Embroidery
Or, Surface Embellishment with Threads and Other Stuff

Embroidery is the textile medium I've pursued longest on a more-or-less continuous basis. I started in 6th grade with an envelope of iron-on patterns, some J&P Coats floss and a denim jacket that my mother had sewn for me. With the typical child's scorn of hand made, I didn't think it very authentic, though at least it never occurred to me to whine (because I knew perfectly well it wouldn't do any good) for the more expensive article. The yellow wax patterns included, as I recall, a cluster of grapes and a ladybug. I tried stitching the ladybug first, with all six strands of floss, and results were pretty horrible. Eventually I settled down to using two stranded satin stitch, a preference I still retain when using 25 floss.

It soon dawned on me that I could draw my own designs, which I thought were prettier. Certainly I could easily compensate for the limited palette available—my only source, at first, was Minnesota Fabrics, and this was before the days when they carried DMC, or even before I knew DMC existed –and the fact that I could never remember, without a reference on my lap, how to do anything besides satin, chain, stem or french knot stitches. I've embroidered for close on a quarter of a century now, and am pleased to say that within the last year or so finally managed to memorize the boullion stitch.

After the jacket, I turned to chambray shirts, decorating them with unicorns and other fantasy characters. I was particularly proud of a monarch I put on one shoulder, because one day my mother tried to brush it off. Nevertheless I longed for more hues, especially realistic flesh tones, and was therefore enchanted when a coworker brought in a cross stitch project (a bedspread, still in progress, as far as I know) in colors I'd never seen before. She said she'd bought the flosses at a little town in Wisconsin. I reasoned if a little town could support a such a market, there must, in a big city like Detroit, be a similarly stocked shop. I was correct, and my quest led me to Needlearts, Inc, where I was eventually to learn some basic precepts of traditional Japanese silk embroidery, and where I still purchase the bulk of my embroidery threads.

20170919

``Quick'' bead embroidered pouch

 
20150923

Index post for beaded_embroidery pages. 23sep2015

 
20150824

This pouch features glass beads, embroidery, fabric dying and sewing by me; its semiprecious accent beads co-ordinate with the rosary (restrung by me...) it's designed to hold. 24aug2015

 
20090427

Inspired by stockings, this is the 2nd in a series of abstract wall-hangings/mini-quilts. Originally posted 27apr09. 27apr2009

 
20090423

Inspired by stockings, this is the Ist in a series of abstract wall-hangings/mini-quilts. Originally posted 23apr09. 23apr2009

 
20090114

Samples of Freestyle Machine Embroidery (new stuff, 2009, 2008, 2006...really, that 16nov01 update is...outdated;) 14jan2009

 
20140124

These embroidered stockings are—surprise—in the Embroidery section of the site, but as they are a holiday craft as well, I've posted them here, too. Enjoy. Initial post 11feb05, last updated 23jan2014 24jan2014

 
20081007

Embroidered needlecase , probably made in the early to mid-90s. 07oct2008

 
20150827

a piece of black and white bead embroidery photographed over several years with 4 different cameras... 27aug2015

 
20150825

pastel bead embroidery for a hexagonal box. Still in progress 7 years later though the embroidery, at least, was completed in '08. 25aug2015

 
20040522

two very early embroidered and beaded pieces, meant to be pins. 22may2004

 
20040522

I've never regretted the discipline required by this technique-driven form of the needlearts; (though neither have I finished my piece) but I'm glad I taught myself most of what I know about embroidery. Much of my formal visual training has come out of the academic tradition, which has as one of it...

 
20040522

Two early beaded embroidery projects 22may2004

 
20040522

another embroidered chambray shirt (posted 13sep02) 22may2004

 
20040522

This (relatively) quickly done piece is part of an SCA costume , a tunic 22may2004

 
20040522

Another gift using ombre threads and beads made around 1993. (needs photo update.) 22may2004

 
20040522

A hand made Christmas gift for my brother. 22may2004

 
20040522

This shirt is one of a series of 4: a sailboat and still life featuring a violin or viola, both made for my mother; this one; and one a rejiquar, the last. My mother delighted me by wearing hers till they wore out, and so they exist now only in memory. This shirt's sleeves became worn, and so it ...

 
20040522

A third gift , a cape for a (different) brother, embroidered with perle cotton 22may2004

 
20040522

A fabric mask embroidered with beads 22may2004

 
20040522

freeform sampler (posted 13sep02) 22may2004

 
20040522

embroidered chambray shirt 22may2004

 

Navigation: Embroidery is a sub-index of Textile.