Talking to Nicola about her embroidery inspirations and “dark side”.
We previously featured Nicola Elliott and her beautifully quirky embroidery designs she creates using Hatch Embroidery Digitizer. The embroidery designs we showcased back then were very feminine and pretty. But Nicola admittedly has a fascination with darker topics and her earlier work heavily reflects that.
When I was thinking of a Halloween related post, catching up with Nicola was the obvious choice. As I suspected, she was more than interested in having a chat. She also very generously offered three of her Halloween designs for our faithful Hatch blog readers for free. I was very excited about finding out about that “darker” side of Nicola and learn what inspires her when she creates her very unique and often quirky embroidery designs.
What has been happening since the last time we chatted?
I have started a brand new category which is “Raw Edge” appliqué. I wanted to get a sketch like appliqué that looked like free motion stitch embroidery. I have quite a few dog and farm inspired designs available on my PictureStitch website now.
You mentioned before that the Halloween theme is right up your alley. What is it that appeals to you about it?
I have always liked drawing Gothic themed art right back in my early teens. I grew up watching the Wizard of Oz and fell in love with its magic, but also its edgy undertones, especially Mrs Gulch.
I won an award for my free motion stitch “Dark Fairy Tale” collection which then inspired me to start PictureStitch. This in-turn enabled others to sew out my art, which always both flatters and excites me.
What inspires you when you draw and digitize designs that are a bit on the “dark side”?
My inspiration comes from an eclectic mix of sources. I can be watching TV and see something for simply a moment. Straight away I will take out my drawing board and can draw many different images taken by the muse of this one idea. For example, I love the dark side of Alice in Wonderland and the combination of fairy tale and steam punk images on a range of images, tattoos and clothing I find particularly appealing.
Any features or tools in the software that you’ve been experimenting with?
Yes, the Applique’ has been amazing and so easy to do. I love it!!
Tell me a bit about your new “Raw Edge” collection. Any new Halloween themed designs coming there?
A new design I’ve got and I think works really well is a rose in a set of vampire teeth, evoking a mood that would suit a Halloween design on clothing. And yes, I will be looking at Alice again and a new range of more dark designs in the raw edge style.
How do you and your girls celebrate Halloween?
We always get dressed up!!!
My twin sister Erica always joins in. We love to see who can do the scariest makeup!!!! My husband takes care of the Jack O’ Lanterns, and though not the artist type, I have to admit he is quite good at it. Then we go out with my girls trick or treating and come home finishing the night with a snack and a story or two.
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Nicola has been creating her wonderful machine embroidery designs and selling them on her website since 2013. She won an award for her “Dark Fairy Tale” collection. She has a large following in her Facebook group.
Nicola lives in the UK with her husband and daughters.