Q. Amy, how long have you been embroidering and how did you get started?
A. I didn’t start embroidering until I was 22. I remember seeing Jenny Hart’s embroidered portraits, and all the cute patterns she had for sale on her website, Sublime Stitching. I think she had all of 8 to 12 patterns back then. I was so inspired, and knew I had to learn how to embroider. My mother had embroidered since she was a little girl, so I asked her to show me some stitches to get started. She took out one of her tea towels and showed me the split stitch, back stitch and the French knot. I hated the French knot, and really didn’t master it until after a year of stitching. But now, 6 years later, it’s just as easy as a back stitch and one of my favorite embellishments.
Q. Are you most attracted to any particular style of embroidery?
A. I am most attracted to free style embroidery. I often compare embroidering to drawing or coloring in slow motion. It allows me to add certain elements that might not have been seen in the original design outline. I’ve always been one to venture outside the box, testing boundaries. Although, I do think counted thread work such as cross-stitch and needlepoint are very lovely, free style embroidery is a better match for me.
Q. What are some of your favorite crafty places to visit on the Web?
A. Oh geez, don’t get me started! Don’t get me started! I’ll limit myself to a Top 5 (in alphabetical order): Craftster, Craftzine, Etsy, Flickr, and Sublime Stitching.
Q. What other interests do you have besides crafting?
A. When I’m not crafting, I’m probably cooking. Being a vegetarian and part-time vegan, I’ve learned to become creative in the kitchen. Other good things include, tattoos, photographs, reading, gardening, playing board games, and reality television. I’m addicted to Bravo TV’s reality drama.
Q. I noticed from your flickr photos that you are a wife and mom of a beautiful family, how do you balance these roles with your crafting?
A. Aww, thank you! My family is wonderful, and forever supporting me and my crafting. Since my daughter is still so young, nap times are prime crafting times. But of course, when she’s awake, I work on my projects occasionally, because I want her to grow up seeing and loving embroidery work. She too will learn the craft someday.
Q. What would your perfect day be like, what would you do?
A. Ahh, my perfect day would be waking up after a night of uninterrupted sleep. I’m talking a full 6 to 8 hours. Sleep is a sweet memory, hopefully to be a reality again once my spoiled beast is a little older. Seriously, waking up after a full night’s sleep, a caramel macchiato, Indian food, and embroidering while watching a Bravo reality TV marathon, equals my perfect day.
Q. It looks like you have a thing for sweets, you are embroidering and baking them..yum! Give us the scoop on that or is it just a coincidence?
A. I have recently become obsessed with sweets. I don’t know many people who don’t like sweets, and I’m always cautious of people who say they hate them. How could you?! Cupcakes and other baked goods are just as appealing to the eye as they are the mouth. I can’t think of many other foods that I would call, “cute.” So it only seems right and natural to combine embroidery and baked goods.
Q. What advice would you give to those interested in learning to embroider?
A. Buy yourself the Stitch-It Kit by Jenny Hart. In my opinion, this is a great thing for a beginner to have. It comes with everything you need to get started. The instruction book is very easy to follow, and you’ll probably have a finished project by the end of the day. Also, embroidery is supposed to be fun, not frustrating! So if you can’t master the French knot in a day, don’t beat yourself up about it. This goes with any and all other stitches. It’s beautiful, because you made it! Have patience and have fun, young grasshoppers.
This was for a Hedwig and the Angry Inch swap through Craftster. It was my first embroidered portrait, and I stitched this two years ago. I was pleased with how it came out, and I really liked mixing fabric paint and embroidery. This project ended up going to a good friend of mine, making it easier to part with.