This week, our focus is on designer and author Jessica Marquez and her new book, Stitched Gifts, which was just released by Chronicle Books – and you can win a copy of the book right here on the blog!
Stitched Gifts features 25 patterns for all kinds of occasions – birthdays, holidays, weddings, anniversaries, new homes, and just because. There are also a bunch of alphabets to help customize your embroidery, step-by-step instructions, info on transferring patterns, finishing techniques, a stitch guide, creative ideas, and delicious photographs. There’s a lot of inspiration packed into this book, and I know you’ll want to pull out your favorite DMC Embroidery Threads and start stitching!
And now for the interview…
Why and when did you start embroidering? I’d embroidered here and there when I was young, but really got into it when I was in graduate school around 2006. It really surprised me how obsessed I got with it. I’d sit in my kitchen every night embroidering for hours. I even incorporated embroidery into my thesis work and made a sampler from my families DNA code. Then I started making gifts for people, like a pillow case that said, “I can sleep when Im dead.” in a pretty loopy script and a little arrow pierced heart for my grandparents on their 60th wedding anniversary.
You’ve stitched on all kind of supports, is there anyone in particular you would like to try? Which one was the weirdest one? Linen is by far my favorite material to stitch on. It’s just so smooth and easy to use. I can’t say I’ve stitched on anything that crazy, but the most peculiar thing I’ve made is a spinning embroidery piece called, How Many Nights. The piece was made on two levels and the background constellations could spin, like stars in a real night sky.
Which is your favorite stitch? It’s funny, I teach a lot and find myself saying repeatedly in class, “This is my favorite stitch.” I guess I have a lot of favorites and each has a different use. The chain stitch, back stitch, split stitch and French knots are my go-to stitches that I love. Would you like to try another technique (crochet, knitting, macrame, etc)? My grandmother would make these epic doilies. They are huge, but also delicate and ornate. Her hands would move so fast making these pieces and the patterns seemed to stored in her head. Every piece of furniture in her home is covered in one. I’d really love to learn how to crochet like my grandmother.
Congratulations for your book! Could you explains us what can we find in it? Thank you so much! I am so happy and proud of it. The book came out of my work for my online shop, Miniature Rhino, where for years I’ve made custom embroideries for all kinds of occasions, like weddings, anniversaries, new babies, and birthdays. Inside Stitched GIfts are beautiful customizable patterns, so now you can make your own personalized keepsakes and gifts. There’s a lot of how-to, and tips so that all levels find what they need and the projects are fun, modern twists on traditional embroidery. I’m so excited to share one copy as a giveaway to one of your readers & hope everyone will check it out!