Carrie Fahl has been stitching away whimsical and adorable creations since 2006 when she was first taught her how to cross stitch by her mother and grandmother. Since then, she’s developed her skills through experimentation and practice to bring her cute fabric illustrations and designs to life through Cee Stitchery. Drawing from nature, folk art, and “the little things” of life, Carrie’s joyful heart comes through clearly in her work. We are pleased to have Carrie as our Debut Artist for the upcoming May 5-7 Market Collective! Read on to learn more about the maker behind Cee Stitchery’s pretty creations.
The word lighthearted comes to mind when I think of how to describe myself as an artist. I am fascinated with the idea of finding joy in the ordinary. I think a lot of what I create is very simplistic at its core, and it comes naturally for me to add a little bit of whimsy to that. Regardless of what I start out creating, I find the finished product often ends up with this cute factor that I don’t always plan for. It’s just a very inherent part of my artistic style and voice, and I embrace that. Cute makes us happy. It’s fun, and comforting, and joyful. I think we all crave simplicity in our lives, so if I can achieve that small feeling of happiness in the midst of everyday life for someone by making something they wear, use, or display in their home, then I've met my goal. I have learned through my creative process and through feedback from customers that these simple objects can hold a great deal of meaning for different reasons. When a lot of heart goes into a piece of artwork, it really does embody that. I think people can feel the message of love and joy that goes into something that is made with those intentions.
I create quite a few different products, so you will see a variety of textile products with hand embroidery as the focus from me at Market Collective. My work ranges from wall art, to fabric plants, ornaments, bookmarks, and apparel which includes a line of hand embroidered t-shirts and cute lapel pins.
I have memories of my Mom and Grandma cross stitching Christmas stockings for our family as a child. That's my first memory of needlework. So when I got older and needed something to keep my hands busy one Summer it was just natural to learn it from them. My Dad is also a landscape artist and my Grandpa was a woodworker. So I was always around people who made things with their hands, and I truly think the need to create is just something that is in me. Not only did their handmade work inspire me to be a craftsperson, but the way they live their lives and have raised their families inspires me every day. My Mom and Grandma are the strongest people I know. If I know anything about joy and appreciating life for the little things, it’s because they taught me. I grew up surrounded by warmth, and I have a lot to give as a result of that, so that’s what I pour into my work.
Some of the little things in life that bring me joy are the comfort of home, a cup of tea, going for a quiet walk, or a conversation filled walk with company, and experiencing the work of other artists. I have always had a love for folk art and draw a lot of inspiration from it. The many little things I experience in nature bring me joy as well. Many of the floral pieces I create are inspired by the wildflowers and growth I see in Northern Saskatchewan in the Summer. I’m very drawn to the honest beauty of plants that grow in the wild. They are simple and imperfect, which is what makes their beauty so authentic.
I love the texture and tactility of thread. Most of all I love the slow process of bringing a vision to life through stitches. So many people have said to me that they just don’t have the patience for embroidery because it is indeed a slow art that requires patience. I love the results I can achieve through thread but I also have a deep love and appreciation for the process. There is a lot of planning involved in realizing a vision, from thinking about the overall design you want to achieve and then breaking it down and thinking about what kind of stitches, how much texture, what colour fabric and threads you will use to get there. I love all of the steps. It’s slow work, but to me it’s very rewarding.