Move Forward In Love: Pride 2022 SAL from Modern Folk Embroidery

When designer Jacob de Graaf reached out to the Diversity in Stitching Team about Modern Folk Embroidery’s upcoming Pride 2022 SAL (stitch-a-long), we were instantly smitten. We fell even more in love with the project upon learning that the SAL’s theme was inspired while he watched imogenXstitch’s debut Flosstube episode.  Jacob reports that the design came together for him when imogenXstitch pulled the tarot card “The Lovers”, and quoted Madam Adam’s words “Move forward in love, or backward in fear”.

Jacob graciously agreed to answer more of our questions about the new SAL.

We are in awe of your gorgeous patterns, including your new Pride SAL.  What are your inspirations for the motifs you incorporate into a pattern like the Pride SAL?  What is your normal design process?  

JdG: Thank you so much! A couple of times now folks have gotten in touch with me if I would ever fancy designing a pride-themed pattern. I always felt like I should, but the inspiration was never quite there. When I watched Imogen’s first flosstube episode, the words they spoke at the end just rang with me, and it felt like such an appropriate quote for a pride-themed pattern. Once I had the quote, the design came about really quickly – usually once the idea is there, things seem to fall in place and that was the case with “Move Forward in Love” as well!

The idea of the progress pride flag is, as you’ll undoubtedly know, that the triangles point from the left to the right – as there is still a lot of progress to be made. And we make progress by moving forward in love. I also wanted to make a design that was still pretty much in line with the rest of my work, but taking those elements that are often found in folklore embroidery and (quite literally) colouring them in a different way. Carnations are traditionally a flower symbolising divine love. It felt appropriate to use this flower as a symbol of love in whatever form we may find it. Each of the six petals takes its colour from the traditional pride flag. The hearts of each petal and the birds on either side of each flower (another very traditional symbol of love) use the remaining colours of the triangle on the flag.

Why a Pride pattern? Why now?

JdG: It’s interesting to me that, as I’m living in the Netherlands, there’s a real danger to slip into a sense of misplaced comfort with my own situation. I’ve been very fortunate in my life not to have experienced any blatant homophobia. There’s a lot of love and respect from my family and direct surroundings. But I realise that not everyone is as lucky as I have been in having such a wonderful support network – or to have basic human right laws to protect you. These past months I’ve been appalled to see legislations that are banning schools to talk about LGBTQ+ subjects – which to me is not only completely insane but tremendously dangerous for both the mental and physical health of young folks who have questions and don’t know where to get answers, or where to go to when they just need someone for a chat.

When I announced the pattern I asked for suggestions for LGBTQ+ charities and/or organisations in the US, and one suggestion that came up several times was The Trevor Project. The work that these people do is so important and is needed more now than ever before. I hope that even if you’re not planning to join in with this stitch-a-long that folks will check out their website and make a donation. You can do so on my fundraiser page, here.

You are known for your growing collaboration with Carolyn at Evertotes and the folks at Leo & Roxy Yarn Co.  What excites you as a designer about working with other creatives in the stitching community?

JdG: For me, collaborations are all about trusting the people that you work with fully. There has to be mutual trust in that you can do what you like to do, and you know that your partners can do the same. Then, if things go right, something magical can happen. I’ve been really lucky working with Caroline (from Evertotes) and Kerri (from Leo&Roxy Floss Co), who are both wonderful to work with and are excited to try out new things and experiment. We have so many ideas and plans, and are working on some very exciting future projects that I cannot wait to share!

We know that the Move Forward in Love SAL was inspired in part after watching imogenxstitch’s debut Flosstube video.  Who are some of your other must-view Flosstubers?

JdG: I so wish there were more hours in the day so I could watch them all. I love how YouTube gives us the opportunity to talk about what we love doing, showing our stitching and giving a glimpse into the lives of folks all over the planet. I feel very lucky to call some of these fine folks my friends now. Below are just a few of the folks that I have been enjoying watching lately:

We checked in with Imogen about serving as muse for the Move Forward in Love SAL. Imogen told the Diversity in Stitching Team:

I’m absolutely living for this crossover between two of my icons: Modern Folk Embroidery & Madam Adam. Revealing my passion for Tarot and combining that with my debut FlossTube video was a risk! I never could have predicted that there would be any tangible result from it – let alone a fundraiser for LGBTQ+ youth charities! I love watching people follow their joy and embrace what they love. Putting this into action myself, and seeing it create a real-world impact is utterly incredible.

-Imogen (imogenXstitch)

You can learn more about Move Forward in Love and purchase the pattern here.

2 replies to “Move Forward In Love: Pride 2022 SAL from Modern Folk Embroidery

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