Have you ever wondered what the backside of an embroidery artist’s hoop looks like? Or what their behind the scenes process looks like? Me, too! As an embroidery artist, I’m intrigued by how other artists finish their hoops, what their creative process is, and what their behind the scenes space looks like. I decided to put together this monthly feature to showcase the different embroidery, cross stitch, and other needle artists out there so we could all learn more about the backsides of their hoops!
Today I’m so excited to introduce to you Kristen Shuler of Hey Paul Studios! Kristen was one of the first embroiderers I started to follow on Instagram, and I’ve been so inspired by her work and embroidery-related activities. Through the magic of the Internet, she has helped me to stretch my embroidery skills. I cannot wait for the day that we get to meet in person. I just may show up for an Eat, Drink, Stitch event! (We live about 500 miles apart) Read below for my interview with Kristen.
Tell us about yourself and your shop
I’m Kristen, owner and sole operator at Hey Paul Studios. I started my small business 4 years ago and have been running full steam ahead for the past two years. I specialize in making handmade embroidered art and jewelry. I have been experimenting with several new techniques in the past year and I am currently focused on stumpwork and other three dimensional stitches.
I also host the monthly Hey Paul Stitching Hour, an embroidery focused happy hour that gets the stitchers out of their studios and into local bars and restaurants for a night of socializing and stitching.
By day, I am a Medical Social Worker at a charitable health clinic. I work with women and children who are HIV+. Together we identify ways to overcome their barriers to medical care. Being a somewhat stressful career, I use embroidery as a way to debrief at the end of the work day.
When did you start doing embroidery? Was there anyone who taught you, or are you self-taught?
I am a self-taught stitcher. Although I had dabbled in it a bit with appliques over the years, I really sat down and started studying the art about four years ago. I became addicted pretty quickly.
Where is your favorite place to embroider? Tell us about it. Why is this your favorite place?
I love stitching in my studio with my pup in my lap. Actually I would prefer that he was not in my lap the whole time but that doesn’t seem to be an option.
Show us your backside…of you hoop! Have you always finished off your pieces this way?
This is the backside of a turkey work piece that I am working on. I think it is unique because of the variegated thread. I normally finish my hoop art pieces off this way. If I am making a washable item, I finish it with an additional knot.
What is your favorite part of the embroidery process? Your least favorite part?
I love the final stitch. I always announce the final stitch out loud, even if nobody (but the pup) is listening. I dislike the mounting of the fabric for non-hoop framing. It’s such a long process.
What are your top three favorite stitches?
Woven Picot, Satin Stitch, Turkey Work
What is your favorite brand of floss? How do you organize your floss?
DMC. It is in a gigantic ball of craziness most of the time. Other times I get fancy and wrap it on clothes pins or file it away in my thread cabinet.
Do you create your own patterns, or purchase patterns from other artists? If you purchase patterns, what are your favorite places to get them?
I create my own patterns.
What’s up next for you? Are you excited about a particular piece you’re creating? Will you be in an upcoming market or craft show?
I am excited to start offering more stitching classes in the next year. I have recently began preparing for three local holiday markets. I am still in the early stages of planning and need to get into gear!
Stay tuned for for more interviews to come. In November I interview Shawne Bennett of embroiderwee!
Are you interested in being interviewed for a future issue of Backside of the Hoop? Fill out the contact form below. I look forward to hearing from you!