My Story

I’m Amy Byrne. By day I’m a Librarian and library branch manager, and every other waking moment I’m the creative force behind Random Acts of Amy. I’m a reluctant south Chicago suburb dweller. Although I miss my hometown Rockford, IL every day, I dream of living someplace warm year round.

I am a hand embroidery artist who embroiders images and text that range from the whimsical, to the unexpected, to the evocative, on a range of playful and vintage-inspired fabrics. The tactile nature of embroidery endlessly fascinates me. I love the texture and feel of fabrics and different stitches, and combine them in ways not only to better render an image, but also to entice the viewer to want to touch the surfaces, as well. Hand embroidering allows me the time to create and relax; there’s nothing so soothing as pulling floss through fabric.

I’ve recently been invited by DMC to be a part of their designer group, and I have made projects for Clearsnap, of which you can find the most recent here.

My work has been featured on Mr. X Stitch, &Stitches (twice), The Lockport Legend, and CraftGossip. I have contributed information to Mollie Makes UK. I have been a part of several art shows in Rockford, Illinois.

In addition to the Random Acts of Amy website, I also run The Byrne List, a lifestyle blog by a book lover and lifelong learner, and I’m a writer for Feeling Stitchy.

Way back in the distant past (2009), my then boyfriend (now husband), Todd and I started to get crafty together…

Well, back up just a minute, because I, have always been a crafter. In my younger days, you could find me slaving over my Sew Perfect sewing machine (which I got for my 5th Christmas), looping bits of discarded nylon onto a loom for potholders, gluing Flintstone’s erasers to construction paper to create elaborate scenes, or taking a stab at hand embroidery.

I progressed to counted cross stitch and stenciling, making my home of the 1990s a truly country-crafted beauty…Unless you want to start hearing about my rag dolls and the country pineapples I used to stencil as borders, let’s speed back up to 2009!

So, I re-taught myself hand embroidery (My earlier attempts when I was 11 years old can be called primitive, at best!). Todd quickly expressed interest in it when he saw all of the cool things I was making, and how masses of people wanted to be my friend because of it.

Enter, the Craft Assassins. That was the name we crafted under. We had a website (which has since been taken over by some medical company), and we posted about the things we were making. We had one craft night at our apartment in Rockford, IL (where one person came – thanks Brian!).

I should point out that I didn’t really like the name Craft Assassins. I thought it sounded a little too harsh. But given the only other thing I could come up with was, “The Craftin’ Couple”, I made a compromise.

In May 2011 I wanted to break out on my own. (Plus I had let the domain name on Craft Assassins lapse, so that was gone.) I really like the Random Acts of Kindness movement, and I didn’t want to be tied down to one “thing” that I did, so Random Acts of Amy (and Random Acts of Crafting – but that’s a different story), was born!

I started out with a blog and Facebook page and I was going strong for a while. Then life as a busy library branch manager, a wedding to plan, moving and buying a house happened, and my online professional presence took a back burner.

Until NOW (now…now…).

I’m full of all kinds of passion, and I’m ready to get this party started! I’m passionate about giving back to the embroidery world that has given so much to me. Please feel free to comment or email if you ever have a question. Say hello, and keep in touch with me online. These days, Instagram is my favorite place to be, and I hope to see you there!