Artistic Endeavors – Shona Skinner

The words Shetland and Scotland caught my eye as I skimmed an article in because I have a crush on Jimmy Perez, the detective in Ann Cleeves’ Shetland mysteries. After I looked at the photos of machine embroidery by Shona Skinner, who lives on Yell in the Shetlands, I investigated her work further.

The interview with Skinner centers on the creation of a small (15 cm by 11 cm or 6 by 4.33 inches) free motion machine embroidered seascape called “Low Winter Sky,” inspired by the aftermath of a big storm. I was impressed at the amount of preparation that went into the piece. She doesn’t just stitch over a photograph. Skinner says, ” I did several drawings and samples of layering fabrics before I started the piece plus I had photos to remind me of the day.”

Shona Skinner, Low Winter Sun, West Sandwick, 2017

Her creation process begins with a base of organdies fused to calico. The fusible stiffens the work enough no hoop is needed.

Work in progress

Machine work

The photo above really shows the scale of Skinner’s work. Note she works without a foot.

Here are other works by Skinner that caught my eye.

I’m drawn to the texture in the sunrise and can see enjoying it in my private space. It’s small enough you could pack it in your suitcase for a long trip.


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10 responses to “Artistic Endeavors – Shona Skinner

  1. I think we may have to start a fan club for Jimmy Perez! These pieces of embroidery are simply stunning. I have never got to grips with machine embroidery, high time I did, thanks for the interesting post.

  2. Oh, yeah–I like that Jimmy Perez, too! And these works are really amazing–I was surprised to see how small they are, from the one photo. Will you try this technique?

    • Just finishing up “Dead Water” now. I can’t see me doing work on such a small scale. Yesterday a friend showed me a 4 by 3 inch thread painting she made of a fuchsia plant. Just lovely.

  3. Rosemaryflower

    This is very beautiful. I have never tried this. I love the size.
    This is like a very portable masterpiece.

  4. I am so happy to see she doesn’t use a foot when free motion stitching. I thought I was the only crazy that did that.

  5. These are so beautifully textured. Amazing!

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