Backside of the Hoop with Chelsea Besse


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Welcome back to another great Backside of the Hoop interview! This month I’m pleased to introduce to you Chelsea of Thread the Wick. She creates gorgeous embroidery! Her pieces are richly embroidered with pretty colors and various stitch techniques. As with pretty much every needle artist out there, I “met” Chelsea on Instagram. I love seeing what new designs she’s creating, and her pictures are so beautifully staged and lit. Read the interview to learn about Chelsea’s embroidery story and process!

Tell Us about Yourself
I’m Chelsea and am in love with too many things to count! I’m a sensitive artsy soul always looking for a reason to smile.  My embroidery adventure has given me so many reasons and more. You can check me out here:

me logo

When did you start making embroidery?
I started stitching when I was just a kid. My grandma would hand me a piece of thick plastic used for cross stitching and would tell me to have fun. And I did! I was always rummaging through her fabric, buttons, and begging to use her fancy sewing machine.

As I got older I started focusing more on my photography and graduated with my BFA in photography and art therapy. In 2014 I picked up a needle and thread again and immediately was hooked once again!

Do you still have the first piece you created?
Yes I still have the first piece I created! I purchased my first pattern from Purple Hippo Stitches. The piece has misplaced stitches all over it, but I framed it and am very proud of it.


Why do you like embroidery in particular?
Embroidery almost detaches me from reality.  I get so involved in what I am doing it’s like i’m lost in a sea of colorful thread.  It’s like getting lost in a good book or a romantic movie.

Do you have a favorite embroidery spot?
My favorite place to embroider….is my living room. I wish I had a fantastic secret spot out in the wilderness surrounded by deer and flowers….but I don’t. My favorite thing is to brew a cup of coffee and stitch with the sunlight streaming in through the windows.


Show us your backside…of your hoop!


Have you always finished your hoops this way? What are the advantages?
I haven’t always finished my hoop butts this way.  I used to just trim the backs. Then I started adding the card backers. Now I trim, secure and glue, and add the card backers.

The advantages of finishing the backs this way is that it is securing the fabric for a lifelong piece of art. The fabric will not come loose and sag.

What’s your favorite part of the embroidery process? Least favorite?
My favorite part of embroidery….I thought about this question for a long time. What IS my favorite part? How can I choose just one thing?!  I decided to go with it’s versatility. And by that I mean you can do just about anything with a needle and thread. You can stitch on anything you can get your needle and floss through. You can stitch any word length, any color, anything your imagination can dream up.

What do I like the least about this process? Winding my floss piles onto their bobbins!

What are your top three favorite stitches?
My top 3 favorite stitches would be woven wheel, chain and satin stitch.



What’s your favorite brand of floss?
My go to brand of floss is DMC all the way. It is sturdy, colorfast, and perfect for my pieces.


Do you create your own patterns? Where do you find inspiration?
I create all of my own patterns. Sometime they are created from sketches I do with pencil and paper, and sometimes they are digitally put together on the computer. I find inspiration everyday from just normal activities! For instance my coffee cup hoops were simply inspired by my love of coffee and flowers.

What’s up next for you?
Up next for me is tweaking some old designs and adding elements such as stained/painted hoops and exploring new color palettes.

Thank you so much for sharing your embroidery story, process, and backside with us, Chelsea! Next month I interview Inna of The Faithful Thread – stay tuned!

July 2016 Hasty Stitch Embroidery Challenge


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July 2016 Hasty Stitch

Hasty Stitch is a monthly embroidery challenge for stitchers of all abilities. The only rule for Hasty Stitch is that you have fun! The descriptive words in the challenge can mean whatever you want them to mean. For example, if one of the challenge prompts is “orange”, you could embroider the word orange, embroider a picture of an orange, embroider ON an orange – the only limit is your own imagination.

When you post your works on social media (Instagram is the best since it’s specifically for photo sharing), make sure you tag it with #hastystitch. By tagging your photos, you’ll be able to connect with people all over the world who join in this fun, monthly embroidery challenge! I may even use your photos on my website or social media outlets.

Use the comments section to let me know what stitches you’d like to learn; I’ll use those in future months’ challenges.

The Hasty Stitch Embroidery Challenge Is Back!



Hello my stitchy friends! Do you remember back when I posted the Hasty Stitch Embroidery Challenge each month? Yes? No? Well – it’s coming back! This is a monthly embroidery challenge that was originally conceived by Kristin of Hey Paul Studios. There came a point in time when she had so much going on, and asked for a volunteer to take the challenge over. I did for many months, but there wasn’t much interest from other people to join in.

I am honored to be an embroidery mentor through Hey Paul’s Embroidery Mentorship program to Anne, who is an accomplished needle artist who would like to expand her embroidery skills by learning new stitches and how to incorporate them into her work. I thought that by bringing back this monthly embroidery challenge, it would be a great way for her, as well as other mentees, to do just that.

Each Hasty Stitch Embroidery Challenge includes an embroidery stitch, color, and theme. You can interpret the color and theme in any way you’d like – get creative! Don’t forget to tag your photos on Instagram with #hastystitch

Hasty Stitch will start back up tomorrow, July 1st. You can find the prompts in a new post here, and over on Instagram @randomactsofamy. Comment or use the contact form below to suggest stitches you’d like to learn. You can also check Instagram here for examples from past challenges.