The book launch party held in our offices last week was pretty cool for us because we got to meet so many of our readers in person and hear all about thier own interests and projects. As described in earlier posts, I spent quite a while demonstrating a fabric stenciling technique, which gave me time to chat with attendees.
At the very end of the night, one partygoer, Lorna Ellis, showed me some examples of her own embrioderies that she'd brought with her. She was a bit shy about doing so but we were so glad she did! There was a real commotion as we all gathered around to admire them. She was kind enough to lend them to us to share here (see images below), and answer a few questions for us about her work. Thank you Lorna for joining us last week and or allowing us to share your inspiring work!
Did you grow up sewing and crafting?
Sewing was part of most little girls' upbringing where I grew up, and a cousin of mine was a professional seamstress. I grew up in a small fishing and resort district in the former British isle of Jamaica. We started out as little girls in elementary school making kitchen towels and half-aprons. After elementary school, I didn't do anything with embroidery until 2004, when I began to include embroidered blocks in my quilting.
We love the colors and materials you used, where do you draw inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration is drawn from nature: flowers, tropical foliage, and water.
Your embroideries each seem to be the result of many hours of work. You must enjoy the process! Tell us a little about that.
I enjoy doing the stem stitch, the first stitch that I learned, because it's simple yet appears elegant when done in tone-on-tone or in high contrast. Many people who do embroidery use a hoop, but what I enjoy most of all is holding the fabric in my hands.
Are there any particular artists or designers whose work you admire?
Do you have any suggestions for a reader who is beginning to explore hand embroidery?
To get started embroidering, start with straight lines and small shapes using the stem stitch on cotton with cotton embroidery floss.
Do you make things for yourself, or do you sell them through any other outlets, like Etsy, etc.?