Stitching entered my life after the birth of my son as I was looking for a way to slow down, connect with my hands and reduce anxiety. I had always found peace through art but I found that the slow, meditative and tactile experience of using needle and thread to create beauty was especially satisfying. Plus, tossing a hoop and thread in the diaper bag for some stitching at the park proved easier than packing an easel and oil paints. My goal is for my students to find the same joy and relaxation that I find when I am creating art through hand embroidery. I also hope that they have a lot of fun!
What inspires me
In college I wanted to be a natural science illustrator. Ultimately, I began a more traditional career working in a biotech lab but my love of our natural world never faded. My doodles and paintings always heavily featured flora and fauna, and I never passed up an opportunity to visit a natural history museum or zoo. Thanks to life’s many surprises I have become a full-time hand embroidery instructor and pattern designer. And now I can draw (and then stitch) all of my favorite creatures! So somehow my two loves have magically merged and so I delightfully present to you a library hand embroidery patterns inspired by our natural world.
Relax and join me
I try to make designs that make people smile and I only offer my suggestions here based on my personal experience. I hope you enjoy stitching my designs and I hope you give yourself the time and space to make changes in order to have a more pleasant experience. I was terrified into paralysis when I first picked up hand embroidery. I was afraid that I was going to use the wrong materials, the wrong stitches, etc. It’s just cotton – what’s the worst that can happen? Our medium is forgiving and cheap so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Let go of any old ideas you have about hand embroidery. Try new things, experiment, and take a break before you get frustrated. Ultimately, with time and patience you will find a style and solutions that work for you. Hand embroidery is a slow art and it teaches us to take it easy and be in the moment.
What you'll find in my shop
All of the digital patterns* and kits on my website are designed by me. I start with good old fashioned pencil and paper before cleaning up the lines and committing to colors using Adobe Illustrator. I hand stitch all of the photographed sample hoop art and create the instructions you'll find in your kit or downloadable pattern, including the text and any diagrams. Kits are hand assembled by me in my home in Arizona and I personally order and sort all of the contents. Most kits include stranded cotton embroidery floss from DMC (the gold standard!), either as full skeins of floss cards assembled in the United States. Some of my speciality kits include Cosmo embroidery floss from Lecien in Japan. I import the embroidery needles from John James in England, a company famous worldwide for the manufacture of specialized hand sewing needles. The majority of my kits include cotton fabric printed with my designs by Spoonflower, a North Carolina-based business.
In addition to my designs (available for purchase as digital designs, printed on fabric, or a full kits) you'll find plenty of other stitchy goodies in my shop. I offer a range of notions, include packs of needles, pattern transfer tools, embroidery hoops, fat quarter fabric bundles, curated floss packs and scissors. You'll even find some fun needle minders featuring my most popular embroidery designs.
*The one exception is Mermaid Dreams
Photo credit: Craftsy.com