Stitched Words, a gallery on Flickr.
I love seeing ongoing creative projects, especially ones involving embroidery (of course!) and here's a pretty cool one: Emma is stitching a word every day for a whole year! That's a pretty big commitment. The really fun thing is seeing how she interprets the (usually) random word. There's a lot of different textures and styles, some are just the words, some have illustrations and so on.
I wanted to know a bit more about the project, so I asked Emma a few questions about it. I also asked her to pick two of the words she has stitched and tell us a bit more about them. You can see all the words in this set over on Flickr.
Thank you, Emma!
Find Emma on Flickr and Tumblr. She also has a website and a shop.
Tell us a little about yourself and the project
I'm Emma, an illustrator and designer based in the South Coast of England. I live in a Barn in the Woods with my husband and spend my time sewing, drawing and doing the washing up. The project is basically me embroidering a random word every day - simple as that!
What inspired you to start this project?
I wanted to do something that would force me to be creative every day. I've always wanted to do a daily project and have started many but they've never been very interesting so I've always given up. The idea for this one popped into my head one morning and I was excited about starting it, which I thought was a good sign!
Firstly because I wanted it to be a typography project and secondly, I needed something I could generate randomly everyday and which had endless possibilities; words seemed the obvious choice.
What inspires the way you stitch each word?
I tend to generate the word first thing in the morning and then decide pretty quickly how I will do it. Sometimes it's obvious and I know exactly what to do, sometimes it's not! I try to use the meaning of the word to influence the stitching but sometimes it's just the shape of the letters that decides how it will go. It also depends on how much time I have. Some days I only have 10 minutes, so no time for anything fancy, other days I could have a whole afternoon so these tend to be more elaborate.
Do the words mean something more to you once you've stitched them?
Well, I've learned some new words which has been interesting and it's certainly made me think about words and meanings more than I ever had before.
How do you keep going? A word a day is a pretty big commitment!
I've tried to keep it interesting by opening it up to other people to suggest words via twitter. I had a 'font week' where I asked followers to suggest a font for me to stitch and then when my random word generator died I asked people for suggestions again. It's nice to make it interactive as knowing other people are out there and enjoying what I do definitely helps with my motivation! Mostly though, I have fun doing it and that's the most important thing.
Any advice for anyone wanting to take on a long running project like this?
Pick something you actually enjoy doing! Stitching is something I can get on with whilst doing other things like watching films or sitting in the pub drinking gin, so that helps. Also, don't put too much pressure on yourself, if you miss a day, the world won't end and you can always catch up when you have more time. Most important is to have fun doing it.
I stitched this one very recently. It wasn't randomly generated, as I decided to sew it as a small tribute to Maurice Sendak, the author and illustrator who recently passed away. I have always loved his books since being a little girl (In the Night Kitchen is my favourite) and I wanted to do something to express my thanks. I didn't really plan what I was going to do, just sewed the word and then added little elements from Where The Wild Things Are, his most famous book. I think it turned out ok and I hope he might have liked it.
This is another of my favourites. I stitched it in Edwardian Script onto floral fabric. I was trying to do something that was a juxtaposition between a modern day vernacular and traditional techniques and patterns. Teenagers on tumblr seem to like it!