Ezgi Pamir (previously) has recently created a denim jacket embroidery that’s a snapshot of contemporary pop culture. The large portrait adorns the back of the garment, and it features a woman wearing a floral crown with a bubble of one Instagram “Likes” next to her. As with Ezgi’s previous embroideries, she incorporates real objects—in this case, it’s a lovely selection of blooms.
If you’re looking for colorful embroidery to brighten your day, then look no further than Kelly Ryan. The Albany-based embroiderer creates vibrant hoop art that’s a happy collision of patterns and texture. Sometimes, Kelly is figurative with her work and embroiders plants. Most of the time, however, she stitches abstract imagery with nature-inspired shapes like leaves that are clad in the likes of magenta, cerulean, and lime green.
When it comes to hoop art, light-colored fabrics are a popular choice to embroider on. But, don’t overlook dark cloth. As Lindsay Swearingen demonstrates, it too can create beautiful pieces. Under the moniker Tusk and Cardinal, the Californian sews nature-inspired pieces that showcase, most notably, flowers and hands on a black background. The contrast makes her designs pop, and I love the tattoo aesthetic that she has in some of her pieces. The creatures, in particular, have the distinct feeling of blackwork-style body art.
Follow along with Lindsay’s hoop art on Instagram. And for her embroidered goods, head to the Tusk and Cardinal Etsy shop.
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 know it’s so cliche, but time really has been flying with the 1 Year of Stitches project. Month two is now a wrap! (Wondering what I’m talking about? Read more here.) As I look in the Facebook group and on the Instagram hashtag, I’m blown away by all of the amazing embroidery that’s in the works. Some folks have taken a figurative approach to their hoop and embroidered small scenes, while others create abstract compositions with thread.
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.
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.
Here’s an interesting combination: polymer (aka oven bake) clay and embroidery. Artist Justyna Wolodkiewicz has fused the two in her latest series of abstract hoop art. Full of color and texture, these pieces use flattened pieces of clay with tiny holes poked in them, which are then attached to fabric. The result is a rich juxtaposition between the smoothness of the clay with the fuzziness of the thread.
This clay embroidery represents a new path for Justyna, who has previously made elaborate polymer clay clocks. You can find it all in her Etsy shop.
One of my favorite embroidery artists Señorita Lylo (aka Srta. Lylo) is known for her collars that come ready to party. Aside from making these special accessories, she also creates hoop art and recently collaborated with the thread brand DMC. “I made a design of 10 patterns for them,” she tells me in an email. “All are for free!” So, if you ever wanted to try DIY embroidery, now’s your chance.
It’s been just over a month since I—along with many, many others—started 1 Year of Stitches. Since that time, I’ve seen more than amazing embroidery; friendships have formed across the world in the Facebook group and Instagram!