Embroidery

My Latest ‘One Day at a Time’ Hand Embroidery Pattern

Hello! How are you doing? Did you happen to see my last blog post? If so, you’ll know that I shared a little snippet of my latest hand embroidery pattern & tutorial whilst I was working hard to finish it. Well, I’m pleased to tell you it’s done and it’s now listed on my Etsy store as an instant download, yay!

I know I say this about all of the hoops I make, but this one really was a labour of love. I saw the quote ‘One day at a time’ several months ago online and it really resonated with me as an anxiety sufferer. I knew I had to make it into a gorgeous design and release it as a pattern, as I’m sure there are lots of embroiderers out there who will love stitching it and may also find comfort in the words.

Here’s a closer look. I’m definitely tempted to embroider similar quotes which will give me more opportunity to experiment with embroidered text. This is the third hoop I’ve experimented with embroidered typography and it’s quite a skill to master. I think my most favourite part of the hoop though was the pale green leaves. I used fishbone stitch for the leaves and I find it to be such a therapeutic stitch.

It’s only a short post today, but I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my latest work. Have you discovered any quotes recently that have helped you? Leave a comment below and let me know, I’d love to read them. It may just give me some inspiration for my next design.

Bye for now, take care.

Embroidery

A Little Peek of My Soon-to-be Released Vibrant Floral Embroidery Pattern

Hello, how are you doing? Spring is here in the UK which I’m very happy about. There’s a few warm days predicted next week and I’ve had more light than usual in the evenings; perfect for hand embroidering. If you embroider too, I know you’ll feel the same about that.

Our dog walks have been much more enjoyable (if you don’t count a few recent rainy days we’ve had) and I’m very much enjoying seeing everything come to life in our garden. We had birds nesting in our garden last year and I’m so thrilled to have witnessed them flying in and out of the same birdhouse again this year. Fingers crossed they nest in our garden again, as it was incredibly special witnessing it in 2020, particularly during the beginning of the pandemic when things began to felt unsettling.

In celebration of Spring, I’ve started a new hand embroidery pattern. Do you like it? This pattern has a different style to the ones I’ve worked on before and I’ve used a colour palette which was originally out of my comfort zone.

In the centre of the embroidery hoop, there’s a quote which has helped me tremendously through the last month or so. It’s only a short quote, but it had such a positive impact, I was inspired to use it within this design. I’m confident it’s going to resonate with others too and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Here’s a close up of some of the DMC embroidery thread colours I’m using, aren’t they all just beautiful together? Although I’ve been talking a lot about Spring here, these colours also remind me of Summer. They’re allowing me to dream of warm days filled with sunshine, colourful flowers and cold ice-lollies.

I’m hoping to release this pattern to my Etsy shop by the end of next week. All of my patterns are beginner friendly and come with step-by-step written and photographic instructions, colour guides, material recommendations and tips on how to get going if you are completely new to embroidery.

Once my latest pattern is live on Etsy, I’ll definitely share it with you here. In the mean time, I’m pleased to be offering a 10% discount on all of my hand embroidery patterns with the code ‘EASTER10.’ It’s the last weekend this promotion will be running, so if you have your eye on anything in particular, it’s an excellent time to buy it.

At the moment, there’s only a few embroidery patterns listed, but I’m working hard to build my range on a daily basis. If you hand embroider yourself, you’ll definitely know that hand embroidery (although incredible in its nature) is not a quick craft!

Thank you so much for reading, take care and I’ll be back very soon.

Embroidery

My Brand New ‘Happy Easter’ Hand Embroidery Pattern

Hello! I hope this new post reaches you well and you are doing ok. I have some rather exciting news here, as the blog title suggests. I’ve just released a brand new beginner friendly ‘Happy Easter’ hand embroidery pattern, which is now available as an instant download in my Etsy shop; Rosefinch Studio, which you can find here.

