I get most of my inspiration from flowers, music or books. Sometimes embroidery projects come to me in dreams or pop into my head as soon as I wake up. I make everything from the cramped living room of my flat. My dream is to one day have an actual studio space and a massive work table!
I do very rough sketches for designs on paper either in pencil or gouache paint, and then use a heat-removable pen to draw them straight onto fabric. If a design needs to be very neat and exact, I’ll trace my drawing or use carbon transfer paper.
I usually use an embroidery hoop when stitching clothes, but for something that will be framed or hemmed, I use a wooden frame and nail the fabric onto it. I always use cotton stranded thread, including some belonging to my great grand-mother! I have a small selection of silk threads that I’ve been too scared to use so far, and I would also like to get some wool thread and try crewel embroidery.
I am generally a messy and slap-dash person, but with embroidery I really love neat, tiny stitches. I’m very interested in mastering my skills and techniques. When I’m practising making the most perfect stitches, I do things like lettering and intricate William Morris-esque floral designs.