April 5, 2009

Talking to Totally Severe

Did you see the Milhouse embroidery on the blog recently? Otherwise go take a look! Here is some more from Sarah of Totally Severe. Although, I totally think she's should change the name to Totally Cool, because that is exactly what she is! And it goes to show that you don't need to know a lot of stitches (in fact she says she only knows one!) to do work that has a lot of impact. Check it you!

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by antique photographs, floral patterns, overly saturated colors, and lousy daytime television.

How long have you been stitching? What got you started?
I started doing embroideries in July 08, when it became increasingly difficult for me to find freelance design work. I found myself with a lot of free time, and I'm not the kind of person who is good at sitting still. I always have to be busy doing something productive, so for some reason I decided on embroidery. Lucky for me, it's a very affordable hobby.

Do you have a favourite stitch? Why?
I use the satin stitch because that's really the only stitch I know. I just improvise as I go along.

Tell us about your subject matter...

The more ridiculous things are, the better. I think there's something wonderfully strange about the mixture of modern pop culture and an old-fashioned medium like embroidery. If you had told me two years ago that in the future I'd be sewing images of Jerry Stiller and Dr. Phil, I probably wouldn't have believed you. I refuse to let embroidery be serious, so I like to incorporate humor and very bright colors.

What perceptions of embroidery do you encounter?

I think embroidery is still perceived as being kind of stuffy, but it's only stuffy if you want it to be. Mostly when I show people my works they're amazed that I possess the kind of patience needed to make them.

Why is embroidery worth spending time on?

I've been doing graphic designs for years, but there's always a disconnect between what I'm drawing on a screen and an actual tangible product. I like embroidery because it's a creative process and I get something to hang on my wall at the end of it.

Are there any other embroiderers in the group pool that you have noticed?

Oh, too many to mention. Every time I look in through it it makes me want to try new techniques. I'm drawn mostly to redwork and portraits.

Thanks for interviewing me! It's been fun!


  1. wow! that's all I have to say, just WOW!

  2. How funny because I was going to say WOW too! Sarah's work is amazing.

  3. Sarah's work is really inspiring - I don't think my satin stitching will ever look as good as hers but I might have to try doing more of it!

    it was nice to {virtually} meet you Sarah, your work is absolutely amazing :)

  4. Her work is fabulous and it was inspiring to read her article.