Gear Threads – Louise Gardiner

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

Welcome to Gear Threads, where we showcase artists who are elevating machine embroidery to new heights!

Machine embroidery work is sometimes associated with old ladies, soft kitten designs, and small stitched designs. That’s why I love how explosive the work of Louise Gardiner is, big and bold and bursting with texture and color, and nothing like you expect to come from a little ol’ sewing machine.


Pieces like this one can’t truly be appreciated until you see the real scale of these textiles… I mean WOW!

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Louise Gardiner is a British artist and illustrator, and she has become well known for her world of weird and wonderful characters, and impressive machine embroidery skills. Her work is a combination of rhythmic drawing, intense and intricate free machine stitches, paints, appliqué and inks, and according to her bio can run a sewing machine like an “Aston Martin!”

I wouldn’t doubt it seeing some of the amazing detail in her work…


As well as her own designs, her bold and bright stitching style has led to many commissioned pieces such as a giant window display at retailer LIBERTY in conjunction with a quilt festival, and big name brands like Kettle Chips.


You can see lots of her work over on her website, as well as some amazing videos like this one from the COLLECT 2012 project, and even a behind the scenes feature on her Kettle Chips work.

What Technique Is This?

This is free machine embroidery and if you want to find out more about it, check out our dedicated post!
We’ve featured some great free machine artists on the site – here are four you might like!

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Gear 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