I’m in the process of developing my hand embroidery pattern range and I’m delighted to have added this one to the mix. This particular pattern uses a number of hand embroidery stitches; reverse chain stitch, stem stitch, woven wheels, french knots, couching, split stitch, lazy daisy stitch, satin stitch, fishbone stitch and straight stitch, just to name a few! It’s the perfect pattern for any skill level, but particularly beginners who would like to learn or practice hand embroidery stitches in a fun, but (enjoyably) challenging way.

I absolutely adore all of the pastel colours associated with Easter and wanted to capture as many of these as possible in this design. The colours were so enjoyable to work with, I feel they’ve really brought the embroidery to life.

Every single one of my embroidery designs start in the form of digital drawings on ProCreate on my iPad, later to be transferred to fabric and hand embroidered. I then decide which embroidery stitches are suitable for each motif and which colours are best placed where. This can sometimes be a little trial and error, but completely worth it.

I photograph the entire embroidery process which creates the helpful content for my tutorials, and I then work hard to write the step-by-step pattern. It can be downloaded from anywhere across the world, where fellow embroiderers use the content to embroider their own hoops.

As you can imagine, there’s quite a lot of work involved in the whole process from start to finish, but it’s worth every single minute, especially when I hear lovely feedback from people who have lovingly embroidered my designs.

Most of my time has been spent embroidering, but I’ve also enjoyed a few moments of crochet alongside it. I have quite a large stash of hand dyed wool which I love to buy from independent sellers online, so I’ve been putting it to good use on this new simple, yet effective granny stripe blanket. Have you tried granny stripe before? It’s very calming; in fact, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea in your favourite mug and that audio book, television show, or podcast you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

That’s all for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. I already have a new embroidery project in mind which I can’t wait to share with you soon. Take care of yourself, catch up soon.

Embroidery

A Cold Winter’s Day Calls For Spring Themed Stitching

Hello, how are you doing? Such a simple question I know, but so difficult for many of us, including myself, to answer right now. The weather in Somerset has been absolutely freezing recently, and with a broken boiler and a very cold house, I felt like I needed something cheerful to work on.

I’m aware it’s still very much Winter in the UK, but I absolutely love Spring and I’m feeling so ready for it. I’m looking forward to milder dog walks, new growth in the garden, chocolates over Easter and lighter evenings. Spring is providing me with a sense of hope right now, so this project felt perfect for me and I’m so happy I’ve finished it. What do you think?

This is what our lounge coffee table looked like last weekend as I was working hard to complete the hoop. I am a subscriber to Love Embroidery Magazine and used one of the transfer papers from a 2020 issue I’d saved.

As you may know, I design and sell my own downloadable embroidery patterns and am in the process of growing my Etsy range, but from time to time, I love the convenience of working on a pre-designed pattern, particularly when my energy levels are feeling lower than normal. It’s also great to support other embroidery artists; there’s an amazing array of patterns out there.

I did amend the colours and some of the specified stitches. I wanted to practice chain stitching, which was the stitch used for the ‘Hello’ part of the text and wanted the colours to be as ‘Spring like’ as possible.

I also started designing this citrus themed embroidery pattern here a few weeks ago, which reminded me of an amazing holiday we had in beautiful Lindos, Greece in 2019. I’ve popped this one away for now as I feel the composition needs some improvement and a fresh pair of eyes will help. There are aspects of it that I really love though, especially the textures of the lemon and the little orange circles.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini update and I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks, so please do keep your eyes peeled. In the mean time, take good care of yourself and have a lovely weekend. Here’s a picture of Mabel, one of our miniature poodles, I hope it will make you smile.

Embroidery · In My Studio

What My 6-month Embroidery Journey Has Taught Me & a Brand New Christmas Pattern Release

Hello! I’ve been feeling very reflective this week, probably because we are nearing the end of 2020 and this will be my final blog post of the year.

For many of us, including myself, it’s been the year of loss; largely due of course, to the pandemic. When driving a few days ago, a deep wave of sadness poured over me as I thought about all of the things I’ve lost this year. I know I’m not alone in this and if you too are experiencing similar feelings as you’re reading this, my heart goes out to you and I’m sending a very large virtual hug. A hug is one thing I feel many of us may be in need of right now, including myself; someone who has never really been much of a hugger!

