We’ve some fantastic columns on Mr X Stitch and we wanted to celebrate the authors who share their love of needlecraft with you. Jen Funk Weber has done some great interviews with embroidery students in her Funk Files: Embroidery Frontiers column, so we thought we’d turn the tables on her this time!
Name: Jen Funk Weber
Location: Alaska, USA
Specialism: Avoiding commitment. (See favorites below: I simply cannot commit to favorites. Or British-English spellings.) In embroidery, this commitment avoidance manifests itself in change and exploration. I’m always looking for different ways to use embroidery: marrying it with different crafts and materials, putting it where it’s not traditionally seen. For instance, I am a puzzle writer. The marriage of puzzle writing and embroidery led to the What in the World? design featured on the cover of Games magazine.
Favourite Colour: Screaming bright
Favourite Film: Musicals
Favourite Band: I’m going to say folk rock and world music, but don’t think I listen to a lot of this. I listen to surprisingly little music.
Favourite Book: Picture books, middle-grade novels (yes, kids’ books), 19th-century English literature, history, science, memoirs
Tell us a joke: Chicken walks up to the counter at the library and says “book-book-book!” So the librarian gives the chicken a book. Chicken takes the book to a pond where she’s met by her friend, Frog, who says, “read-it, read-it.”
(I made a couple of stitched bookmarks based on this joke.)
A little piece of wisdom if you please: Just try it. Once upon a time, embroiderers made samplers that were practice pieces.
Today’s samplers aren’t practice pieces: they’re a pattern style, meant to be display pieces. Few stitchers, it seems, practice, fiddle around, or stitch without expecting a final product worthy of display. It’s fun to muck about with needle and thread, to have adventures and do experiments, without expectations for the results. Surprising and cool things can come from it.
I know that we all have different reasons and goals for stitching, but I think a willingness to Just Try It is useful in many situations, not to mention heaps of fun.
Jen’s Funk Files column has interviewed some award winning embroiderers – if you’ve not checked out the archive, you must – and you’ll be able to enjoy it on the fourth Friday of every month!
Are you an at the embroidery frontier? Get in touch and we’ll interview you!
The Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery. Committed to changing the way the world thinks about needlecraft.