Recently, I put out a call to the Embroidery Journaling community asking for those that would be interested in being interviewed to step forward. Not only did I want to see your embroidery journals and learn more about their creation, but I also wanted to learn more about the artists themselves and what tips & tricks they had picked up along the way. One of the first artists to reach out was Stephanie Tomsett.
Throughout her interview, Steff has shared a variety of insightful embroidery tips while giving a look into what it was like for her to create her very own stitch a day project. You can truly tell how much Steff cares about her craft by looking at each unique and individual icon on her embroidery journal.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a peer review publishing specialist for a scientific publisher. I love to spend as much of my free time as possible doing one of many different craft projects. In particular, I love embroidery, cross stitch, and crochet. I’ve currently got about 20 different projects on the go! I love to learn new things too, I’ve just started trying needle felting and a punch needle kit. I think I picked up my love of crafts from my mum, we often do similar things and share tips with each other! I also love spending time with my husband, our two ginger cats, and our gecko.
What is your favourite icon on your embroidery journal?
Oooh, that’s a tricky one! It’s between two! One of my favourites is a butterfly, which I made after I visited a butterfly farm for my birthday with my husband and my parents. It was such a fun day and I love how the butterfly turned out! The other is a wave, which I made because we went on holiday to Fuerteventura and there were some really huge waves!
How do you track your days?
I’ve got a note app on my phone, where I write the date and a little summary of the day/activity I want to represent. I also add an emoji that best represents what I want to embroider.
How did you learn how to embroider?
Mostly just trial and error! Looked at a few tips and videos online and went for it. If I’m trying something new, I tend to use a scrap bit of fabric to try it out first.
Do you repeat icons?
Not really, I’m trying to make all of my icons unique. Some of them are similar, and each time I finish stitching the previous month, I do stitch a little V shaped segment in that month’s colour. As we’re getting towards the end of the year, it is getting difficult to think of new icons!
What made you decide to go with your current embroidery journal layout?
I think things to be in order and in their place, so I decided to make the circle and segments at the start. That way I can easily see what I did in each month.
What types of icon do you like to embroider on a monotonous or boring day?
Usually I got for something to do with my mood, what I’ve eaten, what I’ve watched on TV, or the weather.
How have you managed to stay motivated throughout the year?
Seeing everyone else’s embroidery journals on Facebook is a great motivator! I love seeing how they all progress and I feel like we’re all in a little group doing this together! I also love showing my friends and family how it’s going!
What tips do you have for someone wanting to start an embroidery journal?
I’d say to have a little nosey at what other people have done and figure out how you want yours to look. Pick out the features that you like, make a plan, and go for it!
What do you plan on doing with your embroidery journal once you complete it?
I’m hoping that my husband or dad will make me a rotating circular frame. That will allow me to put it on a wall and spin it around so I can see all the icons the right way up.
Do you plan on creating another embroidery journal in 2024?
Yes! I might try something a bit different though. I might try a different shape, or different colours, or I might track things differently. I’ve been using one icon per day, but I’ve been debating using one icon for anything interesting or exciting happens. It may mean that some days I don’t record anything and on others I might record multiple things. But I’m still thinking about it!
You can find Steff in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook Group, frequently sharing photos of her amazing embroidery journal.
If you’re interested in being interviewed for my A Stitch A Day series, my slots are currently filled. You can sign up for my newsletter to be notified when I am looking for more artists to speak about their Embroidery Journals and similar projects. If you are interested in creating your own embroidery journal, I have a variety of digital and kit resources available in my Etsy shop.