Whilst I acknowledged my feelings in the car, I also felt a glimmer of hope and excitement as I reminded myself of the small but impactful positives I’ve experienced since June of this year; mainly due to my rediscovery of hand embroidery and the incredible support I’ve received from those close to me and you lovely lot online.

As you may already know, I’ve been running a successful greetings card and art prints business on Notonthehighstreet and Etsy for the past 6 years, after graduating and leaving a full time job at a University. The business continued to grow over the years and was at it’s busiest point during the first lockdown in England.

Whilst I was (and still wholeheartedly am) incredibly appreciative of the income and huge support I received from all of my amazing customers, I felt like I’d lost my creative spark along the way. It’d been missing for a while actually, but I couldn’t find another creative avenue to explore and felt feelings of guilt after spending so many years building up the business; especially as I realised that in one sense, it was finally at the point I’d been working towards for all of those years. I later realised I definitely needed to make a change and now was the right time.

I thought back to an embroidery kit I’d purchased to work on over the Christmas before and remembered how much I enjoyed making it. Having previously completed a Textile Design degree at Chelsea College of Arts, there was a period of time where I did quite a lot of embroidery; but it wasn’t something I felt compelled to pick up again until some 10 years later; when here we are!

In June 2020 I started embroidering more seriously. I’d planned to allow myself an initial period of 6 months to focus on it, whilst not producing paper goods for the business during this time; something I feel incredibly privileged to be able to do. I’m pleased to tell you it’s going exceptionally well; although my confidence is a work in progress as I navigate difficult feelings from my time at art college. I’m pleased to show you some of the hoops I’ve been working on since June 2020. What do you think?

After embroidering the red postbox hoop on the right for the pure purpose of learning new embroidery techniques, my Husband, Andrew (aka, my number one fan), suggested I release it as a pattern to sell online. I’d originally told him that I’d like to sell patterns online, produce patterns for magazines and one day release a hand embroidery book, which are the goals that keep me motivated each day, but the thought of writing and releasing my first pattern slightly filled me with dread!

Anyone who knows me personally will now how determined I am, so I set aside my feelings of anxiousness and wrote my very first pattern, which was later released to Etsy. I’m not going to lie, for the first week despite my efforts, I sold none. I was a little deflated, but continued to put work into the marketing and worked hard not to lose hope. Along with my determination comes impatience; so it was hard *giggles*. However, I woke up to my first embroidery pattern sale a few days later. I happy danced all the way down to the kitchen and had a smile on my face for the rest of the day!

After selling a few more in the days that followed, I decided to design another pattern. I realised it would need to be released asap due to it being a Christmas themed pattern, so this gave me lots of motivation to release it without delay. After a few late nights and long hours of embroidering (embroidery is an amazing but very slow craft for those wondering) and a weekend of writing the pattern up, I finally published it to Etsy along with the first one. More happy dances followed as this one proved to be successful too. They’re both now available as a ‘bundle’, pictured above, so if you’re planning on making them both over Christmas, it’s a little cheaper to purchase them together.

So, what have I learnt within the last 6-months of my embroidery journey you ask? Take the leap. I truly believe if Andrew, my Husband didn’t suggest I publish the first pattern, I wouldn’t even be selling right now. Whilst it’s not everybody’s goal to sell, this goal was on my list, but due to confidence being low at times, I didn’t think I was ready at that point to release my first pattern.

When I began writing my first pattern, I realised that it was actually very achievable and not as scary as I thought. I’ve had many years of reading patterns (mainly crochet, knitting and a few embroidery ones), so I’ve learnt a lot in this time about what I consider makes a good pattern. I actually have more experience than I allow myself to believe!

So, my main advice for you, if you’re at the start of a similar journey, is to take a leap of faith. Perhaps you have a small glimmer of confidence somewhere within you, if confidence is something that holds you back. That glimmer may just about be about enough to get you started on your journey; and from there, the sky is the limit. (ok, that sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s true!)

