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Embroidery today

Have you seen what is being done with needle and floss these days….? I find this trend extremely exciting. It is a natural outgrowth of the renewed interest in sewing and knitting. But perhaps in a manner a little interpretive than the previous two mediums, it plays with the overlap between art and craft.  Are you familiar with Rebecca Ringquist's work?  Check out her website, I'll wait…… Or Tilleke Schwarz? These are artists who use floss and needle as their creative expression.  The work takes on a painterly effect, with a modern expression through texture. Engrossing.

Then there are expressions that are playful, or colorful, or ironic. Search 'modern embroidery' on Pinterest and you'll be astonished what comes up. It's beautiful, and smart and funny and totally engrossing…. I have been known to lose time looking at the incredible things that can be done with floss and needle. Two years ago when I had to stop knitting due to tennis elbow, I found embroidery a worthy replacement. 

Embroidery is a integral element of Alabama Chanin's work. Natalie Chanin is one of my personal heroines. Her intricate layered garments employ hand stitching for both construction and embellishment.  Some day (some day!) I will make one of these garments from scratch. Until then I will just drool over them.


Anna Maria Horner, of the explosive color and opulent texture, incorporates embroidery in her work. Her last book, Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook is all needlework. I find her whimsy absolutely charming, and it makes me want to embroider on patterned fabric.

All of these examples are just to whet your appetite for our Holidays by Hand this weekend with Beatrice Perron Dahlen. From Noon to 5 on Saturday you can hang at AGOS and stitch with beautiful colors to make your own creations. And then you can give those beautiful examples to friends and family for holiday presents….  or you can just keep them for yourself….  If you decide you want more, Beatrice will be teaching an Introduction to Embroidery on Tuesdays, 12/10 & 17. You can read more here.  Hope we see you this weekend!


Deep Water