Gear Threads

Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

I was struck the other day by this bit from Mr X’s recent TEDx talk:

I’m not bothered what technology you use to become an artist; it is the self-expression that is the critical point here.

Machine quilting might not seem like the most likely medium for expressive stitching … but in the hands of artist Karlee Porter, it’s lively and beautiful. Porter combines her love of well-crafted graffiti art with a lifetime of personal and professional quilting experience to create her own unique, colorful quilting style.

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Porter first learned the ins and outs of the craft growing up with a mother and grandmother who quilted, and got to know the high-tech side of things working for a quilting machine manufacturing company. Her work encompasses both freemotion machine quilting and computerized quilting designs.

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Vibrant color combined with beautifully mixed textures make Karlee’s work unmistakable. She even sells computerized quilting design files so that longarm quilting machines can stitch her unique styles, too.

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Want to learn how it’s done? Her new book Graffiti Quilting: A Simple Guide to Complex Designs shares designs and techniques to help you create your own surprising, dynamic quilts.

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See more of Karlee Porter’s stunning work at www.karleeporter.com!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads – Tobyboo

by Urban Threads on 15 December 2014

Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Artist Tina Crawford takes “thread sketching” to a whole new place with her work at Tobyboo. Her thread sketching is similar to other freestyle machine embroidery artists, though it differs in a few important ways. First, she does all her work totally free-hand, without any framework or sketch to start.

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“Not many embroiderers work the way that I do, I don’t draw before hand – the fluidity of the thread with machine embroidery leads itself as my pen and I love to capture each wobble and mistake as part of the drawing’s originality and charm.”

The next step, however, is where her process really differs. You see, instead of keeping the medium purely as a textile art, Tina Crawford takes the “sketch” part literally. The design is scanned in from its “sketched” thread phase, and transformed into the final art on the computer.

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From this process there is a wonderfully fluid and yet remarkably clean piece of art, a fascinating mix of thread and digital.

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After completing her pieces, she then transforms them into all kinds of home goods, printing them on china, pillows, teacups and more.

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The original art, though digitized, gets to keep all the charm of its loose threads and imperfections. The handiwork of the embroidery is not at all obliterated by the digital transformation.

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Since 2012 Tina has created pieces and illustrations for St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir John Soane Museum, Kew Gardens, Oxford Universities and John Lewis, to name a few. Her pieces often focus on storytelling, characters and history, with just enough quirkiness to keep it all feeling delightfully British.

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Want to see more, or grab a piece for yourself? Visit her website Tobyboo, or check out her YouTube page for some excellent short videos on her creation process.

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

There’s pure magic coming out of Firecracker Studio, the home of Wellington, New Zealand multimedia artist Katherine Bertram. Formally trained as a printmaker in Sydney, Australia, Bertram creates incredible works of art using freehand machine embroidery, skillfully placing thread to create uniquely captivating images — like this striking fabric-collaged portrait of her daughter, complete with blue crown. THOSE EYES.

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Bertram’s stitching creates texture and nuance out of stark black and white, in a manner that echoes engraving or linocut prints.

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Her work’s not only at home on gallery walls — Firecracker Studio sells embroidered items like these bird purses and cushions, for usable textile art that brings a bit of that magic to everyday life.

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Captivated by Bertram’s unique style? See more of her portraits, creatures, cityscapes, and fabric collage pieces!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Crow and Gate Clothing began as the creative outlet of a self described “out of work insomniac with too much time on her hands and a slight vintage obsession.”

Artist Tassie Vicars is a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate who combines vintage styles with often quirky embroidery. Many of her garments are adorned with freehand machine stitches, which as she clarifies, are “meant to produce a delightfully off-kilter result, not straight perfect lines. This technique ensures that each piece will be unique and gives this garment its quirky charm.” I love how she uses the imperfection of the art to bring more character to each piece.

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Simple, sweet, and slightly irreverent in its vintage styling, I love the subtle (and not so subtle) use of trompe l’oeil on some of the pieces, and the chic but elegant styling of the slightly imperfect stitches. You can see more of her designs (and even grab a few) on her etsy store.

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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