Remember the kit I was telling you about earlier that I embroidered last Christmas? Well, those words are another excellent piece of advice.

So what now? I’m going to allow myself to have a break over the festive period (or at least try to), but I absolutely love Spring and all of the beautiful pastel themed colours, so I’m looking forward to designing and writing up more embroidery patterns for my Etsy shop.

I’m also going to start a newsletter which will include a free pattern each month and lots of inspirational hand embroidery content, so if this sounds like your cup of tea, if you haven’t done already, please hit the ‘subscribe’ button. I’d love to share this brand new journey with you.

Sending love and best wishes to you all this Christmas. Whilst it might not be the Christmas you may have had planned, I hope you can find small moments of joy. You deserve it!

Take care,

Lauren

Embroidery

My First Ever Embroidery Pattern is Officially Released

Hello and happy Friday! You may have seen my earlier post back in August of this year, when I announced that I’d just started embroidering again. Well, fast forward three months and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just released my first ever embroidery pattern for sale on Etsy. How amazing is that?!

I’m not entirely new to embroidery, but prior to August, I hadn’t picked up a sewing needle in at least 8 years. I realised I had some serious relearning to do, so I’ve spent the last few months refreshing my skills and picking up some brand new ones along the way.

I’ve always loved Christmas, so I knew I’d get lots of enjoyment out of designing something festive, and I was totally right. I just absolutely LOVED working on this piece. Christmas was also a very helpful deadline for me to set, as I knew I wanted to release the pattern before December, to give fellow makers enough time to stitch the pattern before Christmas Day. This short deadline definitely kept me focussed and motivated, even if it did involve quite a few late nights and Sunday afternoons on the computer!

To begin with, I used ProCreate on my iPad to draw the black and white pattern, which was later transferred onto my fabric and embroidered. Although I didn’t take as many progress shots whilst embroidering as I’d have liked, I documented all of the thread colours, materials and embroidery stitches used for each section. This made the pattern writing slightly easier, even though it was still a very enjoyable (but lengthy) process.

The pattern I produced is 17 pages long and covers; materials and methods for getting started – such as transferring the design onto fabric and preparing your needle, thread and hoop correctly, the printable pattern itself, a stitch key, thread colour guide and 2 pages of ‘need-to-know’ embroidery stitch diagrams. The remaining sections feature a step-by-step pattern guide with photographs and a helpful tutorial for finishing your embroidery hoop.

I’ve followed quite a few embroidery (and crochet) patterns over the past few years and have made some fabulous items from them that will be treasured forever. But most importantly in terms of pattern writing, they’ve taught me what I like and dislike about patterns in general, which has helped me greatly throughout this process.

Rediscovering my love of embroidery during such a turbulent year (in terms of the global pandemic) has been one of the greatest positives for me. It’s given me something special to focus on and is helping to slowly re-build my design confidence. Not every piece of embroidery I’ve created since August has worked out, and thats ok – mistakes are amazing for learning, but the pieces which have gone to plan have made me feel extremely proud.

It’s my hope that anyone buying this pattern, experiences the same level of joy, hope and excitement that embroidery brings to me, especially at a time when those feelings can be hard to find.

You may be wondering if you need any prior embroidery experience before purchasing my pattern. The simple answer is, no! My pattern is extensive and should provide you with enough information to start and finish the project without any stress.

As it’s Black Friday today, I’m offering a 15% discount off of the price of this pattern, which will be automatically applied at checkout on Etsy. This discount is running until Sunday 29th November 2020, so if you’re looking for a Christmas hand embroidery pattern, pop over to my shop and download it, I know you’ll enjoy it!

Oh and before I go, I’d just like to say, please keep your eyes peeled for more patterns, which will be coming soon! I’m currently working on another festive pattern which you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram. Come and say hello there and follow my journey, I’d love to hear from you.

Take care!

