Genevieve Brading of Floss & Mischief Shares Her Stitch Story
Visit Genevieve Brading’s online shop, Floss & Mischief and you’ll see the tagline, ‘trendy needlework,’ and we’d have to agree. There is a sense of what’s current on Brading’s site. From her book, I Got 99 Problems But A Stitch Ain’t One, to her Craftoos—temporary needlework-inspired tattoos—she has beautifully ushered the craft of needlework into the 21st century.
Genevieve thoughtfully shares her Stitch Story below. And after you read it, be sure to check out the included free pattern, which was, of course, designed by Genevieve!
DIY kits taught me how to cross-stitch from an early age, and I learnt basic surface embroidery from old needlework books and Google searches—that was enough for me to enjoy stitching with in my spare time. Then in March 2012, just as I was getting my own cross-stitch company Floss & Mischief off the ground, I volunteered to help embroider a large commission led by Jessica Aldred (link: http://www.bespokeneedlework.com/), a Royal School of Needlework alumni and kickass embroiderer. Being able to sit and embroider alongside such an experienced professional for days on end was a complete privilege. I soaked up every little hint, tip and trick she shared; I picked up the best embroidery habits from a world-class pro, and I found a new respect for the craft.
I’d always considered embroidery and cross-stitch a hobby, because that’s how I’d mostly experienced it all my life. Working on that commission made me see embroidery as a professional technical skill for the first time. The experience opened my eyes to embroidery’s versatility and potential for self-expression, beyond what any kit, book, or online tutorial had taught me. It was revelatory!
I fell in love with embroidery as a slow therapeutic craft. For instance, during those many hours huddled over the same slate frame, Jessica and I would gently chat, sharing stories and divulging intimate details of our lives. It was a powerful bonding experience.
Since then I’ve also come to admire how needlework can be anything you want it to be—a profession, a hobby, an art form, an escape, a challenge, a work in progress, a mess, sheer neatness… We all stitch differently and for different reasons, and they’re all valid.
I now get to pass on my (constantly evolving) knowledge through Floss & Mischief. The how-to instructions in our cross-stitch kits are designed for newbies, and are peppered with tips to satisfy intermediate stitchers too. These tips come into their own when teaching a class. Being able to demonstrate these skills in person, and see someone experience that lightbulb moment when troubleshooting a technique on the fly, is especially rewarding.
Needlework is an amazing craft. It lets you unplug and escape the stresses of everyday life—something many us would benefit from. But sometimes its outdated reputation stops people from even trying it, which is a travesty. Inspiring others to pick up a needle and thread not only keeps the craft alive, it makes needlework relevant to a whole new set of people and lets them benefit from its therapeutic qualities. I wish more people experienced needlework like I do.
Thanks to Genevieve Brading for sharing! Now check out her free pattern here!
Love & Threads,
The DMC Team