After completing my art foundation course in 2010 I worked with mixed media for around six years, creating works on paper and fabric using painting, printing and stitch. One day I had an idea to create an embroidery hoop art pattern based on a collage I had made of a blue tit; I enjoyed it so much, and it was so well received, that the focus of my work shifted entirely to hand embroidery.
I love the possibilities of embroidery and the range of marks and textures that can be built up with stitch. My patterns tend to utilise back stitch or stem stitch to 'draw' outlines, before using straight stitches of varying lengths to fill in space and add areas of pattern. I am very inspired by Kantha embroidery; building up areas of colour using small straight/ seed stitches.
I love to create patterns featuring birds; their colours and patterns lend themselves so well to being translated into stitch. I really enjoy working out ways to turn certain details into areas of pattern (such as feather shapes on their wings) and working out how to stylise and simplify certain areas.
Drawing is an important part of my process, and before starting a new pattern I make preparatory drawings which I then use to create the final pattern drawing. In the past each pattern drawing was meticulously created by hand; this could be a challenge at times, as I'd inevitably wobble in the middle of a line that was meant to be straight! I now create my final pattern drawings using vector software; still meticulous work but rather more forgiving!
I really love encouraging and supporting others on their embroidery journeys and I am so touched when people tell me about or send photos of their finished projects created using my patterns.
I also work with felt. I have created many individual decorations, custom decoration orders (including a set of decorations for artist Clive Hicks- Jenkins inspired by his illustrations for a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, by poet laureate Simon Armitage) and larger, framed pieces. Recently I have also begun to make 3D felt animals. Pop over to my felt page for more information and images.
I have extensive experience in creating both embroidery and felt patterns and articles for magazines and love to work on projects like this, if you would like me to contribute a project or article to your publication, be it a magazine or book, please contact me. To date, my work has been featured in UK magazines including Mollie Makes, Stitch, Love Embroidery, Love Sewing, Sew Inspired and Sewing World, international magazines including Homespun and Inspirations and books including I Love My Dog embroidery. It has also appeared on Ball Pit Mag and Textileartist.org
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