Embroidery can create beauty from randomness and remind us that all things are connected.

The sun is coming out more these days and the wildlife in my yard is much more active than in the previous winter months. Early spring flowers are blooming and the buds on the trees and rose bushes give assurances that full spring is right around the corner.

While I learn more about making dye and foster my renewed passion for embroidery, new ideas for my own artistic work steadily build. Fortunately, with the new growth that is forming in my backyard, critical art materials for prints and dyes will soon be available again.

In preparation for everything that’s coming, I’ve been sketching a lot to better work through my ideas. Thumbing through past sketchbooks has also helped me understand how themes I have not visited lately continue to reverberate no matter how far I feel I’ve wandered from them. As Leonard Cohen sings “those who are earnestly lost, are lost and lost again“… but perhaps it is only when you are truly lost that you actually have the ability to find yourself.

Nature and environment have long been favorite topics in my art – all aspects which lead me back to questions about personal identity and what it means to have a sense of place within the world. Layering and combining multiple media allow me to a physically represent the metaphoric complexity of these relationships and create a visual aesthetic that seeks to establish structure and stability out of chaos.

I suppose that is a little what all of us are looking for in life, really – a little security and reassurance that everything fits together and makes sense, even if you don’t quite see the bigger picture just yet. I think this is why embroidery is fascinating to me… from a multitude of seemingly random stitches and colors, a beautiful image appears that brings everything together.

Original composition by M. Levacy using motifs created by Erica Wilson, America’s “first lady of stitchery”.

I decided to give my own embroidery patterns a go while I continue to recreate the creations of other artists, like Erica Wilson (above), whom I deeply admire. My first pattern will be released as a free PDF download in the next post and is a special piece for me. When we moved at the end of last summer for my husbands job, many things changed for me. I felt out of place for quite a while. The piece I will share includes a Wren and some of the plants from my yard as these were the things I first connected with as I began to reinvent a new life for myself.

Detail of forthcoming free original embroidery pattern “Wren with Hostas” by M. Levacy (inspired by Erica Wilson).

I look forward to sharing this pattern in the coming week.


    1. I hope she finds some good pieces to work with as she starts, it goes a long way in helping to feel more liberated. Thanks for sharing this post with her. Best to you both, Megan.

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