Embroidery

Autumnal Stitching Makes My Heart Smile

In my last post I excitedly shared that I was working on a new Autumnal embroidery project. Well, here it is, yay! It’s been at least eight years since I’ve invested a reasonable amount of time on hand embroidery, so over the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly but steadily relearning everything I’ve forgotten along the way. I’ve also learnt some brand new stitches in the process, so I’m giving myself a large pat on the back as I type!

YouTube has been tremendously helpful and there is such an amazing array of inspirational embroidery books out there now – something that was perhaps lacking when I first started embroidering previously.

This particular piece is my own design – it’s been brought to life from an autumnal illustration I designed last year. I love seeing the illustration in a new form and I’m definitely going to be designing more. I’m going to share my creative process with you all soon, from the initial drawing and designing stage to the final stitching and finishing, so keep your eyes peeled for a future post.

In the mean time, please come over to Instagram to catch some sneaky peeks of my day-to-day progress. I wish you all well and I hope this post has given you some cosy, autumnal feels. Time to pop the kettle on?

Embroidery · In My Studio

A New Embroidery Journey

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I have some rather exciting news to share with you – I’ve just started embroidering again, yay! I’m so excited to share my makes with you over the next few months both here and over on Instagram.

The majority of my work over the past few years has been focussed on developing my illustrated greetings cards and art print ranges over on Notonthehighstreet and Etsy. However, I’ve been really keen to start embroidering again, with the initial aim of developing a new range of embroidery patterns to sell.

Once established, I’d love to work on my own embroidery pattern book and have some of my own embroidery designs featured in UK craft magazines. Doesn’t this just sound like the absolute dream?!?

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I’m not entirely new to the world of embroidery. I studied for a Textile Design degree at Chelsea College of Art & Design many moons ago, where I specialised in printed textiles.

While studying, I took an evening embroidery class at Central Saint Martins – I know how to have fun as a student! The course was a great introduction to the world of hand embroidery and I used the skills learnt to develop my collection of printed and embroidered handbags for my final collection, showcased in my 2012 degree show.

Since then, I hadn’t picked up any sewing needles, so it’s wonderful to be getting back into it again. For the design pictured above, which reads, ‘enjoy today,’ I used a gorgeous pattern from the ‘Thread Folk’ book by Libby Moore, which I will link to here.

This isn’t a sponsored post, I purchased the book independently – I just want you to know how amazing it is. It has some beautiful patterns inside and is an absolute inspiration to any new, keen embroiderers out there!

I really enjoyed the pattern and I customised the colours to suit my own style. Within the past couple of days, I’ve started another embroidery hoop design, this time using my own pattern. I’ll share it with you soon, so please keep your eyes peeled.

I won’t give too much away, but I will say that if you love Autumn, you’ll very much enjoy seeing it!

Articles

Tea, Cake and Frame Loom Weaving

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Julia Davey Ceramics is an utterly delightful family business, specialising in fine bone china tableware. Julia’s ceramics take inspiration from her Bath studio, located within the beautiful Somerset countryside. The surrounding woodland creatures and rolling fields strongly influence Julia’s charming collection – all of which can be admired in her ‘bricks and mortar’ shop, in Bear Flat, Bath.

Julia runs a vast selection of creative workshops in her Bath shop. It was here, that textile designer, Ellie Fisher of Elka Textiles – a Winchester based woven textile studio, provided a three-hour introduction into the impressive world of frame loom weaving.

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Ellie had thoughtfully laid all of our tools and material onto the work table, ready for our anticipated arrival. Once the ever-so-important tea, coffee and cake orders had been taken, Ellie shared some of her own inspirational work, providing the perfect opportunity for us to muster up some of our own creative ideas.

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If you’re unfamiliar with weaving terminology, what you see below is a loom. The loom holds the vertical warp threads aligned and under tension, to allow weaving to take place. Whilst enjoying our sweet treats and much needed warm drinks, we were taught how to set this up. I became quite perturbed at this point when noticing a tangle and realising my progress was slower than that of the rest of the group, yet Ellie was on hand to restore calmness – and that she certainly did.

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The next stage focused on the weft; the horizontal threads that interlace with the warp. We were introduced to the necessary tools and techniques and began weaving our first few rows with the use of warp yarn – which to you and I, is of a very similar appearance to bakers twine or string.

