It seems forever ago when I first featured the embroidery hoop art of Sarah K. Benning (it was 2015!). Since then, the nomadic contemporary embroiderer has created a myriad of other works, all of which revolve around people, plants, and interiors. She’s also hosted workshops and participated in gallery shows, in addition to creating a popular pattern program; known as #SKBDIY, each month she introduces a new DIY pattern that’s available on Etsy.
Embroidery can take many forms, one of my favorites being tiny pendants to wear as jewelry. Artist Sarah Buckley has created a series of exquisite necklaces that feature stitched bouquets sewn on cotton and suede. The colorful, tiny hoop art hangs on antique chains that add a hand-crafted statement piece to your favorite outfit. I’m very partial to the piece above—it seems like the perfect complement to my blue and grey-loving closet.
Sarah sells these creations and other conventionally-sized embroideries in her
Etsy shop, Itty Bitty Bunnies.
Teresa Lim creates embroideries that are simultaneously lush—full of color and texture—while also mimicking the look of a sketch. Teresa makes detailed portraits with thin, black thread, and surrounds them dreamy blues, pinks, yellows, and greens. Together, they’re a compelling juxtaposition, with a nice compositional balance between visually light and heavy.
It’s not hard to see where Teresa’s interests lie: illustration, embroidery and surface pattern design. Through her work, she wants to “blur the lines and boundaries between being an illustrator and a textile designer.” It’s a good place to be.
Cinder & Honey is the brain child of Caitlin Benson, a Vancouver-based artist and embroiderer. Much of her work involves flowers—which ya’ll know I love—and even some tattoo imagery (above). I’ve always been attracted to color luscious and thick stitching, of which Cinder & Honey has both.
Caitlin sells her vibrant hoop art through Etsy. In addition to already-stitched pieces, she sells downloadable patterns for you to DIY.
Emillie Ferris creates hand-embroidered hoop art starring a myriad of creatures. From foxes to bees to Lil’ Bub, the Suffolk-based artist stitches them all in majestic, realistically-styled portraits. They’re simple—devoid of a background—but demonstrate an impressive amount of depth in terms of their color and shading. Each meticulous stitch creates a feeling of dimensionality, whether it be in wings or fur.
Emillie’s hoop art is my favorite parts of her portfolio, but she also has embroidered necklaces for sale in her Etsy shop:
Last week, I presented a challenge for 2017, and I’m hoping you’ll join me! The project is called 1 Year of Stitches, and it’s a 365-day project in which you fill a hoop (or two) with a crazy amount of colors, patterns, and stitches. 1 Year of Stitches is the brainchild of Hannah Claire Somerville, who has invited anyone interested to join in this impressive endeavor. Inspired by her work, Michelle Anais Beaulieu-Morgan embarked on this craft journey in mid-2016. Now, she’s about halfway through (you can start at any time of the year).
You know the saying think outside the box? Well, Veselka Bulkan, aka Little Herb Bouquet, thinks outside the embroidery hoop with her exquisite vegetable art. Combing traditional stitches with felting, she creates tiny carrots, radishes, and onions that dangle the edge of their wooden circle. I love how subtle and peculiar these creations are—it takes you a second to notice the felting because you aren’t expecting it and assume everything is contained in the hoop. Not the case!
Veselka sells these creations on Etsy.
Becky of Fuzzy and Flora hasn’t even opened up shop yet, but I’m excited about her hoop art. It revolves around llamas and alpacas! I love alpacas, and I have more than a few figurines sitting on my shelf that pay tribute to this member of the camel family. Becky’s homage uses needle felting to depict their fluff and embroidery to showcase beautiful blooms that they carry on their backs. I love the combination of texture between the smooth thread and felting fibers. As the two opposites complement each other, they together create a visual feast for the eyes.
I’ve featured a fair share of hoop art on Brown Paper Bag, and it generally involves embroidery thread—but not for crafter Olga Prinku. Rather, she’s reimagined this popular format with her floral wreath weavings. Using a tulle (or mesh) fabric, Olga places small blooms—both fresh cut and dried—into artful arrangements. They compose half crescent shapes around the circles in a variety of different-sized flowers, leaves, and berries.
Inspired by flora, fauna, and Victorian shadow puppets, Kate Appleby creates delightful hoop art that combines a variety of stitching techniques. From the basic backstitch to French knots, she illustrates birds with fowl mouths (pun intended) and hands with sprawling leaf tattoos. The embroidery airs towards the side of minimalism, but Kate has an excellent sense of composition and balance that’s informed by her back ground in graphic design.