Friday, November 16, 2007

Aimee Ray

Aimee Ray participated in last year's Plush You! show and just came out with her new book Doodle Stitching. I thought this would be a perfect time to interview her to learn more about her and her book. Congrats to Aimee on this recent accomplishment! It looks like a wonderful book to add to my craft bookshelf.

S- You just came out with your book titled 'Doodle Stitching'. How long have you been doing embroidery?

AR- I learned to embroider when I was about 5, but just picked it up again a few
years ago and began designing my own patterns.

S- I get a lot of questions about doing a book and it's weird to give advice since I just did one and worked with one publisher. What was your experience putting together Doodle Stitching?

AR-Well, I was lucky, Lark (my publisher) actually contacted me after seeing my
work online and asked if I'd like to write it! I was stunned but of course I
said yes. It took about a year to write, illustrate and design and make all the projects. It was a good experience, they were very helpful since I'd never written anything before, but not overpowering.

S- What do you think makes your book unique to all the rest?

AR- It has basic instructions and an introduction to embroidery for beginners, but it also has patterns and projects that would appeal to any level of embroiderer. My original artwork and pattern designs make it unique.

S-I am a huge fan of Blythe dolls. I noticed you make some super cute little outfits and friends for Blythe. How long have you been making clothes for her and do you have any advice to those of us that might be interested in making our own clothes for her? ie. resources, etc.?

AR- I started making Blythe clothes when I got my first Blythe in March! Sewing
tiny patterns is not really my strong point, mostly I make clothes just for my own dolls so I don't have to worry if they're not perfect. :) The online Blythe community is awesome! There are some great free patterns and resources at Puchi Collective and lots more at This is Blythe

S- You are also a very talented painter. How do you think plush making has helped foster your art career?

AR-Thanks! I've always been interested in lots of different artistic outlets. I
think branching out into different areas like plush making has definitely helped a wider range of people see my paintings and illustrations who otherwise may not have found them. Plus, plush toys are an art form in themselves. There is a lot you can do with fabric that you can't do with paint. I just love trying new things and I think overall that helps me grow as an artist.

S- I also love your embroidered canvases. How long would you average working on each piece?

AR- The smaller canvases (around 5 or 6 inch square) take a few hours. The larger art pieces (around 11x14) can take weeks or even months to finish. I usually have several projects going on at once, so embroidery is great, you can set it down for however long you like and pick it up again in the same place later. I work on embroidery a lot sitting on the couch watching movies.

S- I have always been interested in contributing to Home of the Sampler. How do you think participating in this amazing project has helped your career?

AR- It's hard to say exactly since I don't know how most of my customers find me. But I definitely recommend submitting! It is a great way to get actual samples of your work out there, which I think makes a much bigger impact than just seeing a web or magazine ad. Plus it's free, and any advertising and promotion you can do for your business is beneficial. The ladies at the Sampler are super cool to work with and they have lots of great contacts, so you never know who could end up with your sample.

S- What advice would you give someone interested in starting to do more embroidery?

AR- Just go for it! Embroidery is cheap, easy to learn, and there aren't many
rules. You can be totally creative and make it up as you go along, or if you don't want to think too hard, find any image you like, make it into a pattern and turn it into stitched artwork.

S- Are you participating in any craft fairs for the holiday season?

AR- I actually have never done a craft fair but I would like to sometime in the

S- What are you looking forward to the most during this year's holiday season?

AR-Seeing my family of course, and having time off of work to work on my own

1 comment:

Funky Finds said...

This looks like a lovely book! I have recently become obsessed with embroidery. Must look into this!