I love receiving emails from various bloggers and readers. Australia, Italy, England, Germany, Scotland, California, North Carolina, New York, I’ve received emails from every where and from every one – crafty, sewer, or just an ordinary someone. Questions on pattern drafting, answers to sewing techniques, helpful crafting tips and tricks, compliments of my dress, or just a simple hello. We discuss and say it all. It is these dialogues that keep me excited everyday and also reminds me that an actual and tangible person is reading what I have to say.
I received such an email one night from a lovely lady named Megan. Her email was short and sweet, she simply said, and I mean not to quote, hi, I like what you’re doing, and here’s what I’m doing, and attached a couple of images of her work. I work with clothes all day, measuring and analyzing armholes, sleeves, and rises. So it is refreshing to see artwork of different mediums. Although Megan’s artwork is a different medium than mine, there’s something more to each one of her pieces. What is cool about her artwork is that she has taken her skill as an illustrator and applied it to embroidery. Her embroidered illustrations are nothing extravagant and as she says in her post, it is all created with an “idiot stitch”, but that’s what I like about it. It’s like an LBD, a trench coat, or a pair of riding boots – simple yet so so chic. Plus, I could sense her excitement and passion in our subsequent emails back and forth and that to me is so so cool to experience.
So without further adieu, here is Megan as she chats about how and where her artwork started and progressed. Enjoy my loves…
When I was little, my father bought me a Pocahontas cross-stitch kit. We’d both been under the impression that I’d finish it within the day. I mean, it looked simple enough. Plus, it was raining at the lake and I needed something to keep me from annoying everyone in my grandparents’ lake cabin. And, of course, the lake-town Ben Franklin only provides so many means of entertainment.
I opened the kit and found a HUGE piece of cloth. My grandma (who hadn’t been there for the purchase) started laughing and my mom began chiding my dad for buying me something so hard.
But I wanted to make that giant Pocahontas so my grandma showed me how to thread the needle and count stitches. I worked all summer on that piece. And then all winter. I ran out of the supplied thread and, of course, couldn’t find the same colors, even at my bigger craft store. No, these colors were specially made for Pocahontas. So, I bought the closest ones I could and my Native American princess developed a tan line running through her legs. She wasn’t the only one with odd coloring, unfortunately. Even poor Meeko, the raccoon, had a tan line. I was turning out to be a terrible cross-stitcher.
Ten years later, I still hadn’t finished that stupid cross stitch. My father would bring it up any chance he could and then burst into laughter. He said I had to finish it before I graduated high school, and then before I graduated college. Now he wants it as a present whenever I got married.
Eventually, I threw Pocahontas away. (Don’t tell my Dad!) After 12 years, she still wasn’t finished and I knew in my heart that she never would be. Or she’d look like something a 12-year-old made, complete with mix-match colors, highlighter stains from the guide, and the world’s second largest rats’ nests on the back.
So, you can imagine my parents’ reaction when I told them I wanted to start a new embroidery line for Studio MME. (My dad kept inquiring if Pocahontas would make an appearance.)
My grandma was too far away to teach me this time so I followed the directions on Sublime Stitching. (This was only slightly less dorky than when I learned how to knit by checking out a children’s book from the library.) It was hard to learn and yes, there are still world-class rats’ nest on the back. But I completed something big!
That immediately led to me making a whole line of embroideries based on my illustrations! I’m an illustrator by trade but honestly, anyone can make their own patterns simply by tracing a printed image. Super easy!
I was so embarrassed to show my embroideries on my blog because, let’s be honest, I’d only managed the ‘idiot stitch’ (which is simply going up and down). I was sure someone would laugh at my sub-par embroidery skills. Instead, I heard excitement! Everyone wanted to know how to make them! I was floored!
It’s silly what a little urge to pick up an old hobby can do. I now have a whole new line of products! But better than that, it allows people to make their own artwork. And there’s nothing better than being able to tell people you’ve made the art on your walls.
So if you’ve been itching to pick up your needle and thread, do it! Make your own pattern! Or, if you’re brave enough, tackle a day-of-the-week towel set. I’m sure your grandparents will be proud!