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How one Stitcher Makes Embroidery Stitching Magic

14 February, 2016

We're highlighting one of our incredibly talented DMC Artisans, Sarah. K. Benning. You may remember Sarah from when she collaborated with us on a collection of hand stitched embroidered cards. We loved how our partners in DMC Spain interviewed Sarah. We took some highlights from the article and published it in English.
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Sarah Benning is an American stitcher who recently moved to Menorca, Spain. Sarah specializes in beautiful embroidered plants. Why the obsession with Embroidered plants you may ask?

In Sarah's words:

Before moving to Menorca , I lived in Upstate New York , about 2 hours north of New York City. During the winter from early October to April it is very cold temperatures and very short days. Needless to say it is a very difficult place to have plants . My embroidery became my imaginary garden dream partner. Now in Menorca , climate and landscape are completely different and there are palm trees and cactus all over the place, but this has only increased my obsession with plants!

How She Got Started

Sarah started to embroider in the summer of 2013 after graduating in Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At the time, she was embroidering postcards as a hobby, first gifting them to friends and family and later selling them online at Etsy.

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How did you learn how to Embroider?

Most of what Sarah has learned has been self taught. From her Fine Arts background she was taught to draw and design by observing and learning through her eyes. Her studies were focused fiber materials where she experimented with large canvases and works on paper.After finishing university Sarah was interested more specifically embroidery and began to teach herself embroidery stitchers and began experimenting with yarns and fabrics. Her knowledge of embroidery improved through trial and error and a lot of patience. Sarah’s approach to embroidery is from an illustration perspective where she focuses more on the drawing and composition and then uses the thread to fill.

Sarah's Creative Process

Drawing is a very important part of the process . I have my sketchbooks with drawings of different plants to practice forms of leaves or vegetation patterns . Then use the outlines of individual plants to create more complex compositions embroidery . I normally do embroidery sketches on paper in small format and then pleasure these drawings directly on the canvas . I am flexible and sometimes change some designs during drawing on canvas and sometimes modify something while I'm embroidering


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What’s your thread of choice?

I love DMC Embroidery Floss. I typically separate the strands to achieve different thicknesses and textures for each embroidery.

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Grass is Greener Embroidery Floss Assortment

Grass is Greener Embroidery Floss Assortment

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We love Sarah's work. For the full interview from DMC Spain visit here.

The Commonthread Team