Aimee Davis – Daisyeyes Handmade
I come from a long line of women makers. I sleep under quilts that my grandmother made, my head rests on pillowcases that my aunt embroidered, and my memories are full of time spent watching my mom and grandmother create. The majority of my sewing and embroidery skills are self-taught, and I’d like to think there is a little bit of genetic love seeping through. Click to see Aimee’s patterns >
I have loved to knit since I was a child, when my mother and grandma taught me. Now it’s a part of my life; it’s like a meditation practice for me.
The style of mittens I knit are a traditional part of the Lithuanian national costume. Some of the patterns I use have been well-known for hundred of years, and others I have designed myself. I enjoy knitting using natural materials such as wool and cotton, and the beads I use to create the patterns on my wrist warmers are made in Czechoslovakia. Click to see Aurelija’s work >
Irina Zhoukova Petrova
Russian Talisman Embroidery
My name is Irina. I am Russian, and was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Russian ritual embroidery is a part of my family heritage. My family ran a business making ritual embroidery and ritual outfits for farmers of the Yaroslavl region, Mologa district, from the 1830s to the 1910s. So, I am just preserving my family’s knowledge and continuing my family’s work.
Starting when I was five years old, my grandparents taught me Russian ritual embroidery, Russian traditional culture, farmers’ beliefs and rituals. Later, while in college, I worked as a volunteer in the St. Petersburg State Hermitage museum and studied Russian village culture with a group of historians and ethnographers. I had access to archives inaccessible to the public and participated in ethnography expeditions to different parts of Russia.
In 2000 I moved to the US (because of work – my husband and I, we both are software engineers). Here in the US I started the Traditional Russian Costume Project (www.traditionalrussiancostume.com). I make traditional Russian outfits and embroidery for personal orders, and for museums and history-studying organizations, including Fort Ross State Park and Conscious Parenthood Initiative Kedry (Cedars). I also publish articles about Russian clothing, embroidery, and tradition in both Russian and English-language newspapers. Three pieces I wrote were included in the Ethnic Dress of the US Encyclopedia, published in 2014.
I participate in exhibitions and performances related to Russian culture (for example, at the Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA). From time to time I do workshops and give lectures on making Russian outfits and embroidery, in colleges in both California and Massachusetts. Click to see Irina’s work >
I was born in 1981 and I live in Stockholm, Sweden with my boyfriend and daughter. I’ve been stitching almost for as long as I can remember (at least since I was about seven years old).
Embroidery came naturally to me, so I stuck with it as I was growing up. When I was about 24 years old, I applied to the HV School of Textiles in Stockholm and spent two years learning to weave.
In the third year embroidery sort of “came back to me” and I decided to choose it for my final project. I embellished a small collection of pre-made clothing with traditional Swedish embroideries… and I’ve never stopped since!
I’ve written three books about embroidery, stitched book covers (“The Emigrants” series by Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg), been included in group exhibitions, taught workshops and have recently begun teaching at my former school.I hope to always keep working with what I love the most: embroidery. Click to see Karin’s work >
Kasia Jacquot is a Polish born textile folk artist living and working in Australia. Her upbringing in a small rural village in Poland is the source of her inspiration, embedded in her memories of rich cultural festivals and brightly coloured folk art in homes, churches and on folk costumes. Kasia’s style carries brightly coloured joy and her bold arrangements of floral motifs burst to life on any surface, whether painted, screen printed or embroidered. She works predominantly on fabric, often mixing embroidery and silk screen printing to bring her designs to life.
She teaches embroidery locally, to adults and children and has been commissioned by local councils for various public artworks as well as private. Her work has sold to stores and privately around the world and has been featured on many blogs and printed magazine internationally.
Kasia describes her motivation and purpose for her art as an honouring of everyday objects by adorning them with decorations. This is how she says she saw the place that traditional folk art had in the every day lives of its artists. “By taking something in our hands, and imbuing it with our own creation, we become connected to that object and by that we take greater care of it and honour its purpose in our life.” Embroidery is her favourite medium. Click to see Kasia’s work >
Mollie Johanson – Wild Olive
Ukrainian Cross Stitch
I’m Natalka Pavlysh. I’m Ukrainian and since childhood I have been passionate about the most common and famous Ukrainian craft: embroidery.
Linen and threads are my favorite materials; with them, I can spend days embroidering. A few centuries ago it was very common for women to sew and embroider during long winter evenings. Each girl would embroider her own dowry, including festive wedding towels.
The diversity of Ukrainian embroidery is quite impressive, from white-on-white embroidery stitched with the “hardanger technique,” to black-and-white floral cross stitch and the colorful geometric patterns found from regions in the Carpathian mountains.
I love to look at old pictures in big antique books for inspiration, and I always visit cultural museums when I travel. From these old patterns comes my inspiration. Click to see Natalka’s work >
Japanese Kogin Embroidery
Years ago, my mother quit her job as a schoolteacher to become a Kimono designer; she made handspun and hand-woven Kimonos. I may have inherited her enthusiasm for handcrafting!
I had enjoyed hand-making when I was a teenager, but stopped when I went to University and started to work. I returned to the world of handicrafts after my first baby. Since then, I have been making things constantly, including sewing, knitting, and embroidery… I even took leather bag-making lessons, which was great fun!
Kogin-zashi is one of my favorite types of embroidery. Even though I have left Japan and live in London now, I cannot be away from it. When I look at the striking designs I can feel the strength and patience of the women from those long-ago eras. I find great joy in sharing hand-making with others who love it! Click to see Tomoko’s work >