Stitcher Profile: Follow the White Bunny, Nicole Vos van Avezathe
It was her fabulous Princess and the Pea embroidery (above) which first drew me to the work of Nicole Vos van Avezathe of Follow the White Bunny. I adore the fantasy/story book quality of Nicole's designs. I hope you enjoy this interview with her. I know that if you do not already know and love her work, you will fall in love as much as I have. Please check out the adorable free pattern she has offered We Love French Knots readers at the bottom of this post. And stop by her blog to say hello and thank you!
Bari: On your about page, you say that your work is inspired by books, fairy tales, folk tales and history. And from looking at your work, I can see a lot of imagination goes into it as well. Are these things that have always inspired you?
Nicole: I have always been a bit of a dreamer and fond of tales, books, things of the past and animals. These are all things you can find in my patterns to some extent. I find inspiration in lots of other things as well, things I see when I travel for example. Basically everything I experience or see can end up in one of my patterns!
Bari: We can tell from your work that you have a talent as an illustrator as well as a stitcher. What is it about the art of embroidery that appeals to you?
Nicole: *blushes* I don’t feel like a talented illustrator or stitcher at all. At the moment I’m not quite sure where my ‘real’ talent lies, but Illustration/drawing is definitely something I need to explore more…. In a way my patterns are sometimes like embroidered illustrations! With most of my patterns I try to tell a little story or ‘illustrate’ part of a story: a traveling Hedgehog in a teacup, the Princess and the pea, a Circus Bear balancing on a globe… I love telling a tale with thread.
Embroidery appeals to me for various reasons. It has a long tradition and very little has changed over the centuries when you look at stitches and techniques. I also enjoy the process of making things by hand with simple tools.
Bari: What do you feel is a good way to display/use your embroidered works?
Nicole: At home I have some embroidered pieces on display in my living room. Some are made by me, some are bought and some are received in swaps. All are framed in simple wooden hoops. I also enjoy stitching on ‘practical’ stuff like pillowcases!
Bari: Do you have any favorite transfer methods, tools, or other supplies?
Nicole: I often use a water soluble marker to transfer my patterns or sketches to fabric. I have no special tools, no special preferences for hoops either. I mostly use DMC Mouline (six stranded) floss but that is mainly because it’s widely available.
Bari: When do you do your stitching?
Nicole: I prefer stitching during the day. Daylight is just so much better than artificial light, don’t you think? I do have a daylight lamp though which I use in the evenings. My embroidery sessions usually don’t last longer than an hour.
Bari: Have you always embroidered? How did you learn?
Nicole: I grew up in the seventies when embroidery had tough competition from macramé, knitting and weaving and such! I only started to embroider a few years ago. We had moved abroad for 3 years (to Norway, we are back in the Netherlands now) and I had some time on my hands. I first started to learn, with a little help from a friend, how to sew and quickly picked up embroidery too. I mainly learned embroidery from the internet and from books. Still have so much to learn though! Not just different stitches but different techniques as well. Recently I came across Swedish Weaving (or Huck Embroidery) for example. Had never heard of it before but would love to give it a try. I’m also a novice cross stitcher.
Bari: Do you have any suggestions for new stitchers?
Nicole: First learn the most basic stitches and try to build on that. When I just started, I found many answers to even the most basic questions and lots of support on Flickr. There are several groups dedicated to Embroidery with many very helpful members
Bari: Do you teach embroidery anywhere, have any upcoming events?
Bari: Where can we purchase your work?
To download Nicole's free pattern click here: Download WeloveFrenchHedgie