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Orts: Threads of Creativity

Sara Barnes

Orts is newsletter collecting small snippets of creativity: embroiderers, textile artists, illustrators, DIY projects, and how we can make time for our creative endeavors. Published every Friday.

Embroideries that “bloom" from trees 🌼

I know I said that 5/5 would be published every two weeks… but I have a lot of links to share! And, ya’ll have told me how much you enjoy 5/5. So, let’s make it twice as nice and share two weeks in a row. Keep on scrolling for five creatively inspiring things and five ways for you to DIY. ICYMI, this spotlight embroidery was the most clicked link in the last 5/5 email. ✨ 5 creatively inspiring things 1️⃣ At first glance, this bird nest looks real. But it’s not—the nest is fiber art by Megan...
about 16 hours ago • 2 min read

Granny squares, but make them cats 🐱

Hi again! I’m back from Craftcation, where I took a beaded embroidery workshop, learned how to quilt-as-you-go, and successfully punch-needled my way into a new craft obsession. And now, it's time for 5/5! Beaded Starburst, purple paradise, and a “spotlight” embroidery await. Keep on scrolling for five creatively inspiring things and five ways for you to DIY. ICYMI, this tote bag-turned-chore coat was the most clicked link in the last 5/5 email. ✨ 5 creatively inspiring things 1️⃣ Embroidered...
8 days ago • 2 min read

Fri-DIY! Here’s how to make a needle minder 🪡

In February, I published my first supplies chat, sharing supplies you can use in your creative projects. (I began with stick and stitch stabilizer.) After sending that email, I received a message from someone asking about needle minders—namely how to make them. Well, asked and answered! Today, I've got an easy-to-DIY tutorial on how to make a button-style needle minder. You might see “needle minder” and it doesn’t mean much to you—especially if you don’t embroider or do any other needlework....
22 days ago • 2 min read

This animated embroidery will hypnotize you 🌀

It's 5/5! An impossibly tiny basket, tote bag jackets, and a “stitch by numbers” await. Keep on scrolling for five creatively inspiring things and five ways for you to DIY. 👉 ICYMI, this half-eaten embroidered cake slice was the most clicked link in the last 5/5 email. ✨ 5 creatively inspiring things 1️⃣ Embroidered animations always amaze me. Just thinking about how many frames are in one animation and all the stitching involved… it seems like a lot of planning and work. Check out this...
29 days ago • 2 min read

Spring has sprung on this upcycled skirt 🌼

Hello again, and happy Friday! I am thrilled to share the third installment of my series One Person, One Project featuring Tessa Perlow. Tessa is a textile artist whose work features embroidered and beaded garments and art. Prioritizing repurposed textiles and upcycled clothes, she imbues them with her exquisite visual language. I’ve long admired Tessa’s work, and I’m excited that she’s one of the artists featured in my new book, Threads of Treasure: how to make, mend, and find meaning...
about 1 month ago • 2 min read

Fake cake that looks real, real bread that looks fake

Welcome back to another edition of 5/5! Bread painting, Impressionistic embroideries, and "sad hamster" crochet awaits. Keep on scrolling for five creatively inspiring things and five ways for you to DIY. ICYMI, this cross-stitch mural was the most clicked link in the last 5/5 email. ✨ 5 creatively inspiring things 1️⃣ Is it cake? No! But it looks real. This is a sculptural embroidery by Heather Rios inspired by the classic confection. It comprises cotton yarn and fabric adorned with polymer...
about 1 month ago • 1 min read

How to make, mend, and find meaning through thread 🧵

I wrote a book! It comes out in two months. Titled Threads of Treasure: how to make, mend, and find meaning through thread, it's a craft book that examines the idea of treasure as it relates to textile art. The book, published by Schiffer Craft (an imprint of Schiffer Publishing), will be available on April 28, 2024. Threads of Treasure is divided into three realms and examines textile art in three ways. They are: 1️⃣ Treasuring the things we love. In this section, I speak with artists whose...
about 2 months ago • 1 min read

This embroidery tells the weather 🪡

It's time for 5/5! Green witch gloves, Frog and Toad, and a cross-stitch mural await. Keep on scrolling for five creatively inspiring things and five ways for you to DIY. ICYMI, this 3D embroidered blep was the most-clicked link in the last 5/5 email. ✨ 5 creatively inspiring things 1️⃣ Wafa Ghnaim is a multi-hyphenate Palestinian dress historian and the founder of the Tatreez Institute. Tatreez is a traditional Palestinian embroidery technique that dates back 3,000 years. Wafa was recently...
about 2 months ago • 2 min read
Needle felted fungi art by Amy Reader

Fiber art inspired by the forest floor 🍄 🌳

I am thrilled to share the second installment of my series One Person, One Project: an exploration into an artist's work by way of a single project. Fiber artist Amy Reader creates nature-inspired work that is colorful and joyful. Her pieces incorporate needle-felting and other textile art techniques. Today, she's discussing work having to do with "moss, lichen, and fungi-filled world of the forest floor," and what it all means to her. Amy has a bustling online community—and a Patreon—and is...
2 months ago • 3 min read

Pride and Prejudice, embroidered 🪡

Another two weeks, another 5/5! Unexpected collaborators, embroidered book covers, and a “dancing” peg loom await. Scroll down for five creatively inspiring things and five ways for you to DIY. 👉 ICYMI, Sara’s playful tablecloth was the most clicked link of the last 5/5 email. ✨ 5 creatively inspiring things 1️⃣ Punch, thread, stitch, tie off, repeat. These are the exact steps in Nora Schuchat’s wonderfully deliberate process of stitching on paper. I’ve embroidered on paper before, and it’s...
2 months ago • 2 min read

Orts is newsletter collecting small snippets of creativity: embroiderers, textile artists, illustrators, DIY projects, and how we can make time for our creative endeavors. Published every Friday.

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