Life With Embroidery

“Katie Tume is an embroidery artist from Brighton, East Sussex. She’s a fifth-generation needleworker who first learned her craft at her mother’s knee. Katie attended the Surrey Institute of Art and Design as a Fashion and Illustration student, but is largely self-taught in hand embroidery techniques. She completed her first formal training in 2015 at The Royal School of Needlework in Coloured Metal Threadwork.” 

How did you get into textiles? 

It’s hard to answer this with a definitive time, because I grew up with my mum doing a lot of needlework and cross stitch, and I remember being a little girl designing my own cross stitch designs from her Jo Verso books. As I got older I lost interest in it, but it was 2008 that I started to feel drawn back to it. My first piece of original design was an anatomical skull cross stitch that I drew by hand onto grid paper! 
What kind of textiles do you specialise in?
Hand embroidery. I am pretty much self taught and do a lot of raised work, stumpwork and padded stuff. I’ve been introducing more gold and metal thread work and embellishment into my pieces recently.
How often do you sew?
I have a part time job working four days a week and when I’m not there I’m embroidering. I work part time at a vegetarian whole foods co-operative in Brighton. If
I didn’t have a day job I’d probably never leave the house.
What do you think are the personal benefits to hand sewing?
Not sure how to answer this as I can’t imagine my life without embroidery. I can’t not do it. I love everything about it. Well, perhaps with the exception of finishing and mounting work. I hate that.
What kind of fabrics do you work on?
I started out using old cotton pillowcases and antique doilies when I was just doing surface embroidery and miniatures. At the moment I am loving heavy cotton drill as it is so sturdy and can handle the weight of the heavy embellishments. I am working on it without any fear of tension problems.
Where do you buy your materials and beads etc?
I have several faves. I love the space dyed variegated threads, cottons and velvets from 21st Century Yarns. For goldwork stuff I use Sarah Homfrey or Laurelin. For beads and sequins I use eBay a lot! I am also very lucky because my Instagram followers are awesome and donated loads of unwanted bits and pieces to me, which has been fantastic. I also own every single DMC stranded cotton shade.
What do you love about textiles?
I just love all the colours, textures, variety, diversity. I couldn’t live without it.
You can see more of Katie’s work here and follow her on Instagram here

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