Fiber artist Sarah Hemm begins her stint as guest blogger here on the Library as Incubator Project by telling us what she made in January for her year-long embroidery challenge!  Read on:

Often, my inspiration comes from books. This year, I’ve challenged myself to finish one embroidery every day.One month down, 11 to go! I would like to share weekly highlights as we go along.

Week One: With Blue Star, I simply started stitching and let the imagery develop. While working, my thoughts gravitated toward Just Kids, a book I had recently read. I threw in a blue star as a reference to the book and the relationship between Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Blue Star

Blue Star detail

Week Two: The bright colors and birds on this fabric reminded me of this Emily Dickinson poem and inspired Hope. Sometimes, I even come up with a line or two of my own that I deem worth stitching – which is the case with Have You Ever?

Have you ever?


Week Three: This week I concentrated on functional, embroidered items. Bookmarks came to mind right away, and this is my first one – Cogito Ergo Sum. I also started a line of hand-embroidered note cards.

You are... notecard

Cogito Ergo Sum bookmark

Week Four: Patterns were inspiring me during the last week of the month, and I’ve been checking out design books for pattern inspiration. I started a new theme that I dubbed Pattern Gardens. Sometimes imagery develops out of the patterns, such as with Burger.

Pattern Garden I


Book Recommendations: Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design by Faythe Levine chronicles important makers in the contemporary craft movement today. It’s a must read. For fiber art methods, I would recommend Exploring Textile Arts by Creative Publishing. It was my college Fiber Art textbook and is a great overview of many techniques.



Sarah Hemm is an artist and curator from the Janesville, WI area. She has exhibited her work for over ten years. Sarah previously curated The Eclipse Gallery which she recently closed to focus on her artwork. Currently, Sarah is concentrating on embroidery as a medium. Her love of fiber art developed in college at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. She studied Fiber and Textile Art, along with her major – Gallery/Museum Practices. Sarah is looking forward to opening a studio in the countryside just south of Madison. Her work is available at Hatch Art House in Madison and online.

Love Sarah’s work?

Check out her Library as Incubator Project features: Featuring: Sarah Hemm and Introducing Guest Blogger Sarah Hemm

Follow the Embroider the Day project daily on her blog or Facebook page.

Visit her online at

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