I’m so glad to host Terri of bettysdelights here. She is a talented embroiderer who “paints” pictures with her stitches.
When did you start embroidering and why?
I have always been handy with a sewing needle. My Nan taught me how to do basic stitching. I went into training as a bespoke tailor after school. But unfortunately the course did not last long due to falling numbers. I then just stitched and made clothes as a hobby. I really did not begin embroidery until my health began to deteriorate. I was born with hip dysplasia and it has just gotten worse as I have gotten older. At 35 I became a wheelchair user and hobbies became harder for me so I decided to try and find a hobby that suited me better and less physical. I started embroidering (thread art) pictures. It started as just something different for my walls but now it has developed into portraits and other more difficult pieces that take some time.
How would you describe the style of your work?
I would describe my work as freehand thread art or freestyle embroidery.
Name three things that inspire you…
Nature is a big inspiration, Cult films and actors and comic characters such as tank girl
What was the last great book you read and why did you love it?
The last great book I read was Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman. It was so down to earth, hilarious, but had at least one thing that every woman has experienced in their life.
Where do you do your work (in a sewing room, on your patio, in front of the TV, etc.)?
I mainly do my work on the sofa either listening to music or even watching the television. In good weather I get myself outside on my decking and just enjoy my beautiful garden.
Ok, you’re stranded on a desert island. Which five items do you hope to have with you?
My sewing box, embroidery hoop, a heap of fabric; Would Mollie makes deliver to my desert island? Hehe. If not, all my back copies 🙂 Huge mungus amount of mint sauce yum.
What is your favorite kind of item to stitch?
I love stitching Nature. Anything from animals to insects. Bees are my top favourite at the moment.
How do you come up with the designs for your pieces?
Designs often just pop into my head. Often at really awkward times to like when I am trying to sleep and sometimes mid-conversation. Luckily my friends are used to it and accept me going on a tangent mid convo : ) But I will then draw them onto the fabric with pencil—basic image, not too much detail. Then I stitch in all the detail.
A lot of your work is super detailed. How long does it take to complete a piece—a pet portrait for example?
Depending on the sizes of the portraits my work can take between 10 and 30 hours. Small 3×3 hoops generally will take me 5 hours. I did a portrait of my daughter and it was approximately A4 size—that took me approximately 48 hours to produce.
Anything else you’d like to add:
Generally the work I do is either for myself or friends and family. I volunteer a lot to so that takes up a lot of my time. My work started as a way of maintaining well-being and a good level of mental health. Put it this way—I do not have to buy many Christmas or birthday presents. Haha. I am quite vibrant—haha—possibly a little eccentric : )