Stunning Architectural Art by Nutmeg Embroidery
When you think of embroidery art, do you think of intricately designed architectural pieces? Megan Capon of Nutmeg Embroidery does–and thank goodness for that! Her bright, colorful and detailed artistic perspective is absolutely stunning, and I am so excited to share her story, her work, and her embroidery tips with you today. Sit back and get ready to soak up some serious embroidery inspiration from this amazing artist.
Megan was always interested in textile art, but it wasn’t until a colleague of hers invited her to get involved in an exhibition at Firstsite Colchester that she really had a go at hand embroidery using a hoop. “The exhibition was called A Coven A Grove A Stand, and one of the installations was 50 hand embroidered hoops dedicated to a witch who was persecuted in the East Anglian region in England.” Some people might be intimidated to start their artistic journey in an actual art exhibit, but for Megan, it was an awakening. She started imagining embroidery hoops as canvases and all the opportunities they could present, and she never looked back.
“I am a very avid traveler and my phone is full of photos of buildings and scenery of the different places I have been to, it felt like a natural starting place.” And it was just like that, Megan took her hand embroidery to the streets… literally. Her very next project after the exhibition, “Frigiliana in the Andalusian region of Spain,” presented a lot of unique challenges. “I made it completely freehand without any tracing, and the angles are jarring to look back at now.” With each new challenge, a new skill set was formed, and Megan was well on her way to becoming a spectacularly talented embroidery artist with an aptitude for architectural art.
Mermaid Street in Rye by Nutmeg Embroidery
Selecting only a handful of pieces to show you here today was hard enough. Nutmeg Embroidery has produced so much stunning embroidery art, picking favorites to highlight felt impossible–so I asked Megan to tell me about her favorite hoop instead. She showed me the architectural piece above, her hoop of Mermaid Street in Rye.
“It’s a very quintessentially English street with a gorgeous tudor house, cobbled streets and an uncharacteristically clear blue sky.” There is so much detail in this piece, I think I could stare at it for hours. I mean, look at the reflections in those windows. Can you even imagine how much time she spent on this? But the story behind what she did with the piece is what really wrapped the whole thing up in a big, heartwarming bow.
A shared love of art & architecture
“My grandfather has been creating art since he retired and I gifted this piece to him and my grandmother.” Only after she had gifted her grandparents the piece did she find out, by some very strange coincidence, that her grandfather had painted this exact area years earlier.
Let’s get a few things straight
Anyone who has hand sewn anything can attest to how difficult straight lines can be. Architectural embroidery designs naturally require a level of accuracy, especially when it comes to lines of perspective. So what is the secret? Tension.
Hand Embroidery Advice from the Pro
“After much experimentation, I have found that tension is a priority to achieve crisp lines. A normal skein of embroidery thread has six strands twisted together. You can split these to your desired thickness.” Megan advises that you will always get the cleanest look using just one strand, but working with such a thin line can come at a price: time.
“The most I would use is two skeins for straight lines in architectural embroidery. I think the best tip if you are using long stitches and want your threads to stay put is to couch the thread. This basically means that once you have created your stitch, you secure each thread in place by coming up through the fabric, around half the length down the stitch, go up and over the stitch and back through the original hole, which locks the thread in place and stops it from shifting.”
Passion, Persistence, and Perspective
What does it take to be a successful artist? I see this question all the time, and my answer fully aligns with Megan’s: Passion. “It might sound corny, but it’s so difficult to put your all into something if you’re just not feeling it,” Megan of Nutmeg Embroidery shares. “There were a few projects that I wanted to do for myself, but when I started them, I just didn’t have the enthusiasm for them that I thought I would. I don’t put pressure on myself to complete it and I will put it away and start working on something else instead.”
I strongly believe that you get out what you put into your work, so if you put in good energy, the output will always be work to be proud of.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to complete a project when your heart isn’t it, and don’t be afraid to say no when a potential project doesn’t vibe. “There are so many embroidery artists that are great at landscapes, for example, that I’m happy to pass on their details instead.” Your portfolio will always benefit when you are able to choose projects that feed your passion for your art or offer an opportunity that you are genuinely excited about.
Megan Capon, The Artist behind Nutmeg Embroidery
Megan is a textile artist specializing in embroidery and architectural art. You can find and follow her work as Nutmeg Embroidery on Instagram. Megan dreams of a day when she can make a full exhibition of her work to include the street corners of Europe.
In the meantime? Megan hopes to snag some quiet time at either the Alhambra or the Alcazar of Seville, during the Spring. Her goal is 100s of shots to combine all the Spring flowers, tiles, foliage, and patios. It won’t be easy to do with so many people are around, but my fingers are crossed for her. That is one piece that I would love to see finished.
If you loved these pieces and you want to give embroidery art a go, check out these embroidery art kits on Amazon.
Originally posted on April 05, 2022.