This month’s interview is with Cristina Trinidad of Cristina Makes. I’ve known Cristina online for just less than a year now, and she is an absolute dynamo of a woman! She leads a very busy life, and makes time to create beautiful embroidery and weavings (which is something I want to try out).
Tell us about yourself
I’m Cristina of Cristina Makes. I make hand embroidered necklaces, and hangable hoop art. I recently added woven wall hangings to my shop this Fall, too. I can’t deny my bohemian side! You can find me in all the places:
When did you start doing embroidery?
I started doing embroidery in August 2015. I don’t know how I got there, but I ordered a kit online and just tried it.
Do you still have the first piece you created?
I sure do! Here’s my very first go at embroidery.
I’m always game to try anything once. Embroidery stuck to me like white on rice. I am totally self-taught, but being a perfectionisht (that’s spelled right), I carried that over into embroidery and it was super helpful. I go back and redo stitches to make sure they are as perfect as I can get them. Otherwise, I get up in the middle of the night and fret over them. Just ask my husband.
This is what she looks like now.
Do you have a favorite embroidery spot?
While I am very lucky to have a dedicated space with a wall full of supplies, my chair is where I do all of my embroidery. I like to be in the center of the house, close to my family when I stitch.
I lay the threads out on the arms, of behind my head and can stitch for hours listening to podcasts. It’s my very favorite place because my husband got me this chair. It’s totally not his style, but he wanted me to live out my stitchy dreams complete with an overstuffed armchair and a place for tea.
Show us your backside…of you hoop!
Have you always finished off your pieces this way?
I’ve not always finished my backsides this way. I’ve tried sewing it shut, letting the stitches show and even adding felt to the back. Neither of them felt right to me. I like this way of finishing them for a few reasons. I found that people like to see the back, but not to keep seeing the messy stitches. You know what I mean? Just like my home, I don’t mind if friends see it a bit of a mess, but at some point, you gotta clean that up!
I’ve been told that I need to add some sort of “show that this is your work” branding to my hoops, and I did for a bit. I would sew on these little patches to the backs of my hoops, but that took so much time and effort. I may try something else in the future, but for now, all you’ll see is a white muslin backside. Like I was never there at all.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the embroidery process?
I would definitely have to say the idea of it. I LOVE to deal with the inspiration behind the creation. For example, I recently added a new little collection of the night sky to my shop. My older son has taken such a huge interest in constellations and astronomy and has asked me to stargaze with him a few night a week using our telescope. Well, as you can imagine, I couldn’t help myself and began stitching constellations and zodiac signs.
What I like least about embroidery is when they sell! Can I say that? I have to wrap these moments of my time up in a cute little bag, covered with heart stickers and send them on. I’m supposed to love selling my pieces, and I do, for sure. But, when the hoops go, I get a little sad. I’m still not over this one leaving.
What are your top three favorite stitches?
French knots ALL DAY, I love them and taught myself to learn them while watching the news. True story. Everyone was asleep, and I was watching the news and wrapping my needle, over and over again.
Satin stitch, because it was my arch nemesis for a long time. I slayed that beast, I think. I never get too cocky though when I stitch satin stitch, because that’s when I lose my mojo!
Choosing the third one was hard. I would say the lazy daisy stitch. It’s got a bohemian feel to me, when I put a bunch of them together on a necklace. I’m all about that.
What is your favorite brand of floss, and how do you organize it?
DMC hands down. I can always get it no matter where I am, and there’s never a shortage. I’ve been known to use Sublime Stitching floss too, but I don’t live near a store where they’re sold, so I’m very selective when I use it.
Do you create your own patterns, and where do you find inspiration?
I create 95% of my own patterns. I get inspiration from color palettes, walks with my puppy and kids, the seasons, tattoos (yes, tattoos), and even weaving! For example, this unicorn hoop was inspired by this weaving.
The other 5% of my patterns are from Sublime Stitching. I’ve not purchased any other patterns from anywhere else.
What’s up next for you?
Homework. I’m not even kidding. I am finishing up my Master’s degree to teach high school English, so when I’m not stitching, I’m studying. As far as embroidery goes, I’m working on more constellations, necklaces, and adding embroidery to my woven wall hangings. I have to marry those two mediums off. I’m really looking forward to that, and to getting a B in Statistics this semester.
Thank you for sharing with us, Cristina! I’ve enjoyed watching your progression from embroidery to weaving, and I’m intrigued by adding embroidery to weaving!