Tomorrow is the first of my Getting Stitched on the Farm Creative Retreats here at our farm. I am busy getting ready but wanted to pop in today to share a gorgeous photo of the clouds the other day. It has been a beautiful week weatherwise and the clouds have been crazily gorgeous. I'll be back next week with photos from the class. I have a great post today for you all with a giveaway opportunity!
Rebecca teaches embroidery at workshops throughout the US and on-line. She has a Fine Art background and has used those skills to create her own unique style of embroidery which includes both hand and sewing machine stitches. You can see her embroidered artwork here. Rebecca is also the designer and driving force behind the "Dropcloth Embroidery Samplers" that are available through her Etsy Shop here.
Rebecca is a couple of decades younger than me and because of that, I think her style speaks to a younger generation of embroiderers. Or perhaps I should say - stitchers who are a little more experimental than representational - after all embroidery should have no ageism. It reminds me of a more "fiberart" approach to embroidery. When I was in Grad School, I had a professor named Tom Lundberg who was pushing the limits of embroidery and Rebecca's work does too.
Rebecca's embroidery is nothing like popular embroiderers Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching or Aimee Ray of Doodle Stitching/Little Dear Tracks. It is colorfully artistic and layered in a rather chaotic, creative way (good chaotic, not bad chaotic). She often uses colored, printed, and thrifted fabrics as a base and then applies her own hand and machine stitching on top. The embroidered coaster project from the book shown below is stitched on patterned ribbons. (Oh, man, I own that red and white ribbon shown below - it is in my ribbon stash and has been there for probably over 30 years! I had better do something with it!)
RR's Embroidery Workshops begins with the basics - types of threads, needles, fabrics, hoops, thimbles, transfer supplies to use and finishing materals. Rebecca introduces the reader to using printed and vintage fabrics and ribbons as base fabrics to stitch upon.
The first How-To Chapter (after the lovely Introduction) is called Stitch and in it she introduces her favorite stitches - running, backstitch, couching, French knots, bullion knots, blanket, satin, chain, spider web and woven picots. The second part of the chapter explains how to use a basic sewing machine for decorative embroidery. Rebecca does not use a fancy embroidery machine, just a simple zigzag type machine - therefore making her work accessible to more stitchers. This chapter finishes up with a Sampler project of the stitches.
Included in a pocket at the back of the book is a small piece of printed fabric to use for your very own sampler. This sampler (shown above and below) is similar to those she sells on her Dropcloth Etsy store. Such a nice add-on to the book purchase (although I must say, the scale is a bit petite for my stitching style.)
The remainder of the chapters are called Trace, Draw, Layer, and Finish. Some projects from those chapters are shown below. This first project is called Portrait Napkins. Rebecca used a base of a vintage cross stitch piece, then traced a face from a coloring book and embroidered the lines.The Draw Chapter includes this Polka Dot project using the dots on the fabric as a base. The dots are embellished with her hand-drawn doodles that are then stitched upon. It gives a modern look to embroidery.
The Draw Chapter also includes DIY instructions to teach the reader how to have the confidence to draw themselves - through doodling, line drawing with a ruler, and drawing from nature. That is an awesome addition because I find so many new stitchers are intimidated to draw. Hopefully Rebecca's encouraging words will get them over their fears.
The Layer chapter includes instruction for adding cross stitch embroidery onto vintage pieces with waste canvas as shown below.
These embroidered brooches are made from belt buckles with the embroidery done on re-purposed vintage embroideries.
This colorful pincushion was made by sewing together ribbons and then embroidering spider webs on top of them.
There is so much more in RR's Embroidery Workshop. It is beautifully photographed by Johnny Miller. The colors and the tactile quality of the styling and the brightly colored backdrops used in the photos really appeal to my inner colorist. I hope you will look for it soon. Perhaps it is just the book to inspire you to pick up a needle and thread in the upcoming summer months.
I am so psyched that this book was published because I think it will bring more stitchers into the creative hobby I love so much. Check out Rebecca's Dropcloth shop here.
Thanks to STC/Melanie Falick Books for contributing the winner's copy (and my review copy) of Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Studio.
You can listen to a Podcast Interview with Rebecca Here on Abby Glassenberg's podcast While She Naps.
You can listen to a Podcast Interview with Rebecca Here on Jennifer Ackerman's podcast Craft Sanity.
Here's what I have for you all today ---- a chance to win your very own copy of Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Studio.
Here's how to enter.....
Answer the following question in the comments:
Tell me what your upcoming summer artistic plans are. Are you going on a Retreat to learn something new? Are you going to take an on-line class? Or are you going to teach yourself from a book? AND what art/craft will you be working on?
U.S. Residents Only. Contest ends Monday May 4th at 11:59 p.m.
AS ALWAYS - LEAVE AN EASY WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU.
Good luck everyone. I'll be back next week with photos of our Creative Retreat here at the farm.