Hello! I’m your host and resident evil genius, and since you’ve
wandered over here, I might as well tell ya a little about our weird
and wonderful little company. My name is Niamh (say nee-uv!), and
along with my totally un-phonetic name, crazy curls, and Irish genes,
I was lucky enough to have inherited a love of art from a very early
age, which is really to blame for the whole rest of this story. This
love of art led me to art college and eventually on to the world of
illustration, and along the way I landed this totally random
internship at a company called Embroidery Library. It was at this
internship that I was introduced to the nifty world of machine
That internship soon blossomed into a pretty
awesome full-time job, but the more I drew and learned, the more I
found the machine embroidery industry lacked a certain type of art --
namely, all the weird stuff I was so fond of doodling in my spare
time. Eventually, I approached Deb, the head of EL, with my idea for a
new kind of approach to machine embroidery, and we set to scheming.
What we came up with, out of a year of doodling, digitizing, and
all-around hard work, was a shiny new company: Urban Threads!
Our relationship is awesome and a bit unusual. We operate as part of a
larger team at
Embroidery Library, an employee-owned company of just
over 20 people right outside of Minneapolis, MN – but as Urban
Threads, we work apart. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to
create embroidery designs with the amazing quality and digitizing
skillz that EL is known and loved for, while taking them in a whole
new direction for stitchers (presumably such as yourself) who crave
designs you’re just not going to find on the mainstream sites. As Art
Director and Evil Genius at Urban Threads, I work with the fantastic
artists, computer geeks, and other creative folks who make up our
little team within our small company to bring these designs to life.
Thanks to this unique partnership, you get the best of both worlds!
We offer designs in as many formats as possible, so people from all
crafting backgrounds can join in the fun. If you're not into
(yet!) you can still stitch your favorite designs in
So, who is this unique and crafty consumer we speak of? You! And trust
me when I say, “you” means a lot of different kinds of you! Urban
Threadsters come from all ages and all walks of life. You might be a
mum trying to find something to stitch for your finicky teenagers, or
a hip granny who still could teach those kids a thing or two about
style. Urban Threadsters are DIY teens, crafty dads and moms,
embroidery entrepreneurs, hipster seniors, pirates (seriously!),
professional vampires, and hobbyists bored with the usual. You are the
offbeat, the creative, the whimsical.
Most importantly, our designs exist for you and your creative
endeavors. One thing that sets Urban Threads apart from some companies
is that our
licensing policy allows you sell the things you make
with the designs. You may use them to stitch unique creations for
yourself, or offer a whole store of creative wares on Etsy, or use the
designs as inspiration for everything from tattoos to cakes and even
manicures. Our passion is sharing in your dreams and your creations,
and we hope you take the designs places we never imagined they could
Every weekday around noon (Central time) we post a cool new design,
and every Friday we feature a sweet new step-by-step tutorial, showing
you cool new and creative ways to use your favorite designs. Plus,
Urban Threads isn’t just a place to find cool new projects and
designs, but also to share your own ideas and input with us and with
other crafty folk! Got a great design idea?
Submit a request!
Want to share your latest hooping feat or crafty creation?
Add it to the
gallery! You can even see your own art become a machine
embroidered reality by
becoming a featured artist at Urban Threads.
I’m so glad you’ve come by to check out our crafty little domain, and
hope you find what you’re looking for. Curious to know who else is
running this crazy circus? Well, let’s meet some of the people just
bonkers enough to work on Urban Threads.
Niamh – Art Director & Evil Genius
Niamh has been dabbling in the dark arts of Illustration since her
teen years, and since diving into Urban Threads she’s found all sorts
of fun creating, designing, and otherwise scheming with her cohort
Karline and her nefarious stuffed rabbit, Craft Bunny. Besides drawing
offbeat embroidery designs and MacGyver-ing together tutorials, Niamh
enjoys reading, traveling, martial arts, movies where things blow up,
and occasionally still freelancing illustration for magazines, concert
posters, and children’s books. She also probably spends far too much
time at her computer, trying to scheme up various ways of taking over
the world with embroidery.
