I had a quick chat with Aishu from Heaps of Hoops about her gorgeous personalised pieces, and how embroidery has helped her anxiety. Here's what she said:
1.So, first of all, where are you based?
Monsterevin, Co. Kildare
2.What first got you into embroidery?
My grandmother and mother used to embroider, growing up I watched them work with needle and thread and was quite frankly fascinated! I grew an interest in the craft. When I was around 8 years old my mum bought me my first Anchor Stitch Kit, I was thrilled with the result. I practiced a few stitches now and then for a couple of years from then with my mum's help.
I revisited it only around the first covid lockdown when I wanted to make a handmade present for a friend and absolutely fell in love!
3.How did you learn to stitch?
When I was a little girl I mostly learnt watching my mum stitch. But all of that was forgotten soon enough. When I picked up embroidery a couple of years ago, I watched a few YouTube videos, drew up a couple of floral patterns and practiced. Then, it all came back naturally and quite effortlessly.
4.What is your favourite technique?
I like simple designs and enjoy creating textures on fabric by incorporating different stitches that are texture rich such as french knots or brick stitch.
5.What is your favourite subject matter?
My main focus is on creating hoops that can be gifted. A large chunk of pieces I have created are for engagements, weddings, arrival of new baby and special days. It's a combination of text and floral embroidery mostly. Text to personalise and everyone loves flowers!
6.Why do you stitch?
Over the years I have struggled with anxiety, still do. Embroidering has helped me better manage myself and my thoughts. There has been a gradual positive shift in coping with anxiety since I started embroidering. It helps me stay focused, focus on the present, focus on the fabric and stitches, focus on what's in my hand. I wish I picked embroidering sooner, but I am glad I did when I did, getting through the lockdowns was less painful.
I also enjoy the various aspects of running a small business, so much to learn. The opportunities and possibilities are endless!
7.And lastly, where can we find you?
On Instagram with handle @heaps_of_hoops or shop at heapsofhoops.com