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!

Namaste Embroidery
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Etsy

Meet the maker: Sonia Lyne from Dandelyne

I’ve had a few people over on Instagram asking me lately where I get my mini embroidery hoops from. The answer is always the same: the very wonderful Sonia from Dandelyne.

This blog is all about sharing the love of embroidery, so I’m keen to share some of the wonderful makers who are out there. Given how important Sonia’s products have been to my embroidery journey over the past year, she was a natural fit for the first maker profile.

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A lifelong stitcher, Sonia’s embroidery journey got serious five years ago.

When our third boy was born, and I was looking for something a little different to a family portrait photo I thought I could stitch us up – so to speak! It was here the flame for hand stitching was re-ignited and my passion for embroidery blossomed.
With three small children, Sonia found it hard to dedicate the time to large embroidery projects.
I realised when I took up my hoop and needle that the world of embroidery could be a little overwhelming, and with my short attention span creeping in at times I began to think how awesome it would be if there was a mini embroidery hoop. I wanted a “little” something that could frame my awesome stitchyness.
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Compared to most embroidery hoops, which usually start at a diameter of 10cm (4″), Dandelyne hoops range in size from 2.5cm (1″) to 5.5cm (.22″), plus similarly sized oval hoops. This gives stitchers the chance to show off much smaller pieces of embroidery.
A quick peek at the pieces Sonia reposts on her Instagram shows everything from delicate florals to impressionistic landscapes and quirky cross stitches framed inside her hoops. The mini hoops aren’t just popular with embroiderers either, with some people using them to simply frame snippets of their favourite fabrics.
The hoops are made entirely in Melbourne, starting off by being lasercut at Vector & Raster Laser services, before Sonia brings them home to sand them, drill the holes, and check the quality of each hoop. They are then packaged up for sale both as retail sales through the Dandelyne Etsy store, and as wholesale sales to retailers and makers.
Like so many small businesses, Dandelyne is more than just a 9 to 5 job. When the evenings roll around, Sonia can usually be found catching up on any jobs that didn’t get finished during the day, replying to emails and making sure orders are completed.
My hubby is usually right beside me helping me to cut floss, check necklace enclosures and any other job I can give his empty hands.
With such a successful business, it would be easy for Sonia to rest on her laurels. Instead, she’s always working to create new products. Recently, she added a fun sampler kit to her product line, and she says there are plans for more patterns.
I am working on a few things at the moment and one that I am super excited about is working with artists to create patterns and designs for everyone to enjoy, highlighting and sharing the talent of many illustrators and designers around the world.
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A big thank you to Sonia for being such a wonderful participant in this profile! I’m looking forward to sharing my next profile with you, and if there is anyone in particular you would like to see in this feature, let me know in the comments.
Dandelyne