I grew up on a small hobby farm in the middle of Michigan. My childhood was full of creativity. I was indulged in my love for arts and crafts with materials, tools, classes and books. I learned weaving, wool felting, fiber dying, photography, screen printing – whatever sparked my interest. By the time I graduated from high school, I knew that I wanted to make beautiful things for the rest of my life.
Soon after, I discovered the Royal School of Needlework and the next thing I knew, I was on a plane to London, flying overseas to learn hand embroidery in a palace. It was a dream come true. I spent a semester there, where I learned from some of the best hand embroiderers in the world. I stitched my first needlepoint piece in England. It was a folk art rendition of my childhood home worked in cotton and wools. It's my favorite piece of needlework to this day!
Designing my own needlework was part of my RSN training. It was there that I realized I needed and wanted more formal training and decided to pursue illustration.
A few years later I painted my first needlepoint canvas. A fellow student at the RSN painted canvases and ever since then I had wanted to it for myself. When I finally got around to it, I discovered that I not only enjoyed the process, but designing needlepoint was the perfect combination of my two greatest creative loves, needlework and illustration.
I continue to be inspired by historic needlework and design. It can be so beautiful, even though created hundreds of years ago. Most (though not all) of my work is rooted in that history–especially the history of folk art and Jacobean crewelwork. But I’m also very aware of trends in color and theme. Since I draw inspiration from both the historic and the modern, I hope my designs appeal to modern women and at the same time are truly beautiful and have longevity.
Mastering the Art of Embroidery by Sophie Long Stitch•illo by Janine Vangool Bustle and Sew Magazine Fiber Talk Podcast Needle Pointers Magazine Needlepoint Now Magazine Cross Stitcher Magazine Sew Mama Sew Blog