A few years ago, I attended a conference for creatives and received an issue of Uppercase in my goodie bag. I loved paging through the issue, being inspired by the featured artists. However, my favorite part of the magazine was a postcard subscription insert. The front of the postcard contained a photograph of an exquisitely embroidered “Merci”. I eventually moved the magazine to my bookshelf, but put the card on the bulletin board in my room. I had intended to learn how to replicate the embroidery, but time and life got away from me. However, whenever I’d look at my bulletin board, or even wander through Anthropologie and browse the colorfully embroidered tea towels in the kitchen section, I was reminded of my desire to learn how to stitch by hand. Imagine my delight when asked to learn how to do something, using YouTube and Internet help forums, for CEP 810. My homework would be to learn how to embroider, and blog about the learning adventure. By the end of our learning experiment, I would like to have replicated the Merci embroidery, and have embroidered a tea towel using at least 3 different kinds of stitches.
In perusing the internet to find embroidery teaching sources and an affinity community, I discovered a renaissance of the hand arts. Embroidery is not just what Jane Austen heroines accomplished in drawing rooms, but it has been picked up by many people around the world. By visiting Pinterest, I saw pages of pins where embroidery resources have been curated. I was inspired to create my own Pinterest board to keep track resources I discover.
Currently, I have found an abundance of youtube videos, which demonstrate the various embroidery stitches. Some of the videos can be found here and here. Sublime Stitching, founded by Jenny Hart who created the Merci postcard design, has written tutorials on the various stitches, links for pattern ideas, and blog articles. Mary Corbett’s NeedleNThread website is an extensive stitching resource with video tutorials, and forum support.
As a true novice, I will learn which stitches I need to learn at Sublime Stitching, and then learn them through NeedleNThread, Youtube, and other sites that I discover. I plan on learning a different stitch each week, and put them together for my final project, which will be a tea towel. I’m looking forward to the adventure and the finished products!