TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Nells Embroidery
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Nells Embroidery

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Nell Burns

Nell Burns of Nells Embroidery


Etsy Shop






I am a contemporary fibre artist. I have a love of machine and hand embroidery. For my artwork I essentially draw and paint with thread, using the needle as a pencil and the fabric as my canvas. Combining a variety of threads, fabrics and mediums to create works of two or three dimensional art. I have challenged myself to explore the use of basic straight and zig zag stitch to create cloth with stitch only…with some help from a water soluble fabric! Using this technique and exploring different stitch tensions, I can create 3 dimensional artwork using only thread. Whatever the technique or medium, the detail, design and texture, I always make my artwork unique.


My love of all things fabric and stitch related comes from a childhood spent in the sewing room with my mum. As a result, I have been designing, dressmaking and embroidering for as long as I can remember. Now I like to think of myself as a fabric artist as this fits well with my chosen techniques.

I completed my HND and BA Hons in Fashion and Textile Design in the UK. During this time, I developed my love of machine embroidery and continued over the years to experiment whenever I could. In the Summer of 2005 I completed my City & Guilds Level 3 Machine Embroidery Course which helped me to take my ‘playing’ and ‘experimenting’ to a higher level.

Shortly after, I moved from the UK to Vancouver, Canada, where I am continuing to develop my design work and creativity, whilst finding new and abundant sources of inspiration. I am a purist when it comes to my art work. I design and create all my own patterns and everything must include some form of embroidery. I take a lot of photographs which I often refer to for inspiration.

I am stimulated and inspired by my environment, people, cultures, travels, textures and fabrics. All of which I fuse together to create and develop my own style of stitching and art. I like to experiment with unusual materials, pushing the boundaries of design, my imagination, and of course my sewing machine!

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