Thursday, September 5, 2013

My new love... Embroidery!

I discovered something new about myself this week. I love to do embroidery. I had a hunch that I would really like to do this and I was right. I've enjoyed admiring and looking closely at embroidery for a long time. Now it feels so good to be doing it!

Last Saturday I took a two hour workshop on embroidery at a new, truly awesome, re-use center/store called KNACK in Easthampton at the Eastworks building. Knack is a DIY palace. The store takes used things, sometimes on the way to being discarded, and brings new life to these things as potential and transformed arts and crafts items. I love the idea behind creating a store like this. Upcycling and reusing materials is a great way to transform items and the workshop space encourages community to learn to do things for themselves.  Here is Knack's mission statement...

Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse is a creative reuse center where you can:
  • Find all sorts of reusable materials for your creative projects
  • Take a workshop or drop in during our open studio time
  • Have a party (birthday, craft night, creative gathering, etc.)
  • Shop for upcycled gifts/art handmade by local artists
A woman named Bonnie Sennott taught the workshop. I was really impressed with her embroidered art pieces. She creates abstract images with embroidery stitches which I found beautiful and inspiring. She has a blog, Blue Peninsula Knits, which is full of her projects and examples of her many creative talents. She is a talented knitter as well as a knit pattern creator.

The photo above is of my completed project from the workshop. Bonnie gave us a template to work with and all of the materials to create a sachet. We got to try out 6 different embroidery stitches while creating this pretty, fragrant sachet, stuffed with lavender, camomile and flax seeds.

I find that doing needle work is really very relaxing to weeding a garden or knitting a scarf. Repetitive, task oriented work makes me happy and puts me in a mentally and physically relaxed state. This activity is becoming a nice way to end a busy day full of child care and play, work, household chores, gardening and cooking. Plus I feel like I'm making progress with my creative practice since the sewing links up with the creative work I am now doing. It's a win/win situation!

At home, before taking this workshop, I've been playing around with simple watercolor patterns and incorporating hand stitched elements into them. I've been really attracted to the sun symbol motifs carved into wood of decorative Zakopane architectural elements and furniture in Poland. I'm making little images with gouache, paper, and thread using simple folk art motifs. Here's a work in progress at my work table.
I'll be happily embroidering as well as making new paper cuts and little paintings to prepare for the full season of craft fairs and holiday events in the coming months. I'll post more news on these events in a future blog post.


  1. Kimberly! Your sachet is so pretty! I love the red blanket stitch all around the edges. Thank you for taking the class at Knack. I am so happy to have discovered your blog and your art!

    1. Thank you, Bonnie! Your class was great...a lovely way to spend a Sat. morning. I look forward to staying on touch with you and your creative endeavors :-)!

  2. well yes embroidery, keep exploring Kimberley, now I look at your header again and see that many of your drawings would also work very well as embroidery patterns, great sachet, x

    1. Thank you Renilde. A lot of my folk flower paintings are inspired by Eastern European embroidery.So yes, I think it would be neat to design a piece in this vein using thread instead of paint to fill in the color.

  3. Replies
    1. We'll have to add doing some embroidery together after we do a Tarot reading when you come up to visit me someday :-)!

  4. This seems like a wonderful medium for you Kim, and fun too! We have been thinking of you every time we visit Santa Fe, as there is a wonderful little store there called Folk Arts of Poland ( Maybe they would be interested in carrying your cards?
    Hope you, Josh and Kaz are well and enjoying the New England fall!

  5. Just found your lovely artwork and blog, and I'm so happy you've picked up embroidery. I will be following along to see more!!