Needle Arts magazine cover


I returned from our trip to Cuba (see posts here) to find my Birds on the cover of the March issue of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America’s Needle Arts Magazine! Of course, I knew about the article, but I was unaware that my piece would be on the cover, so it was a nice surprise. Thank you, Shirley Wozena, for describing my work so well in the article. Mary Corbet’s Needle N’Thread blog has a post about this issue and EGA in general.

It is gratifying to know that many of the magazine’s readers have been introduced to my work for the first time. The article shows photos of the process of making the Birds of Beebe Woods, which are some of the same pictures I’ve shared on this blog. I’ve heard from people who want to know if I have instructions or a kit to make their own. Embroidery and needlework has a strong tradition of copying and learning from patterns and directions, so it’s a natural assumption that I would share my techniques. I’m glad that embroiderers are inspired to learn more, but honestly, I can’t imagine revisiting this piece like that and writing out detailed directions.

Yes, I post photos of general steps along the way and have written how-to instructions for the dolls in Felt Wee Folk, but it only goes so far. For instance, in the past, some have expressed frustration that I haven’t shown detailed instruction on how to form hands and fingers. My answer is that I consider the more involved process of making my fabric reliefs a proprietary personal expression that I’m not sure I can explain effectively anyways. My work requires a non-analytical approach that I don’t want to tamper with. For me, recounting the process would be going back in time, instead of moving forward. And, I don’t want to ruin the magic, because that’s what keeps me excited about making the next piece!

This month has been an embarrassment of riches, in the magazine department. Because of postponements, it just happened that everything came out in March. In addition to Needle Arts, there was the Cape Cod magazine profile. The Horn Book Magazine has my essay, “The Common Thread” in their March/April illustration issue and Fiber Art Now has included my Birds piece in their On View feature.

16 thoughts on “Needle Arts magazine cover

  1. Congratulations on the magazine cover and other published articles. Well said re: personal expression, non-analytical approach and how “…recounting the process would be going back in time, instead of moving forward.”

    Again, congrats & best wishes,

  2. Congratulations! It could not have happen to a more talented needlework person! I just love looking at your work up close to imagine just how you do it all. You make it looks so easy because you have thousands of hours of practice too, don’t discount your hard earned experience of trail and error and experimentation. I hope your lovely art lives on forever :0)

    Happy Sewing

  3. What a wonderful thing…to be recognized for your work. I am inspired… I have been following your work for a bit now and am happy that I have to think “outside” the box to create.. It is what keeps things flowing and fresh… such wonderful whimsical talent.. just my cup of tea….

  4. Just a note on a typo that made me grin – you obviously meant proprietary when your computer, possibly sensing mixed feelings within you, typed propitiatory [appeasing, conciliating, conciliatory, disarming, mollifying, pacifying, peacemaking, placating, placatory] instead of your feeling of owning, or holding exclusive right to what you have created.
    Well, I’m hear to say you have every right to feel the proprietary part of your feelings, and have no need whatsoever to feel in the least bit propitiatory toward those who think they can’t discover for themselves what you have discovered for yourself by doing – you have always been so generous in sharing the work you do, as an inspiration to us all. What I learn from you is that it is possible, and slow work is the key – giving it the time to inspire new invention in you as you proceed. It is SO much easier to just sew on regardless of the pattern that inspired you to have a go, than to try to embroider anything step by step copying carefully (eyes going back and forth, back and forth, breaking the crescending flow of full engagement) from a pattern or instructions!

    I completely agree with Kim and Margaret above.
    Non-analytical equals “in-the-zone” and one has to be there to get there…

  5. Wow that’s quite impressive! Salley you are receiving the praise and spotlight that you deserve after many years of working-growing-experimenting as an Artist! It’s not unusual to save some of your special techniques. I think you share a lot in your blog and in Wee Felt Folk book(s).

  6. Congratulations! I agree that you should keep some secrets for yourself. I’d hate to see the Beebe Woods piece copied anyway. I’m so happy to hear of this recent recognition!

  7. Many kudos to you and your well deserved recognition…in several journals and publications. I imagine that makes your hard work even sweeter, although I know you don’t do it for the accolades. We are all so happy for you, and love your work even more since it is getting lots of attention, as it truly should. I know your fans have been “talking about you” for years! Peace and blessings, until we DO meet at some point!

  8. I’m sorry to say I had never seen your work before, but then I am a relative “newbie” to the arts and crafts scene as an adult; however, as a young person, I was quite involved in embroidery, sewing, one quilt with my mother, black ink and pencil sketching, and so forth. Last week my husband brought home a May/June issue of Stitch-it…today magazine for me, and I was delighted to see photographs and a write-up of your works! Today I looked up your website and was again thrilled with more photos and links regarding your various works of art. You have won another appreciative admirer of your lovely works of art. Thank you so much! I look forward to investigating more of your web links, unveiling more of your talents and inspirations, and even creating some of your Wee Folk designs through your publications. What a delight!

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