Everything old is new again. Almost. I’ll never be ready to turn in my sewing machine (like, when they pry it from my cold dead hands), but this trend toward more work being done by hand is therapeutic, charming and totally exciting.
I recently ran across Jane Austen’s book “Emma” from Penguin Publishers, and they have released it with hand stitching illustrations on the front and back covers. It’s actually a photo of the stitching, but the work is so lively and fresh, it’s alone worth the purchase. The commissioned embroidery is done by Jillian Tamaki.
One of the big trend setters and players in the new hand embroidery movement is folk artist Sue Spargo. Her work is colorful and, well, just interesting to look at. I think we’re reaching a point where we actually want to appreciate details again.
I think the re-emergence of wool applique and some of the new hand-dyed colors in wool is another inspiration. Wooly Lady keeps it fresh with their designs.
Just for fun I dug out the first and last hand embroidery I ever did. I think it took me months and was from a very simple pattern. I had it stuffed in a drawer, and I think the best part is the bag. Venture stores has been out of business entirely since 1998. The one where this bag came from was one that had originally been a TurnStyle store. Oh, c’mon all you midwestern oldies but goodies, you know what I’m talking about! Retail at it’s finest…hand embroidery from Venture. I’m such a time machine.