POSTED ON DECEMBER 20, 2018
BY ERIN SAMPSON
As thread makers, we love nothing more than to see what types of amazing things artists and designers are able to create with our product. We’re constantly in awe of the creativity and simply adore discovering new makers. With that in mind, we were delighted to meet artist Nicola Elliott. Our friendship began through a simple email introduction, and grew to to where we are today… with an interview, a way for us to introduce her to all of you, and with a holiday gift from Nicola for all you machine embroiderers out there! Make sure to read through to the end to learn how you can grab your free embroidery files!
Meet Nicola’s Thread Fairy:
Currently, she lives in Aurifil USA’s HQ in Chicago. She sits atop a vibrant spool of our 50wt thread and we fell in love with her the moment we saw her! We have to extend huge thanks to Nicola for her thoughtfulness and vision!
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
As an identical twin, for as long as I remember, we loved drawing with my mum, just for fun. Mum had a sewing machine and was brilliant, clothing us both in the latest styles, and so… sewing, art, and creativity was there from the start. We were also lucky to have a doting dad who worked hard in difficult times to provide for us all and lovingly moan about all our demands. Only a few years ago Andrew, my other half, bought me a sewing machine. At the time I was going to sew custom bags but… looking through the instruction manual I found accessories for the machine, including a hoop. My first free stitch picture was a Mini Mouse and I loved the way you could create pictures simply using the hoop and material. Following on from this I created some large applique pieces and entered an esteemed craft competition. I won the Newcomers award, also selling one of my pieces on a blind bid for over £130!
Shortly afterwards my husband bought me an Embird download and I must admit, not being at all brilliant on computers, it filled me with dread. Scheduling to tackle this after Christmas, I told myself to just get on with it and had more or less mastered it within about three weeks. I was digitizing for five months when I was approached by Wilcom to use their Hatch software with my Artwork. This was when Hatch kindly offered me their software in exchange for a few designs they could use for a number of guest blogs. About the same time I was messaged by Janome to draw an exclusive collection for them.
What is your favorite thing to illustrate?
When it comes to illustrations, I have extremely eclectic tastes but love to bring a different twist to classic characters such as Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and Rapunzel. These enable me to bring a sketchy minimal outline with a dazzling colour spectrum to tell a story within one design. Other inspirations come from emotional pieces celebrating remembrance in relationships with my Forever Mine collection. This collection has been extremely popular with the emotional drawings that come to life in stitch.
How did you first come to discover Aurifil Threads?
As an Artist, you always want the best tool for the job. Seeing a customer show me some stitch outs of my designs in Aurifil thread, I instantly knew this was the thread that showcased my work to its best effect. The colours are stunning and bring a difference that I feel marries brilliantly with my design style.
What drew you to want to do a custom piece for Aurifil?
I always believe in giving back to others as this is the way I was brought up. Aurifil was very kind to offer samples to my tester Helen. I decided to draw a unique design for Aurifil based around their fantastic thread. As such, I came up with the Aurifil Thread Fairy, aiming to bring together fantastic threads with a unique design.
Tell us about your partner in all of this — who does your stitching?
My number one fans are my amazing family. My husband Andrew and my two amazing daughters, Libby (17) and Lily (10). The girls tell everyone about me and my work with Lily convinced that I am ‘famous’ due to the feedback I constantly receive from members and those seeing my work for the first time. My fantastic tester who as been with me from very early on is Helen. She truly is my quality control person. By the magic of the internet Helen is in the USA and I am in the UK, but this relationship really works.
What is your greatest hope in releasing this fabulous machine embroidery file to the world?
Not to sound trite, but I feel I that I have been given a gift, and it’s a gift I need to share with others because I have found that my online demeanour and artwork really resonate. My drive is for people in different countries to know me and have the ability to access my work. It is my hope that they will all have a little bit of Nicola Elliott in their lives. All my designs contain my own signature red heart, sharing my own heart with others.
Where can readers find your other work and what is coming up next for you?
I have my own facebook group with 5000+ members, where I show all my artwork and designs.
I also have a website www.picturestitch.co.uk. There are a few Free Christmas designs on the website at the moment, including the 2018 Picturestitch Christmas Tree. I will be finishing my free 2018 Christmas Angel this week.
Next year I am looking forward to doing more work with Janome and Wilcom Hatch and also have a few surprises in the background for all my customers.
Many thanks to Nicola for joining us today!
For all of you readers interested in creating your own Aurifil Thread Fairy, Nicola has made the files easily accessible. Simply click on the link below to go to a folder with all available embroidery files.
——————AURIFIL THREAD FAIRY EMBROIDERY FILES——————
Drop us a line if you have any issues.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and we send you all lots of love.