Moth #3 is (mercifully, wonderfully) DONE. I kind of wish I’d tracked my hours for this one, as the wings must have taken me at least 60-70 hours (seriously - I think this is the most intricate embroidery I’ve done thus far).

I’m waiting for the weather to be less damp so I can do a proper outdoors photoshoot with my new mothfriend, but until then, here are some assorted process shots from the last phase of mothmaking.

Included in this set is a record of the worst needle-stab I sustained during the whole process (which was a good sign that it was time to go to bed, as I’d been embroidering from almost 10hrs at that point), as well as some shots of the messy otherside of the wings and one showing the moment where I was SO DONE with sewing and resorted to a glue gun to attach the under-wing panels (which are not embroidered).

I only have one more moth body to make wings for…now to find the energy to start another marathon of endless stitching (on the bright side, this is the smallest one I made, so the wings can be much more wee)!

We love this patch designed by Jess De Wahls! She was one of our first confirmed artists for Feminist Fiber Art, and she is making a sculpture piece specifically for our exhibit and sending it to us all the way from London! 

This patch is based on of one of her original, handmade embroidery pieces! You can nab one in her awesome etsy shop

Fuck Yeah Needlework Advice #24: On Starting Out

The excellent payedforcrying writes: “ What type of fabric and thread should a person start out with. Also would it be better to start with cross stitching or embroidery first??”

An excellent question! And a tough one to answer, because the answer is, as it is in many creative endeavors: it all depends on what you like.

If you want to begin with cross stitch, a good place to start is with cotton DMC thread and with 14ct Aida fabric. Find a design you like online, or buy a kit that has a design you like. I would recommend that you pick a simple kit or pattern, rather than one that is complicated, if you are just beginning - think smaller rather than larger. 

If you want to begin with embroidery, a good place to start is also with cotton DMC thread and with a woven cotton fabric. Think a pillowcase, rather than a T-shirt. Again, you can find a design you like online, or even in a coloring book. Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n’ Thread blog is a great place for beginning embroiderers to start.

As to which technique is better to begin with, one technique isn’t better than the other. They’re both pretty great. It all depends on what you like: do you prefer to have things be regular and to fit on a grid? Or do you prefer things to be random and more organic? Do you find it soothing to do the same thing over and over, or do you like the adventure of experimenting with different things? It’s all up to you - which is the best part!

Thank you so much for your question. As always, my friends, you can ask me your embroidery questions through the ask box on this blog!


By Emma Lamb on Flickr.

Notions…a pretty wee outtake from my pincushion photoshoots… :)