Joyful stitches with Jessica Long – the Namaste Embroidery interview
For some time now, I have been admiring the creative path of Jessica Long. Her lovely art and joyful spirit have inspired many people to start embroidery and her incredible Bluprint embroidery classes help spread the word of modern embroidery.
Now on to the interview with Namaste Embroidery.
Disclaimer: this article contains affiliate links.
Hi Jessica, I’m glad to have you here! Could you give us a short introduction so my readers know who you are?
Hello! I’m Jessica Long and I love hand embroidery. I started Namaste Embroidery in 2016. Today I sell hand embroidery patterns and kits, plus
I also have lots of fun tutorials and videos on my website to help stitchers of all levels jump in and learn new techniques.
What is the meaning behind the name Namaste Embroidery?
Yoga is a huge passion of mine! The word “namaste” is
When I first started hand embroidery I was translating my old yoga oil paintings into fiber art. I don’t do much
For me, yoga is a moving meditation and I feel like hand embroidery can offer the same calming benefits.
How did you find your way to embroidery? When did it become a passion of yours?
I picked up hand embroidery while on maternity leave after the birth of my son. We had recently moved to Washington State and all of my usual art supplies was still in storage.
A friend had posted some of her hand embroidery work on social media and I was immediately attracted to the amazing textures and colors, plus the portability and low cost of this craft. I started by buying kits from Etsy but soon started translating my own art to embroidery design. I was hooked!
You create amazing embroidery patterns inspired by plants and animals. Does nature play an important part in your life?
Yes! I LOVE natural history. I actually have a bachelor of science in biology – the study of life is a joy for me. I am just blown away by the natural art that surrounds us and it’s a constant inspiration for me.
You do a lot of different projects like Youtube, your website, the pattern making and also Online classes on Bluprint (which are so fun btw!). How do you manage to balance it all with your family/personal life?
That’s still a work in progress! Work spills into family time, and family spills into work time. I am a wife, a mother, an artist and a business owner.
I still feel new at all of these roles and am learning how to make time for it all. I really wish there were more hours in the day!
What is your favorite time and place to embroider?
I get my “serious” embroidery done during the day when my husband is at work and my son is in daycare.
However, my favorite time and place to stitch is with my family while watching a fun movie together. I save my easier projects for such informal couch stitching sessions!
Are there any embroidery helpers or tools you recommend using?
Good light is key for me. My eyes are not what they used to be so I like lots of light and magnification.
Also a comfy chair and yoga breaks. I also try to NOT stitch every day. I want to be able to stitch for many more decades!
What is your system of storing your embroidery threads?
I bought a set of old Anchor floss display drawers from a shop that was going out of business. I keep all of my cotton floss in there, organized by color family.
I used to wind my floss on bobbins but gave up trying to keep up with it. I’m sure many of your readers would be horrified by my lack of organization!
I do have a DMC floss color card so I use that to ID any mystery colors. I have a separate container I use to keep my metallics, silks and variegated cotton threads. They are organized in plastic baggies. It works for me!
What is your favorite part of the embroidery process from start to finish and which do you like the least?
I love picking out colors! And getting into that stitching groove. Getting started is the hardest – transferring the pattern to fabric is tedious and that first stitch is so intimidating.
Which embroidery project was the most challenging one you have ever done?
Some of the custom work I have stitched up has been very challenging. Not necessarily the technique, but stitching up something for another person with their own expectations.
Despite having many satisfied customers, I find the process very challenging so I haven’t taken on any custom work in some time.
There are so many embroidery techniques and materials out there. What would you love to try out one day that you haven’t done yet?
I would love to try goldwork! The lovely Georgina Bellamy (That Embroidery Girl) sent me some fun supplies but I still haven’t found the time to sit down and play.
I have an idea to add some goldwork to one of my Domina Natura (“nature lady”) portraits but I really need to put in my calendar in permanent ink!
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self who has just started embroidering that you wish you had known back then?
Don’t be afraid to break the rules! It’s okay to use the “wrong” materials and play and discover what works for you. Enjoy the process.
Thank you for taking the time answering my questions! Where can we find you to see more of your work?
My website is NamasteHandEmbroidery.com and you can see my daily posts on Instagram (@namaste_embroidery)
Thanks for having me!
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