Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Embroidery, art and vodka

I've been lucky to have some fun opportunities for a little freelance stitching in the last year, and even luckier to have those jobs involve some of my favorite things: vodka, art and Sublime Stitching.

First up: Sublime Stitching. I'll be writing more on this soon over at Craftzine, but last summer, I was one of four women who helped stitch the projects that were photographed for Jenny's newest embroidery book, Embroidered Effects. It was a thrill and a pleasure, and just down right fun. I'll have more on that stitching adventure in a later post, and even more over at Craftzine next week. (A little birdie would like me to tell you that we'll even have a free pattern from the book, so be sure to check out Craftzine next Friday, October 2)

Next: Tito's Vodka. When it comes to adult beverages, I'm a vodka gal, and when it comes to vodka, I'm a Tito's gal. So when my pal, Jennifer Perkins, passed my name on to the Tito's folks when they were looking for someone to embroider their bottle label for an ad, you can bet I jumped all over that opportunity. The ad was planned for the SXSW edition of BUST magazine, and I love that the folks at Tito's thought to incorporate hand embroidery.

The job was to completely stitch the Tito's label, but just as the job started (and it had a very quick turnaround) I became deathly ill. I was sicker than I had been in years - fever, chills, the works. I remember laying in my bed, surrounded by crumpled tissues, just stitching-stitching-stitching. I was able to complete the massive amount of satin stitch on the word Tito's, and began stitching the middle portion of the image when the deadline hit.

Fortunately, the Tito's folks were very nice and flexible and decided to work the "in progress" piece into the ad, complete with my needle still attached to the floss as it came from the fabric. I think it actually turned out even better this way! The ad ran in at least two issues of BUST last spring, and someone told me they've also seen it in a beer and wine magazine. If you happen to spot it in another magazine, let me know, and wave "hello" to the embroidery that reminds me of a time I was so sick, I wished I could just drown myself in .... vodka.

Finally: art! Austin's coolness never ceases to amaze me. We've lived here five years, and every single day I find new inspiring people and places. I feel very lucky to live here. Back in August, I had the opportunity to stitch for one of these inspiring people (and places!): Randy Franklin of Yard Dog Art Gallery on S. Congress. Randy was looking for someone to stitch his logo and a skull design on a cool, vintage-style western shirt. Jenny Hart referred him to me (thanks, Jenny!) and the stitching took off.

I was really pleased with how it turned out, and Randy seemed to be as well. One of the best parts about the project was getting to deliver the shirt to Randy at the Yard Dog gallery. This intimate gallery on Austin's well-know S. Congress strip is my kind of art gallery. From the Yard Dog web site:

The gallery's roots are in folk and outsider art from North America, especially the Deep South, but we show art by many contemporary artists who work in a folky, funky vernacular. The art we show is maximalist: colorful, edgy, representational.
Like I said ... my kinda art.

What's even better is that, starting November 6, there will be an embroidered art show at Yard Dog. Jenny Hart is curating the exhibit, called Over and Under, and it will run through December 6. You can follow more information about the exhibit here.

I'm incredibly grateful for these opportunities to stitch this last year, and will continue to thank my lucky stars for any future fun freelance embroidery jobs that involve some of my favorite things. Who knows, maybe NASA will come knocking next ....


  1. Yeah for Embroidery! Yeah for art and Yeah for vodka! Of course a big yeah for you!

  2. Those are great. I love the Vodka ad... I think you're right about the WIP being better!

  3. My mom bought the new Sublime Stitching book this weekend, and I immediately flipped to the back, figured out what projects you stitched (although, I actually could have guessed--for what that's worth), and pointed out each to my mom, saying, "My friend Rachel stitched that one!" She acted dutifully impressed and was equally excited.

  4. Oh my gosh, that ad is so cool! I'll take a look through my husband's foodie magazines to see if it shows up anywhere.

  5. Wow! You do amazing work, thanks for sharing with us. I work with ReadyMade magazine and one of their focuses is on sewing
    and creating beautiful pieces of art similar to what you have done. I thought you might be interested in checking them out.


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