’s a quick overview of my (very) vague goals for this year.

Address the phone addiction

I’m suffering through an extended inability to pick up handwork and do it, which (I posit) is due to a rather alarming attachment to my phone. I’m planning on treating it like a desktop and moving towards it rather than keeping it with me around the house. Any hints and tips would be appreciated.

Finishing rather than starting

There are quite a lot of partially finished projects that are making me unhappy in their semi-finished state, so apart from two new things for Little Lion (birthday bunting to be put together before the end of March and her Hebrew name done before she moves out of our bedroom), I’m sticking to things that I’ve already started.

Hand quilted hamsa - Misericordia

Conveniently, this allows me to join Scrapiana in her hexie adventures, so that should jolly me along a little.

Paper pieced hexagons - Misericordia

Sit on the floor

My life as a Pilates teacher and my life as a hand embroiderer frequently come into difficulties. My movement brain knows I shouldn’t be sitting on the sofa hunched over my needle quite so much, so I’m trying to encourage more natural movement in the style of Katy Bowman (go read her, you’ll thank me) by sitting on the floor and wiggling my toes with abandon.

Writing on the floor - Misericordia

Get back to dancing

I need some challenging movement in my life, and if it’s set to music, so much the better.

Bake instead of buy

Extended searches for palm oil-free biscuits have led to the realisation that since we like baking and can control the ingredients we use, we should probably do more of it. Plus, if we do our mixing without mechanical assistance, we’ve practically used up a biscuit’s worth of energy before they’re even out of the oven.

3D gingerbread dinosaurs - Misericordia

So those are my goals for this year, have you got any? If not, can we persuade you to join us in making more cake?

The Ladybird Vanishes

Who doesn’t love a Ladybird book?

The text has the reassuring condescension of a public information film combined with illustrations full of a matter-of-fact surrealism which can only really work in books for children.

I have a whole shelf of them at my mum’s, which I should start ferrying over sometime.

One of my favourites was the Ballet book, and when I found it in a charity shop, I snapped it up (along with a few others).

I still have very vivid memories of the illustrations (their influence on my make-up style can’t be overstated) and the thrill of finally fulfilling my ambition of seeing Checkmate on stage slightly overshadowed all memories of the production itself.

I’m not the only one to have imbibed the Ladybird zeitgeist, artist Miriam Elia has created We go to the gallery, published by Dung Beetle books which aims to guide children through the world of contemporary art where, ‘with Mummy’s help, they will discover that real meaning does not exist and that death is final.’

We go to the gallery by Miriam Elia and Dung Beetle Books

We go to the gallery by Miriam Elia and Dung Beetle Books


How thrilling.

How Do You Know When To Stop?

Do you struggle against the overwhelming desire to add one more strawberry to your pavlova, causing a near-fatal whipped cream slide?

Perhaps you just make one tap too many as you perfect the nose of your latest humano-leonine sculpture.

If you are drowning beneath symphony manuscripts or tarrying in front of nearly finished canvases, Misericordia Ltd can offer you the perfect solution.

For a practically trivial consideration we will post you an Arbitrary Deadline in plain, unmarked packaging.

Simply apply your Arbitrary Deadline (it is acid free and water soluble) to the medium of your choice and await developments*.

*Misericordia Ltd cannot guarantee results when product is not used according to the instructions. Common mistakes include spreading product too thinly or failing to allow product to dry completely. Please note that AD is not for human consumption. This does not affect your statutory rights.

Art Tatin: Magna Carta (An Embroidery)

Just when I think I’m getting a bit jaded about stitching and art in general, something comes along that makes me squiggle in my seat with joy.

This project by Cornelia Parker to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta is particularly pleasing, so I thought you might want to have a wee look.

Not only is it a beautiful example of the translation from digital to analogue, but I am particularly impressed by who she asked to stitch certain words (I’ll let you discover them in the film).

There seem to be a few large-scale collaborative embroideries and I’m gutted that I haven’t been able to participate in them (yet). If you’re in London, and you get a chance to see it, please tell me what you think!

Of Ice Queens and Parenting Foibles

Parenting is a bit like trying to drill holes in the walls of our Victorian flat.

From the outset you’ll never be quite sure whether you’ll remain as unyielding as surprise masonry or as soft and crumbly as lath and plaster (or in fact be made entirely of newspaper and Polyfilla, but I can’t make that relate to parenting, so lets pretend we haven’t spoken of it).

My large weak spot is costuming. I’m starting to be able to tap the figurative walls and guess when this indulgence will rear its head, and when an invitation to a Frozen birthday party appeared, I knew it would be better to anticipate than react.

Luckily, I’ve been spared the princess-mania and since Dragon’s favourite character is Olaf the snowman, I could suggest a t-shirt rather than a full ensemble.

I’m pleased that this one came together with an investment of £1 in charity shop clothing and some felt (not to mention that I feel I’ve escaped very lightly without metres of sparkly tulle).


Backside of the Hoop – Guest Post

I’ve got a guest post on Random Acts of Amy called Backside of the Hoop.

Backside of the Hoop - Random Acts of Amy

Backside of the Hoop – Random Acts of Amy

Amy interviews stitchers and asks them some rather thought-provoking questions about their processes and inspirations. I had a great time writing the post and I hope you enjoy reading it!


Greener on this Side

We’re pretty big hippies here at Misericordia Mansions and so I face a little conundrum, how do I make art (which is more or less a luxury) as kind to the Earth as possible?

I know that it can be a little overwhelming navigating the various ethical merits of organic, fairtrade, local and recycled, so I sat down and tried to make a list of what was most important to me, in order of preference. (This comes in handy when I’m stuck in front of the coconut milk section of a shop prevaricating wildly between four brands!)

This applies to my everyday shopping just as much as Misericordia supplies.

  • Second hand – charity shops, eBay, beg, borrow or lift from a skip
  • Independent – small businesses or makers
  • Local – shops in my local area, the UK, Europe etc
  • Fairtrade – if it has to come from overseas, it needs to be fair
  • Recycled
  • Organic

That’s why my frames are upcycled from charity shops (with Auro plant-based paints), my hoops and mini canvases are from the fabulous Fred Aldous in Manchester and my jewellery findings are from a new discovery, Jasmine Studios in London. When I feel I can be trusted, I take myself along the road to Edinburgh Art Shop with a very strict list.

frames and paint

I’m even hoping to change my fabric to organic muslin someday.

Do you look for any particular ethical qualities in your art (or shopping basket)? Any top tips for greener living, we’re always keen to try new things!


Have you ever held out against a new thing, only to discover, once you finally succumb, that it was just the thing you had been looking for?

Yea, well I’ve gone and done just that with Instagram.

Cutting it fine for tomorrow’s Morningside Makers Market! #workinprogress #craftfair #Edinburgh #hoopart

A photo posted by Katy Bromberg (@mymisericordia) on

Not only is it absolutely amazing for displaying your caffeinated beverage of choice, but there are heaps of vibrant and inspiring hand embroidery artists keen to interact with and support each other.

Sunday morning snooze #gingercat #sundaymorning

A photo posted by Katy Bromberg (@mymisericordia) on

So, if you’re missing out on photos of my work in progress, Kipling trying to help me, or (very occasionally) my breakfast, come and say hello at mymisericordia! I’d love to follow you lovely people, so let me know how to find you too.

Note to self – don’t get these plates confused! #workinprogress #workingbreakfast #watercolour #cheeseontoast

A photo posted by Katy Bromberg (@mymisericordia) on

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