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…and how I got here, goodness knows. Nearly 3 years ago, I bought my beautiful Innovis-v3 (embroidery machine for those of you who don’t sew), and after unpacking it and trying out the machine’s built in patterns, I knew I was about to start out on a big adventure. I had no idea how I would go about it, I just knew that all the doodles and sketches that had poured out of my head would be part of that adventure.

My doodling and sketching took on a new life and I realised I was beginning to create with machine embroidery in mind. It totally changed the way I looked at things, the way I used colour and outlines, and the way I saw everything around me. I saw my sketches on every item of clothing, every bag, cushion, bedspread – I could hardly contain my urge to sketch and stitch everything.

But then came the question of how? How do I get that sketch onto that sweatshirt? How does my sketch get converted to a computerised stitch out? What is digitising? Software – what software?

It was a long journey just finding out what goes into creating a machine embroidery pattern. The ‘finding out how’ took much longer than the ‘learning how’. I felt I was trying to crack the enigma code, or trying to join some secret society.

I asked lots of questions, I pestered people to tell me how to get in on this secret digitising world. I got nowhere fast.

In the end I decided to have someone digitise for me, just to see if my sketches were suitable for stitching out. To my great delight they were! And that was the start …