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Embroidery Explorations

For a while now I have been following along with the renaissance that embroidery seems to be going through. A wave of new makers have over the past couple of years taken this traditional craft and turned it on its head, creating modern, unique designs, re-interpreting traditional stitch methods in new ways.

Instagram has introduced me to a whole new and different slow stitching community. I now follow some wonderful embroiderers, their work constantly surprising and inspiring me. Below is a selection of stitchers who flood my Instagram feed with some wonderful Embroidery inspiration….

Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

Nutmeg and Honeybee, Yumiko Higuchi, Wild Floss, Thread Folk, Slow Evenings Embroidery, Seaside Fox Artwork, Sara Hedgar Pretty Fabrics, Moth Threads, Lou Stitches, Lark Rising, Katy Biele, Hmuir Designs, Hello Tangle, Emillie Ferris, Brynn and Co.

Click the links above to explore these amazing stitchers instagram feeds!

For even more inspiration check out my Embroidery Pinterest Page!

When I was young my Mum was an avid cross stitcher…guess what Mum, you’re cool again! She dabbled in wool embroidery, ribbon embroidery and stump work as well, but cross stitch was her main choice. She has a massive pile of finished, unframed cross stitch pieces, just sitting there doing nothing. I guess it is not always about what you do with the end product, but the journey you take to get there.

When I was a young crafter I too dabbled in a bit of cross stitch, however it never stuck with me and I quickly moved on to try other crafts. Lately I have found myself wanting to give embroidery a try. I love the new simplistic modern designs that have been emerging, created on beautiful linen fabrics with a modern paired back colour palette that follows along with current  interior design trends and decorating styles.

I also love and find immensely amusing the many tongue-in-cheek quotes and sayings that have been immortalised in thread. There are some traditional embroidery styles that I also find inspiring such as folk/Scandinavian style, Mexican, black work and sashiko.

My fellow EPPer’s have also been providing me with inspiration, combining sweet embroidery stitches over their EPP work, such as Emma Jones @vintagesewingbox, and Larisa @stitchingnotes. These embroidery additions add an extra special touch to projects and create added interest…and prettiness.

Sweet EPP by the delighful Emma Jones.

Pretty EPP and embroidery byLarisa.

Feeling sufficiently inspired, I decided it was time to give embroidery a try myself. While working on my samples for the Hexie Hearts pattern, I decided that some sweet daisy flower stitches would add a special little touch to the hearts. Using 3/8” hexagons I pieced together a small heart from liberty fabric and plain pink cotton fabric. Using a book I borrowed from my Mum (kind of borrowed indefinitely!) I created little flowers on the plain pink hexagons using the lazy daisy stitch and a French knot in the center. Some of my stitches are not perfect, but then a flowers petals are not always perfect in nature either are they? I was really pleased with the finished heart, the embroidered flowers giving it some extra sweetness.

For my next EPP piece I was undertaking two experiments, I created a mini medallion EPP design that incorporated Liberty prints with plain fabric. I chose some specific Liberty fabrics that were quite bright and saturated and paired them with yellow plain fabrics in three different shades….rather daring I must say as yellow isn’t usually a colour I gravitate towards. I think however it was the perfect choice as the pairing has created a rather bold and unique design that I’m quite proud of. For the embroidery I was inspired by Black Work design. I came up with a star shape stitch that covered an entire hexagon. I chose yellow thread that matched the yellow fabric so that it created a unique texture over the hexagons. I really love how this design evolved organically and really enjoyed working on this piece.

I have long admired Sashiko stitching and bought myself a printed fabric pattern and thread some years ago now intending to give it ago. Of course, like most things you buy and say you are going to try it got pushed aside to work on other things that I was finding more exciting. I remembered seeing a hexagon Sashiko stitch pattern on Pinterest and thought it might be interesting to incorporate it over the top of hexagon EPP. Again as I was working on Hexie Heart Samples, I thought some Sashiko paired with one of my heart designs would be an interesting match. Similar to the small heart, I chose a few liberty fabric prints and this time paired them with some plain rather bright turquoise fabric. Once the heart was pieced and appliqued, I drew the Sashiko design I had found on with a water-soluble pen. I pulled out the cream Sashiko thread I had bought and got stitching. This was by no means a quick project, I found I was quite slow at the stitching, but the mediative nature of it was quite addictive. I didn’t watch any tutorials on Sashiko, just kind of felt my way through it. I am quite pleased with the finished piece and can see more Sashiko in my future.

I really enjoyed working on these three EPP Embroidery pieces. I am planning on doing some more experiments combining these two stitch crafts. I also have purchased some standalone embroidery patterns that I want to try as well. I can see myself quite easily getting addicted to embroidery!

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela