Meet the maker: Jessica Long from Namaste Embroidery

Jessica Long

I first met scientist-turned-embroiderer Jessica, the stitcher behind Namaste Embroidery, when we took part in a loop giveaway on Instagram together. Her work is in high demand, and with hoops featuring beautiful, vibrant florals and gorgeous wildlife, it’s not hard to see why.

Hippo by Namaste Embroidery

What is hard to believe is that Jessica only picked up a needle last year. In 2015, she and her family moved back to the Pacific Northwest after a decade in California, and with all her painting supplies in storage, she had to turn somewhere else for a creative outlet.

My hands and heart were itching to make something.  A friend posted her embroidery project on Instagram and it looked like a good fit! I loved that it was portable and that it was pretty cheap to get started.  Also it’s much less of a mess if my kid gets into my embroidery supplies than my painting supplies!

Since then, Jessica’s embroidery style has evolved from simple yoga-inspired motifs to rich, textural designs.

I had been fighting a bias against satin stitch (“satin stitch is for machines!”) and thread painting as they are quite time consuming.  But lucky for me I have amazing clients who have requested embroidery projects that have pushed my limits and opened my mind up to what I can do.  That’s why I love custom work! I’ve gotten the most amazing inspiration from my customers.

Namaste Embroidery

Today, Jessica fits her embroidery in around looking after her 2-year-old (as mother to a todder myself, I am totally in awe that she is able to produce the work she does!).

My continued sanity depends on my own self care.  For me that means finding time for embroidery and my yoga practice.  I try to utilise his naps and early bedtime for stitching but some days I am totally beat and despite having embroideries in my queue I need to take a nap, too! I wish I could stitch more but my number one job right now is Mom.

Despite her busy schedule, she has found time to release her first two patterns: a gorgeous floral wreath, and another floral pattern with some fun (although a little NSFW) text. Jessica says she was nervous releasing her first patterns, but she’s been heartened by the positive feedback.

I’m self taught and some days I feel like I have no idea what I am doing.  I know what works for me but am not sure if it is the “correct” way or if I even have the right to teach others. It helps to remember that through my patterns I am simply sharing my design and my experience.

Floral Wreath pattern by Namaste Embroidery

With an attitude like this, it’s easy to see why Jessica’s stitching seems to strike a chord with so many people. For now, she is focusing on surviving the festive season, but in the new year she hopes to dedicate a little more time to stitching for herself.

I hope to get back to some personal work once custom requests quiet down. I was stitching a series of female portraits with elements from nature but have had to temporarily retire them.  I am also interested in attending some local craft fairs next year!

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