I’m always impressed when I see people embroidering on tulle fabric. It appears finicky at best—and at worst, unforgiving of your mistakes (of which I make many as I sew.) But, the effect produced from tulle embroidery is worth it; from a distance, it appears that the image is floating. The work of Katerina Marchenko is a great example of this.
Another embroidery artist creating these stitched illusions is known as Krista Decor. Some of her latest pieces showcase the visual power of this approach. Birds and flowers are suspended in mid-air and showcase an incredible amount of layered detail over their buds and wings.
Last Friday, it was fun to share some of the sketchbook inspiration that I’ve saved using the Instagram collections feature. Continuing that theme, I’m revealing some of the stitches I’ve hoarded in my Embroidery collection. They showcase a variety of approaches to hoop art—from satin stitches to countless French knots. If you’re planning on grabbing your needle and thread this weekend, take a look at these embroideries before you begin!
Halloween is mere weeks away, and it’s time to get spooky. Although it still feels like the summer in Baltimore, the skeleton embroideries of Tinycup Needleworks are getting me into the spirit of the season. Britt Hutchinson is the woman behind these exquisite works that have a lot of personality; despite being just bones, Britt stitches in flowers, snakes, fabulous fashions, and even bees among their unchanging expressions.
Using a combination of thread and paint, artist Jo Jimenez creates colorful mixed media bouquets. After painting the vibrant blooms and green leaves, she uses embroidery—both fuzzy yarns and metallics—as a tactile accent. The result is visually lush and something you’d find in the best gardens or exquisite arrangements.
Coral & Tusk takes exquisite embroidery out of its hoop and into home goods like pillows, table runners, and napkins. They also focus personal accessories, too, with one of my favorites being badge pins. These wearables feature bunnies, kitties, bears, and foxes that look like they’re merits you’d earn in the army. It’s a charming, unconventional way to adorn your daily outfit.
Some people might get shy when talking about our bodies, but not embroidery artist Jess de Wahls. Her ongoing series called Big Swinging Ovaries features the reproductive organ stylized and turned into a motif representing female strength and empowerment. As hoop art, the shape of the ovaries are the centerpiece, and they act as chameleons. Cloaked in a variety of subject matter—including Frida Kahlo, cats, and cacti—the organ has a mind of its own. Sometimes, Jess even gives them eyes or other facial expression. But regardless of the subject matter, each piece is done in a Jess’ gorgeous, maximalist style that covers much of the surface in bright colors and textures.
Embroiderer and artist Libby Williams uses a combination of stitching and painting to create unique travel portraits of the places she’s been. “I’m from the U.S. but have been living in Luxembourg for the past year and a half,” she tells me in an email. “I like to work back and forth between abstraction and representation, always taking inspiration from the landscape.”
It’s no secret that I love embroidery—and that especially extends to clothing. Last week, I shared the collaboration between Rifle Paper Co. and Keds, which included, among other styles, a pair of stitched sneakers. They’re great for the warmer weather months, but Boden is ready to take you into the fall and winter with their set of suede folk-inspired embroidered boots and flats.
This week, I’ve been enamored with artwork and illustrations where small elements make up a spectacular whole. On Tuesday, I shared the meticulous cut paper work of Margaret Scrinkl, who uses a combination of scissors and an X-ACTO knife to achieve fine details. Brannon Addison of Happy Cactus Designs does the same thing with a needle and thread. Her tiny embroidery features a host of beautiful blooms, from five petal plants to leafy ferns. After finishing a piece, Brannon usually frames it.
Do you want to try embroidery but don’t know where to start? Patterns can help you become comfortable with wielding a needle and thread as you learn new stitches. And with the recent revitalization of hoop art, illustrators are creating modern modern hand embroidery patterns that you can try today.