When life gets stressful, we often turn to wellness activities. Whether it’s baking enough cookies to feed the whole neighborhood or accidentally spending the whole weekend watching two seasons of a new show, wellness activities can keep us afloat when everything else looks miserable.
Des Moines resident Melissa Galbraith is an expert at a wellness craft that’s beginner-friendly, doesn’t require an armful of materials, and can even be meditative. We are talking about embroidery. Thanks to his unique designs and the practical kits of his company MCreativeJembroidery could be the new wellness craft of 2022.
Galbraith grew up with arts and crafts. She said her mother always encouraged practical and creative endeavours. But as an adult, Galbraith found herself working behind a desk without much room to do anything by hand.
“I wanted to get back into that, but at the time I was living in a very small apartment and didn’t have a lot of space, so the embroidery fell on me,” Galbraith said. “I used to do this when I was a kid so I thought I’d give it a try and ended up loving it because embroidery is so wearable and fun. I’m a bit like drawing so I I could color and create my own textures, patterns and designs.”
Often inspired by nature, MCreativeJ’s embroidery designs are Galbraith’s designs covering the snow-capped mountains of the Pacific Northwest with tulips, blooming cactus gardens and summer fruits.
“A lot of my work is inspired by nature,” she said. “I try to draw from what’s around me – trips, places I’ve been, or even if I see something walking my dog in our neighborhood that I really like. Then I sit down and I sketch and go from there, so it feels organic and something that I really am.”
Besides the kits, MCreativeJ also offers PDF templates that are easy to download and leave customers free to source or use their own supplies. Galbraith even launched a bosses club where subscribers receive a new PDF embroidery design each month.
But if undertaking embroidery with just a PDF design sounds daunting, MCreativeJ hosts dozens of virtual workshops and many of them cover Galbraith’s favorite embroidery genre – portable embroidery.
“Embroidery is so versatile and you can use it for so many things,” she said. “With modern embroidery it’s common to leave it in the hoop and hang it on the wall or stick it in a picture frame like gallery walls, but I love wearing it – adding embroidery to your clothes or turn it into a necklace, patch, earrings or a pin.”
Not only can embroidery personalize clothes, but it’s also possible to repair clothes that have been worn out with embroidery and several of Galbraith’s monthly virtual courses teach you how.
While customizing and mending garments is great, the act of embroidering is just as enjoyable as wearing the creation.
“It’s really meditative and definitely one of those crafts that you can pick up and put back together,” she said. “You don’t have to feel like you have to spend a ton of time on it or count stitches. Embroidery is quite easy, not only in materials but also in time required.”
The next time life feels overwhelming and a wellness activity is in order, MCreativeJ has the solution.
Happy sewing, Seattle!
Find MCreativeJ on Edmonds Spring Festival on May 7 or buy kits, browse patterns and sign up for virtual classes on the website. Follow the MCreativeJ PageInstagram for updates on new patterns and information on Galbraith’s upcoming landscape-inspired embroidery book.
Lauren Allain is a freelance writer for Seattle Refined. See more of his work here.