Besedoveznice – my embroidery project

Motivated by surplus embroidery supplies and memories of my grandmother.

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, but I figured this might be a good time to show you my current creative outlet – mixed media art embroidery. I might have mentioned already that I inherited a ton of embroidery supplies from my grandmother and since we’ve had a lot of lockdown time recently, I figured it would be cool to get back to it and really learn. I hadn’t really done embroidery since I was a child, so I wanted to get back into it with some simple, quick projects.

I started exploring embroidered bookmark ideas for Christmas gifts and I made two for my cousin and a friend, but then I somehow got into the whole mixed media art thing after I saw something similar online. I ended up getting inspired by random words from a free printed Ljubljana magazine that the city sticks into our mailbox every month or so and, since I’m a sucker for details, this happened. I realised that embroidery is actually a super relaxing and productive thing to do while watching Netflix series and well, before I knew it, I had about 20 small square pieces of cloth with words and embroidery.

So, here we are. I’m calling them Besedoveznice, which is a mix between Slovenian words for embroidery and words, and since I don’t like things without a purpose, I figured they could be used as bookmarks, broaches or patches or framed art pieces. They are not perfect by far and it’s hard to get the edges straight with this type of fabric, but people seem to like them well enough. They are also great for learning new stitches and letting my imagination run wild, because they’re small enough that I can finish them within an hour or two and feel accomplished during the weekend. 🙂

I made an Instagram account for motivation and to serve as a low effort archive, so you’re welcome to check it out below. It will be in Slovene, but an image tells a 1000 words, right?

Before you ask, I actually stitch the selected printed words onto the fabric and then fix them with clear nail polish, which seems to work well enough for preserving the paper even when it gets wet. It also stops it from tearing and the ones I’ve tested as bookmarks so far seem to be reasonably durable. I’m also using a mix of water and simple adhesive (the one you’d use for paper mache) to make them more rigid and seal the fabric and thread edges, since fabric tends be too soft and flexible for bookmarks. It actually works great, it looks exactly the same as without it and makes the fabric just rigid enough that it doesn’t flap around and is functional as a bookmark. I’m also planning to test them out as broaches, so who knows, I might even open a webshop some day and make English versions.

For now this is just a relaxing side project, but do let me know if one tickles your fancy and you’d like to have it. How do you like them and are you a fan of embroidery?

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