It all starts with collecting and cutting each newspaper by hand.
No matter what kind of design I’m working on, it always starts here. I first back the newspaper with a 100% cotton interface to give the delicate paper more structure. Then, I cut it into a crazy quilt pattern. Who doesn’t love a little personality? Last but not least, I sew this base together using my sewing machine before moving into the design phase.
Collecting newspapers from all over the world has been my passion for the past 10 years. During my travels, I would make it a habit to save the local newspaper – the different languages, typography, and memories that they held excited the designer in me. Two years ago, I rekindled my love of newspapers and began experimenting with the ones I collected. After lots of trial and error, I succeeded in finding the perfect mix of embroidery and newspaper that totally work in harmony.
I compose and design each phrase or pattern.
Most of my designs begin in Illustrator, where I create the phrase and pattern for each piece. Once I’ve decided on a design, I print it onto the back of the quilted newspaper base, which I then use as a guide for my stitches in the embroidery phase.
My background is in graphic design, and I’ve been working as a designer since 2003. Typography has always been a strong element in my layouts, which is why I integrate that into my handmade business. I love the mix of fonts – the juxtaposition of the modern handwritten type with the classic non-serif font just makes me happy!
Next, my sewing machine and hands work to make the magic happen.
After the newspaper is quilted together and the design is printed on the back, it’s time to start stitching – my favorite part, but also the most time consuming part. I use two different techniques here: free-motion machine embroidery and hand embroidery.
Free-Motion Machine embroidery is what I use for most of the designs involving quotes. This is done by hiding the “feed dogs” of the sewing machine, which means I have full control of the “fabric”, stitch direction, and rhythm between stitches and motion. It’s kind like drawing with stitch, but your pencil is the needle of the sewing machine. Hand embroidery doesn’t involve any machinery, just me, myself, and the piece I’m working on. This technique works better for more abstract compositions, but I like to switch between the two to make the process more dynamic.
Last but not least, I put on the finishing touches for you to enjoy.
My work here is almost done! I like to make sure each design I create is in a finished state for you to enjoy. That means I’ll either:
• Embroider the art by stitching the final quote onto a blank card stock, matching with a color-coordinated envelope and protective plastic sleeve.
• Hand bind journals by using a book-making technique called “case binding”. The covers are finalized stitched newspaper that I use to mount on a chipboard.
• Prepare wall art for hanging by stretching the final stitched newspaper into two different sized canvases to protect the back. I’ll also support this with recycled brown paper, as well as a D-ring for easy hanging in your home.