With such a creative bunch of team members in the office we love to regularly try out new crafting activities and skills as part of the Talking Tables Craft Club. Last week we were joined by Lou Lou Elliott, who took the group through creating their own bright and beautiful embroidery hoops - which we found both enjoyable and fiddly. The end result was a lovely array of hoop designs and a whole new skillset.
How did you get into embroidery hoops?
Lou: I got into punch needle embroidery over the second covid lockdown, as I was on furlough from my job and had a lot of spare time on my hands. I'd been wanting to have a go at embroidery for a while, since my work is usually paintings - all very flat without much texture. This seemed a simple and relaxing embroidery to start off with.
What would be your top three tips for beginners?
Lou: I would say that you need to make sure your fabric type is matching your thread width since there are fabrics like monk cloth which work with thicker threads, and linen for smaller threads - which can be hard to work out in the beginning. You also want to punch close to the fabric and it helps to punch at the same height every time so that your loops are regular and there's little slack. Lastly, hoops are way easier to work with for beginners but also just in general since you can pull the fabric taut really easily.
Are there any secrets to your beautiful colour palette?
Lou: I use the same colour palette for pretty much all of my work - my paintings and drawings - which is very inspired by nature, of greens blues and purples. I spend a lot of time in and observing the outside world, so that does link in, but a lot of it was just playing with what looked good in the beginning, and using intuition.
What inspires your embroidery designs?
Lou: Again, I'd have to say silently observing spaces and people; I especially love landscapes and greenery as places of natural tranquility. Both with my paintings and embroidery I'm always influenced by that, particularly since I live in a city where it's hard to find space to breathe in such busy-ness. Generally speaking, I'm wanting to recreate that feeling of shared solitude and attentive introspection.
Make sure to check out Lou Lou's Instagram here, and let us know what you think we should try next.