Stitch Stories 1: Artist & Designer Megan Eckman
We had the pleasure of collaborating with artist Megan Eckman on three embroidery pieces for our Designer Collection. She breeds contagious joy, which is why we were thrilled when she agreed to contribute a Stitch Story to our series. Read below to find out how Megan first discovered the art of embroidery.
Megan Eckman's Stitch Story
When I was about eight or nine, my grandmother decided to teach me how to embroider. When I’d go to visit, she’d always be stitching up dogs and cats onto zip-up sweaters for all of her grandchildren. We thought they were the coolest things in the world. It was almost like wearing a superhero’s cape because no one else had something so unique at school. I wanted to learn how to make my own so I did my best to learn all my grandmother could teach me. I sort of flunked her lessons. We only made it through three stitches (running, backstitch, and split stitch) before I proved my ineptitude at embroidery. I’ve only ever heard my grandmother swear when she was untying my gazillionth knot in a row, so I think she also thought it a good idea to just let me stitch using the basics. We never even got to the French knot.
However, learning from her meant that I got to spend time alone with my grandmother. The other grandkids, besides my younger brother who learned with me, went off to play outside while the three of us picked out fun colors and ironed patterns onto pillowcases, sweaters, and tea towels. It also meant a way to pass the time at the lake cabin when it was pouring outside, which was often.
Wearing that special, finished sweater to school is what ultimately hooked me on embroidery. I had such a sense of pride wearing something I had made. Of course, when I got older, I realized it was about the dorkiest thing I could have worn, but I still have fond memories of all those sweaters.
So I haven’t personally sat down and taught anyone else how to embroider but through my embroidery kit business, each kit I send out potentially teaches a new stitcher. I’m all about enabling people. You feel at your most powerful when you are creating something, and nowadays, tactile crafts are disappearing. I feel there is so much to be gained from projects like embroidery. Not only do you brighten up a home or cheer up a friend, but you allow your mind time to relax.
Don’t be afraid to make rats’ nests on the back of your work. Only your grandmother will turn your finished piece over to look. (Or at least only mine does.)
See below to check out Megan's brilliant DIY kits from our Designer Collection.
Love and threads,
The DMC Team