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Once complete, the fun could really begin! Ellie’s selection of weft yarns and roving was, without a doubt, sensational, and I was so excited to choose materials and begin the creative weaving process. I felt like an excitable child in a sweet shop as I browsed through the vast selection of yarns and fibres – including organic cotton, bamboo, flax and hemp.

Whilst choosing materials, Ellie brought our attention to some of her naturally dyed and recycled yarns, all available to use on our woven pieces, which I found incredibly kind and inspiring. Sustainability is at the forefront of Ellie’s creative process and business, and it was truly refreshing to hear about her sustainable, cruelty-free, plant-based products.

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As somebody who is naturally obsessed with colour, this stage of the workshop, without a doubt, suited me down to the ground. Identifying and choosing materials for my weaving, from such a luxuriously wide selection was certainly the most pleasurable part of the morning. This was completely and utterly soothing, and it didn’t take me very long to forget about the technical issues I’d faced previously.

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I can wholeheartedly say that I left the workshop feeling uplifted, relaxed and content, which can sometimes be challenging to achieve. I spent the following afternoon at home working on my woven piece, whilst listening to relaxing music – it felt like such a treat.

Although it’s not considered a perfectly technical weave, the very act of making, experimenting with something new and leaving my comfort zone, allowed me to truly appreciate every single fibre.

I’d thoroughly recommend Ellie Fisher’s weaving courses, and if you happen to be visiting Bath, a trip to Julia Davey is likely to provide a great sense of joy and admiration. Please let me know if you follow my recommendations, I’d love to hear from you.

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Articles

Breaking the Rules with Embroidery

If you’ve ever set foot in a traditional sewing class or watched The Great British Sewing Bee in any length, you’ll be all too familiar with straight lines, neat curves and clean corners. The manual dexterity earned from years of traditional sewing, is without a doubt, exceptionally valuable. However, free-machine embroidery is here to challenge this completely, asking you to become a rebellious sewist.

A three hour class dedicated to the art of free-machine embroidery, encapsulating all of the creative freedom I could ask for, seemed a perfect way to spend a Saturday. I knew I had to sign up.

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A trip to V V Rouleaux in Bath, aka haberdashery heaven to you and I, provided the perfect opportunity to do just that. 

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The class itself was held in a perfectly exuberant workroom, adjoined to the haberdashery. All of the tools awaited, as did our lovely workshop facilitator, Poppy.

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After receiving basic, but without a doubt, incredibly useful instructions on how to operate our sewing machines, we stretched calico over our embroidery hoops and began our first practice pieces. The words ‘be careful of your fingers – keep them away from the needle and foot’, and ‘if you ever hurt yourself, seek medical attention,’ may have contributed to a steep blood pressure rise at this point, however, suffice to say, all participants left injury free.

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After a few needle breakages, bobbin adjustments and foot-to-hoop collisions, my confidence grew. I began to find the process of free-machine embroidery highly relaxing, almost meditative. We were given the opportunity of drawing onto the calico with the use of erasable pens prior to stitching, but I quite happily used the sewing needle for mark making throughout this stage.

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After gaining some confidence with the process, the last hour of the workshop focussed on appliqué. This involved cutting shapes from a selection of beautifully patterned fabrics, and free-machining them onto our final piece. After cutting out a variety of shapes, in my case, flowers, we used fusible webbing to fix them on to our fabric.

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Towards the end of the session, we were encouraged to collectively place our work on a nearby table. Everyone present was able to produce something charmingly unique, whilst leaving the workshop with a brand new skill.

Often in my day-to-day work when I am illustrating on Adobe software, I’m focussing on small details, ensuring everything has a smooth, immaculate finish, in keeping with my style. The fluidness of free-motion embroidery, contradictory to this rigid working process, made it even more appealing.

I would definitely recommend this course to any local embroidery enthusiasts, like myself, looking to acquire a new skill in a fabulously creative, vibrant setting. Go on, you certainly won’t be disappointed.