This week's Crafty Lady is Mollie Johanson of Wild Olive. Mollie has a lovely blog where she shares lots of cute free printables and tutorials, and a shop where you'll find adorable embroidery patterns.
If you've bought some of the crafty books I've contributed to (like Heart-Felt Holidays and Mollie Makes: Woodland Friends and Felt-o-ween) you may recognise Mollie's work. My projects and hers have rubbed shoulders in quite a few books over the years! :)
Hi Laura's friends!
I'm Mollie and online I'm often known as Wild Olive. I live near Chicago in a house full of crazy awesome, where I work from home, and where my parents and younger siblings also live and spend most of their time. When people ask me what I do, I go into this awkward list of jobs and roles. It goes something like this:
"Well, I do some freelance graphic design, and I have a blog and a shop that I design embroidery patterns for. Oh, and I write craft tutorials for books, and I have a book coming out soon, and um..."
And that pretty much sums me up. I'm a little all over the place, but I'm okay with that. Ultimately, I draw, I stitch, I write, and I make.
Recently I’ve been making…
...a lot more quilty things than I usually do. My 50 States Stitching Club is a year-long quilting and embroidery project, and as far as single projects go, it's definitely the biggest, longest thing I've worked on. I've also been making a quilt for my parents' anniversary, and getting some other smaller quilt projects going. Much to my surprise, the process of quilting the layers together on a sewing machine is very relaxing to me. Plus, I think it's been a good complement to my embroidery.
I’ve been working on…
...finalizing my book, Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small. It's set to be released in January, so we're currently proofing and getting everything just right. This has been in the works for just over two years now, so reaching this point makes it especially exciting and satisfying.
I’ve been blogging about…
...fruit! And belugas! And new stitches! I love a good theme, and adding them into my blog posts helps me organize my thoughts and I think it gives my readers an idea of what to expect. For example, in July, I did a series of posts on how to make fruit placemats. Now for August, I'm making some fun beluga whale projects, starting with my free embroidery pattern. To go with that, I'm introducing folks to a stitch I don't use very often: coral stitch. It's fun for under the sea sorts of things!
I’ve been reading…
...a large mix of blog posts, thanks to Pinterest. I like that, but I also kinda don't. My blog reading list goes unread as I skim. In books, I've been poring over Vintage Quilt Revival, Little Quilts, and Stitch Along (I have a few projects in here, and seeing everyone else's work is so inspiring). In non-crafty and non-light reading, I've just started Bonhoeffer. Good stuff so far!
While I stitch, I’ve been watching / listening to…
...all the Netflix and lots of TV on DVD. I enjoy lots of genres and shows, and often I'm stitching while my sister and I watch together. Shows with some crime or mystery are a favorite, and we just finished The Glades (spoiler: the last episode is a terrible ending), and are waiting for the next season of Person of Interest. I also like some good British television, and I'm nearly done with The Paradise. When I'm working at my computer and drawing embroidery patterns, I listen to Andrew Bird, The Welcome Wagon, and my favorite, Sufjan Stevens.
Mollie’s 3 Top Tips for Embroidery
1. Start simply. Learn 2-3 stitches and you're on your way!
2. Practice spacing. Well spaced, even stitches will make your work shine!
3. Get creative. Using different materials for your embroidery (think yarn, ribbon, etc.) can do fun things for your stitching!
Click here to visit Mollie's blog. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.
Want to read more posts in the Crafty Ladies series? Click here!
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