Allison Railo and Jodi Sprague are currently making their way through SNAD's Comprehensive Studies Program in Hand Embroidery. They have both recently completed Level 2 designs in the Surface Embroidery concentration. In this level students have the option to choose between a traditional or a contemporary design. The purpose of this level is to see how the students work with color and design in the piece as well as testing the technical aspect of working with the threads and stitches themselves. Below, Allison and Jodi share their embroidery journeys with us along with their final pieces for level 2 of this course.
My embroidery journey started with learning needlepoint in honor of my grandmother, whom I an named after. I still have many of her pillows and and an unfinished canvas. I made several pillows for gifts to family and friends over the years. Then I learned how to knit from my Mother-in-Law, and have always loved to buy cross-stitch kits when we travel.
Allison Rialo CSP Surface Embroidery Traditional Design
Progressing through the SFSNAD CSP Surface Embroidery program has given me a greater feeling of artistry and creativity and so much confidence in my ability to create, rather than just follow others ideas with kits. I still like to do the kits, especially at a time like this when I don’t have the option to go out and select fabrics and threads in person. I’m looking forward to going back to SFSNAD as soon as possible!
My embroidery journey...wow that is a bit of a windy path. I got my first two embroidery kits when I was in 4th grade. One was a small cross stitch for my 4th grade teacher (which I was so proud of that I couldn't give it to her...but eventually did like 10 years later) and the other was a small petite point pansy for mother's day (which was lost partly completed and then found while I was in college - finished it and gave it to her- she still remembered). While neither really interested me much at the time but it planted a seed. A couple years later, while I was watching my aunt do Hardanger embroidery I begged her to teach me. I was fortunate that at the time she taught me the basics and for years I did Hardanger off and on as my escape.
Jodi Sprague CSP Surface Embroidery Traditional Design
I still embroider as my sounding board and time to destress. In the last 5 years, I've been exploring different techniques and trying to improve my basic techniques. When I found SNAD a couple of years ago it was like a love affair come true. My first visit was for a stitch retreat and it was awesome. I finally found my tribe. My people, those who really wanted to not just embroider but to try and embroider at a higher level. Being part of this community means so much to me. It keeps me connected, it keeps me sane and it allows me a breather from my everyday life. All of that has really helped me get a handle on my mental health.