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How to embroider: My obsession with learning new things and how it relaxes my brain

I've always created. I actually don't remember not making things. Clothes for my teddy, friendship bracelets, drawing, painting, Fimo, cross stitch. That's how it started. And then as I got older, in formal education, I always excelled in anything practical where I used my hands. I still tend to finish an essay when I reach the word count.

I continued to sew when I did my illustration degree. Mainly fancy dress costumes for parties, Art students love fancy dress. Then I taught design and technology. And you've guessed it, still sewed and started renovating a house. But I didn't paint or draw. It had become a chore.

When I moved to France I started to upholster furniture. I used my illustration skills to build my website, do all my own publicity. But in the last couple of years I've started to find joy it again, which I think is why I partly want to create my own fabric collection now. It's actually why I made a note book cover, to house my home made sketchbooks.

Now that I've mastered upholstery I've felt the need to try not only new things but slow things. Beaded earrings, hand embroidery and most recently crochet. I'm not arrogant enough to walk around a craft fair muttering (loud enough the stall holder to hear me) I could make that. But practical skills come easily to me. I think and solve problems with my hands.

Lots of us seem to feel the need to slow down at the moment and anything repetitive with your hands is good for that. Especially if you have hands like mine that just don't stay still. It soothes them.


I started with hand embroidery, something that I can't actually remember learning to do, I just know that I've always known how to it,that's how ingrained in my soul it is. Not making anything actually feels strange.

I took one of my line drawings,which I drew while in bed with the flu (see what I mean?!), and drew it on to fabric and set off with basic stitches. Back stitch, French knot, lazy daisy and fly stitch. The ones that I knew from heart and just seem to be ingrained.


that is what these note books are. I used one of those Frixion pens (which are great because you can literally get rid of the lines with a hair dryer or by ironing) to draw my design and simply sewed over the lines, adding or skipping bits if i wanted to. I'd normally have put something like that together using my sewing machine but I didn't this time. My Millennial generation were born rushing, grow up quicker, move with the technology quicker, don't stop, learn more, move up the ladder. No wonder so many of us are coming to a full stop. And then beginning to move again but a lot slower.

There's no rush, take your time. Enjoy the process. Be the tortoise not the hare.

The full written instructions are available when you subscribe to my newsletter here and videos for the embroidery stitches are here.

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