July 25, 2018
A few weeks back, I shared an Instagram post asking if followers had questions about me and my work. Here's my responses to what was asked!
How did you get started learning embroidery?
You can read about how I got started here. Long story short, I sprained my ankle and decided to teach myself embroidery while I was laid up!
Did you follow patterns or research/learn/practice specific stitches? Would a pattern be too complicated for a beginner?
I've actually never done a pattern! I used a few books and YouTube videos to learn basic stitches. From there, I practiced and started creating my own freehand designs. I started a stationery company in 2011 where my designs were based off of my own hand-drawn illustrations, so I took the same approach to embroidery.
Patterns are great, though, and there are many out there for beginners. I share a few good ones that I'm familiar with here. My advice would be to find a pattern that comes with very clear steps and illustrations.
What kind of fabric, needles, and thread do you use for your projects?
I work on linen, I usually use Clover or John James needles, and I prefer DMC cotton thread. I've found through trial and error that the supplies you use matter, and the pricier ones are usually of the best quality.
How do you start and end your floss? Knots? Anchor?
Both ways. Totally depends on what I'm stitching!
How do you choose your prices? Have they always been about the same, or have they gone up over time and with demand?
Pricing is a mix of many factors. I account for my time (pieces can take anywhere from a few hours to many months) as well as the size of the finished piece and the materials I use. With pillows, I also account for the upholstery work to finish them (I outsource this). As I mentioned in a previous answer, I invest in the highest quality materials - from linen to frames/matting to the glass used for paperweights - especially because I want my finished products that have an heirloom quality that can last forever, so that plays a factor. Prices have always been about the same.
Do you wash the linen before you stitch?
Where do you draw inspiration from?
All over the place! Living in Southwest Colorado (Durango, CO), I spend a lot of time outside, so I'm always finding inspiration from hikes. I also find a lot of inspiration from traveling. For example, my ferns series grew out of the amazing greenery seen during visits to Kauai and an upcoming cactus series was inspired by trips to Scottsdale, Arizona. I snap lots of pics on my iPhone when I'm hiking or traveling to refer to later. I also love thumbing through fashion magazines - it's my favorite place to discover color combinations.
Do you teach workshops?
I do not. Creating and hosting workshops is a huge commitment and isn't something I have the time or desire to do right now.
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