Above is a set I recently made for one of my FAV clients. It is a wedding gift…the center one for the last name, and the smaller ones for the Bride and Groom.
It has been about a year and a half since I started my new “freehand crewel” line. I have always loved Burlap and also wool crewel yarn. I found some lovely vintage wool yarn on Etsy a couple of years ago, and so wanted to buy it. At the time it was a bit out of my reach for my budget, so I hesitated. And, yes, it sold. I was crushed! I vowed to find another assortment as neat as that one. I began searching on the web to find Vintage wool crewel/ needlepoint yarn. I realized there were sources out there, but you have to search them out! I began buying lots and lots of vintage wool yarn, learning about all the different brands and types along the way. I have a rather large stash now….it takes up about a quarter of my bedroom! I am always on the lookout for more! My favorite type is Paternayan Persian wool. I wanted to find something to make with it! After all, if I could get it to pay for itself, I could buy more, right? I had a wonderful memory of doing crewel kits with my mom and sister when we were young girls. I loved the freeform style of crewel. I started playing around with freehand embroidered designs, (my favorite), since there are no rules! I am not one to follow a pattern, chart or so forth, so freestyle was for me! I stitched up a few pillows in the cold grey months of winter, when sales tend to be slow. I stitched my designs onto Burlap because I love the retro feel of this neat fabric, and I have loved it since I was a child when my grandmother always had some lying around. She called it “tow sack”.
I whipped up a few items and I listed a few designs in my Etsy shop….and waited to see what would happen.
A little at a time, my little pillows began to sell! I was soooo excited! It really validated what I had been working on! I really liked doing one of a kind designs, so I began offering customs in my shop. Since then, my little single letter monogram pillow, with the custom motif, has become my best selling item!
I have expanded my items and added hooped wall art styles and even freehand stitchery on my girls clothing. I picked up a few retail stores to carry my pillows in addition to my Etsy shop. And, my embroidery has won first place for the last two years at our local Art On The Lake art show here in Guntersville.
This started out as a relaxing hobby to have fun with as a break from my painting, which is my full time job. However, the embroidery is now my best selling category on Etsy, so it has become a second job, but one I adore! There seems to be a growing interest in the stitchery arts. I see lots around the web. Mine is kind of in its own little category since it is so freeform. I just pull colors from my pile of yarn strands the way I pull colors of paint for my paintings. My newest design is my “Bohemian” style with flowery swirly letters and motifs which I make up on the spot depending on my mood. (See an earlier post for my Boho Name pillow).
This is another popular design….a pet portrait on a mini pillow! I stitched this one of my SShih Tzu during the power outage from the April tornado disaster.
See my Etsy shop for more embroidery, and to request a custom design.