Thoughtful stitches for the creative soul – the Cozyblue Interview
Today, I want to share the work of Liz alias Cozyblue with you. Her work has inspired me ever since I started my embroidery journey which makes it a pleasure to have her here. If you love a mix of quirky, cute, and folk you’ll love these hand embroidery patterns! Enjoy the Cozyblue interview:
Hi, Liz, I’m glad to have you here! Could you give us a short introduction so my readers know who you are?
Sure! I’m Liz, and my business is called cozyblue. I live in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina with my husband, who is a musician, and our two children, who are 9 and 13.
I design embroidery patterns that are based on my illustrations. I sell kits and patterns of my designs, both retail and wholesale. Two years ago I launched my monthly pattern club, cozyblue stitch club. Each month I send a pre-printed fabric pattern and floss to my club members, and we all stitch it together and share progress on Instagram. It’s a really fun way to connect and create together.
How did you find your way to embroidery? When did it become a passion of yours?
Well, I’ve always been a creative thinker and I’ve always loved to make things with my hands. I dabbled in embroidery probably 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until about 6 or 7 years ago that I started diving deep into embroidery and designing patterns. I really like seeing my drawings take shape, going from a simple sketch to an embroidered design full of texture and color.
The slow and repetitive art of embroidery is really calming and meditative for me. Taking time to sit and quietly stitch is a great way to shift focus from a hectic and busy pace to a slow and thoughtful one.
Your newest embroidery pattern DEEP IN THE HEART comes with a special purpose. Can you tell me more about this?
Yes, I would love to! This design is a collaboration between me and my friend Robin Plemmons and its a fundraising effort for the Houston food bank. After Hurricane Harvey hit my home state of Texas a couple of months ago I knew I wanted to do something to help people of Houston while they recover and rebuild after their devastating loss. Robin has a really fun and unmistakable style of writing and drawing and I’ve been wanting to collaborate with her for a while. So she designed the image and I turned it into an embroidery pattern, which is for sale as a PDF digital download. 100% of the proceeds from these sales of this item are being donated to the Houston Food Bank and so far we’ve raised over $300, which is enough to fill over 900 hungry bellies.
If you want to support Liz and Robin’s efforts, you can purchase the embroidery pattern here.
Let’s dive into the embroidery related things!
Many embroidery people are struggling with storing their embroidery threads. What’s your system (or non-system), would you share your secret-sauce with us?
I have a good amount of floss, but I don’t really have a great system for organizing it. Sorry, no secret sauce!
I keep mine in skeins with the label numbers — I don’t rewind them onto bobbins — and I store them grouped by color in this amazing vintage sewing box that I found. I’ve also got a bag of random bits of floss that have come loose from their skeins and don’t have labels, or tangled bits of floss that aren’t pretty but still have a lot of use left in them. I often incorporate these small colorful bits into different projects.
But when it comes time to choose floss for a new project I usually just dig around in my stash and find the colors that I like.
What is your favorite part of the embroidery process from start to finish and which do you like the least?
I think my favorite part is when I’m about 70 to 80% finished with a piece. There’s a point where I’ve made enough progress to see how it translates into thread, and feel excited about how the design is stitching up, but when I still have a ways to go, and I can look ahead and think about ways to add interesting details here and there. It’s the details that make all the difference.
Least favorite part? Probably staring at the blank sheet of paper before any sketching starts… Luckily that part only lasts a few seconds.
Which embroidery project was the most challenging one you have ever encountered?
I’m not sure that any of my embroidery projects felt especially challenging when it came to the stitching itself.
(Though I did do a large 8×10 piece several years ago — all of the stitching was done with one thin strand of black floss, which was quite a challenge for my eyes!)
But I’ve had some pretty big deadlines that required me to structure my work differently or to work much faster than I usually do. In those instances, the stitching wasn’t difficult; the challenge was that I needed to think about my work and process in a way that didn’t come quite as naturally to me.
There are so many embroidery techniques and materials out there. What would you love to try out one day that you haven’t done yet?
Lately, I’ve been intrigued by the Tambour embroidery trend. I’ve seen some beautiful photos and videos on Instagram and it looks like such fun!
I’d also love to experiment more with specialty flosses, fabrics and hoops.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self who has just started embroidering that you wish you had known back then?
To my younger self, I would say, “keep going. trust the process. you are doing a great job!”
Thank you for taking the time answering my questions! Where can we find you to see more of Cozy Blue?
Thank YOU so much for inviting me to chat about my work!
You can find me at cozybluehandmade.com