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

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.