Illustrator Uses Embroidery Skills to Create Adorable Custom Pet Portraits

Sara Barnes Embroidery

Illustrator Sara Barnes has found a unique medium to bring her illustrations to life—thread. What started out as a way to incorporate new materials into collages she was creating has transformed into a unique way to provide people with images of their pets. Embroidered portraits of cats and dogs are her bread and butter, but Barnes is a versatile illustrator who knows how to use thread to create any image she can dream up.

Through her embroidery business Bear & Bean—appropriately named after her cats—Barnes provides pet owners custom portraits of their furry friends. These portraits not only end up as wall hangings but can even be created as patches or as a cute way to jazz up an old shirt. Using just a needle and thread, she quickly proves that embroidery is a versatile way to let off some creative steam.

“Embroidery has hundreds of stitches to learn, and they can do a variety of things,” she shares. “Whether it's creating interesting textures and surface patterns or as a way to join fabrics and materials, stitches are a gateway to that.”

Barnes isn't just a creator. She also loves sharing her knowledge, which she does in her role as a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and as an author. Her book, Embroidered Life highlights the work of well-known embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning. She also shows off her creative process by posting fun, informative videos to TikTok. And now, she's excited about a new opportunity to share her embroidery knowledge in a Stitching Spring virtual embroidery workshop hosted by My Modern Met.

Barnes has dreamed up a floral embroidery pattern specifically for the online workshop, which is taking place on May 6, 2023 at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT). Over the course of the hour-long lesson, participants will see how they can use the pattern to create a wall hanging or even add a floral touch to a piece of clothing. The virtual workshop costs $10, and all participants will receive Barnes' custom floral embroidery pattern, as well as a list of supplies, ahead of time. And, after the fact, everyone will be sent a recording so even if you can't make it live, you can still participate.

Barnes hopes that the event will get people just as passionate about this craft as she is. “I hope that people will see that embroidery is a fun and easy craft to learn and that once you know the basics, there are infinite creative possibilities.”

Whether you are just picking up a needle and threads or already have some experience under your belt, don't miss this opportunity to learn from a skilled embroidery artist and pick up a ticket now.

Sara Barnes is a trained illustrator who began making embroidered pet portraits in 2019.

Sara Barnes Embroidery

Using her creative skills, she transformed people's furry friends into wearable art.

Sara Barnes Sharpei Illustration

Sara Barnes Embroidered Sharpei Patch

Whether stitching patches, clothing, or accessories, her embroidery makes a statement.

Embroidered Hat by Sara Barnes

Cat Embroidered Patch by Sara Barnes

Now she's ready to share her embroidery skills in a fun virtual workshop hosted by My Modern Met.

Black Dog Embroidered Portrait

French Bulldog Embroidered Patch

Join us on May 6 as Sara takes participants step by step through the process of stitching the fun floral pattern she created for the event.


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Whether you are a beginner or have some experience, it's a fun way to gain some new skills and meet fellow embroidery enthusiasts.

Online Embroidery Workshop

Tickets cost just $10 and can be purchased online now. You'll receive the embroidery pattern beforehand and a recording of the workshop after the live event.

Spring Embroidery Workshop Online

Sara Barnes: Website | Instagram | TikTok

Related Articles:

11 Must-Have Embroidery Supplies To Buy If You’re Going To Start Stitching

Embroidery Artist Puts a Twist on Her Hoop Art by Stitching Fabric Photographs

Create Colorful Hoop Art When You Use These Embroidery and Painting Supplies

How an Embroidery Artist Turned Her “Thread Sketching” Into a Vibrant Body of Art

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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