Frida Kahlo Inspired Embroidery

Image of a self portrait of the beautiful Frieda Kahlo in front of green floral wall paper adorned with a floral head dress in soft peaches and heavy drop stone earrings and a heavy gold twisted necklace
Frieda Kahlo self portrait

I was recently in a meeting with our team of researchers at Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) and we were discussing all things floral. We were coming up with an oversized floral design as a concept for wall art. It was a great brainstorm session. We considered everything from whimsy roses to bold and daring plant inspired feature forests – all on one large wall.

Frida Kahlo Inspiration

Throughout the conversation, the attention of mine and our craft researcher, Paul kept coming back to the images he had put together of Frida Kahlo. Oh, the genius that she was! The images of dark skulls with Mexican folk art blooms and oversized deep blue flowers with large greenery was just too much. Paul, who lists Frida Kahlo as a huge influence on his own art, informed me of an upcoming trip he was about to make to South America. A whole month in South America! Queue insane jealousy.

A Visit to Frida Kahlo’s Home

As one of his Instagram followers, I smiled when I saw his post a week later, smack bang in front of Kahlo’s front door to her home. His reference to Kahlo being the only human able to laugh in the face of rule and putting green and blue together for all to see was true. A heinous crime for anyone else who attempts same.  It’s easy to image Kahlo in her home. She would have been adorned in one of her many mestiza styled dresses or skirts, beautiful blooms all around.

Image of Frieda Kahlo's home with bright blue walls, bright green doors framed in red and a bright yellow wall surrounding her garden
Kahlo’s home where blue and green can be seen

What came from this were further days of seeking out images of Frida Kahlo and learning more about her life. This woman, with all of the blows thrown at her, more than one life-threatening, was truly amazing. She lived a life of defiance to her injuries, throwing vibrant colours at her artwork in the face of such pain.  Frida Kahlo not only survived her ordeal but rose again. She surrounded herself with light and colour as an anecdote to darker times.  For more on the story of her life visit the Frida Kahlo Foundation website.

Frida Kahlo Inspired Floral Embroidery

Image of the beginnings of the portrait of Frieda Kahlo on a stone blue background and floral design in pinks and white and the beginnings of her striking eyebrows with Rebecca's gorgeous brown burmese cat overseeing her work
Kahlo portrait in the making

Wanting to have a piece of Frida Kahlo with me to look at whenever I had that feeling that s**t was getting real, I busied myself with a hand-embroidered portrait of the Queen of Colour. I focused on those eyebrows and of course, bold and beautiful blooms adorning her black as ink hair.

The stitches I used were primarily long stitch and little stars for floral centres.

Image of the embroidery hoop with stone blue material and a fine black sketch for the embroidery design
floral centres

TIP

I always find it easier to sketch a design onto my fabric in a fine black felt tip pen first.  The ink is always covered with the embroidery thread.

For a twist, leave some of the embroidery piece in sketch, allowing the embroidered elements to really wow the crowd.

Image of the completed work framed in an embroidery hoop complete with a floral arrangement in pinks, whites, yellows and peaches and her distinct ink black hair and striking eyebrows
Frieda Kahlo inspired embroidery

Today and for the past couple of weeks, I’ve found it difficult to look at my new handcrafted effort and not feel inspired to kick some creative ass.

Which artist moves you and inspires you to create special pieces? Share your images in the comments of these makes for everyone to appreciate!

Rebecca x

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