Karline – Marketing & Ringmaster
If you contact Urban Threads with a question, love note, or trifling
amusement, Karline is probably the person you'll talk to. She does a
little bit of everything to pull this whole bizarre show together,
from setting schedules to enforcing deadlines to writing the
occasional tutorial to lots of dry things involving databases. Karline
was raised in the woods by a seamstress and a mad scientist and has
been making things since forever. She is an editor, a knitter, a nerd,
a rocker, a reader, and an amateur.
Danielle – Digitizing Diva & Space Cadet
Once upon a time there was an awesome gal named Danielle. She was born
in a distant universe and raised by bouncy space cats. After teaching
her the ways of color and design, they eventually sent her to Earth to
learn to play with the other humanoids, where she decided to continue
drawing and painting and go to art school. Upon coming to Urban
Threads, she learned how to enslave androids and computers alike to
produce embroidery. Danielle also collects Pez dispensers; likes
reading fantasy and sci-fi books, traveling, belly dancing, and
playing with her cats Luna and Nova; has more than 75 lawn gnomes, and has
a horrible obsession with Halloween. Viva la Halloween!
Colman – Illustrator & Master of Skulls
At age two, Colman was given his first crayon. Shortly after that he
realized that he loved to draw and that he would never stop. Since
that time, he has given up crayons and moved on to the pencil, oil
paint, digital illustration, and many other media. He has illustrated
for many years for various screen printing companies, so the switch to
designing for embroidery was a natural and painless evolution. Colman
still makes digital illustrations, still makes oil paintings, and
still loves drawing with a pencil, but to this day, he refuses to pick
up another crayon. Colman is responsible for a good number of the
skulls and flames here around Urban Threads; in fact, he tends to draw
them even when we don’t ask for ‘em.
Taylor – Illustrator & Daydreamer
Growing up in northern Minnesota, Taylor has been passionate about art
for as long as he can remember. When it was time to move out and
"become an adult," Taylor went to school for graphic design and began
his professional career drawing caricatures during the summer.
(Imagine, a job where people pay you to make them look... less than
flattering!?) After college, Taylor moved to the West Coast to study
art and continued to draw caricatures at Legoland California.
Eventually the artist's journey brought him back to the Midwest where
he joined up with the UT crew, and the rest is history.
Angela – Code Wizard & Cowgirl
Ever since her young years and despite not quite knowing what a
developer was, Angela always wanted to be one because that’s what her
dad was. After her first high school development class she had figured
out what it is a developer actually does, and thankfully was quite
happy to become one. She eventually signed on to help run a strange
little website called Urban Threads, and is now helping to bring crazy
embroidery to the masses through this thing called “the internet.”
When she’s not being our “IT guy,” you will find Angela riding,
training, competing, and being an all-around cowgirl on her barrel
horses in Waverly, MN, where she lives with her husband, Aaron.
Deb – Da Man
An executive powerhouse in jeans and flip-flops, Deb is the company’s
president and fearless leader – and one of the people who developed it
into the employee-owned commune of creativity it is today. When she’s
not keeping us Urban Threads kids in line or bursting in with
breaking news that foxes, not owls, are the hot new trend, she’s
reading voraciously (Cold War fiction in particular) or traveling the
world. Deb is an Aquarius, which explains a lot.
Craft Bunny – Mascot & Security System
The loveable furball of death and destruction was given to Niamh as a
gift when she was in college as a token of her love of Monty Python
and her strange obsession with fanged bunnies, and has been eating her
scissors ever since. Craft Bunny’s hobbies include consuming large
quantities of embroidery thread, showing off his fangs, occasionally
taking over tutorials for his own uses, and otherwise wreaking havoc
in the studio. He considers himself a very crafty individual, and we
don't argue with anything with that many teeth. (Need your own fanged
bunny? He's the creation of
you can catch one on
Amazon, among other places. Mind your fingers.)