Clever Embroidery Series - Monika Kinner Whalen

Hello and welcome to this very popular series! This week, I have a Canadian fiber artist who hales from Saskatchewan. I've been following her blog and enjoying her growth and success with admiration. 

Let me introduce Monika Kinner-Whalen!

I started hand embroidery at the age of 40.  That's not very long ago.  My mom was a landscape artist who did not sew or hand stitch.  I just never grew up with fibre art!  Sometimes I resent that.  For the most part,  it still feels new and terribly exciting!  I bask in it.

2.  teaching

I don't even remember how I learned my first French Knot.  I guess it was either a youtube video or an embroidery instruction book.  For the most part, I am self taught.  I began with free machine threadpainting, and added my own 'freestyle' hand stitches for the parts that needed to be hand stitched.  I quickly discovered how handwork - even just a little bit - made my fibre art so much better.  Eventually, I met an older embroidery artist with a lifetime of experience.  She invited me to stitch with her, and she soon became a mentor for me.  Her name is Margot Lindsay, and I adore her embroidery like no other!  Today I enjoy hand stitching entire landscapes.  The slow craft of hand work is so very nourishing.

3.  classes

 I have taken no formal embroidery classes, with the exception of a Needle Lace workshop through my local embroidery guild.  I spend a lot of time in self-studies, learning from the 'old masters' in our field as painter would learn from their own experts.  Generally, I approach fibre as art and create landscapes in a manner similar to a painter.

4.  sell or enjoyment?

I embroider for my own personal enjoyment and I sell it as my main source of income.  I am a full-time artist and I have to pinch myself when I say that I get paid to stitch.  I love what I do, and I have worked hard to make a living from it.  I find this very fulfilling.  I also teach fibre art classes to supplement my income.

5  what inspires me

Canada inspires me.  My prairies inspire me.  Our four distinct seasons provide an everchanging landscape in which I never tire of.  Sunshine and shadows inspire me.  The skies and the wind...  I am a nature nut and I love weather and all times of day.  It's not often I feel stuck.  Most of the time, I feel like I have too many ideas.  I could never stitch fast enough to create everything I want.  I always have more projects waiting in the wings.

Fibre inspires me.  I started with thread.  I could never have enough.  Now I have enough!  : ) I'm stashing yarn now.  Variegated yarns are like paint for me - fat stitches are like brush strokes of blended colours.  A single ball of yarn is enough to get my creative juices flowing!

Monika_Kinner on Instagram

There you go another installment in my Clever Embroidery Series. If you know of a talented hand embroidery enthusiast, or you are an embroidery nut yourself, do contact me, I'd love to follow your blog and profile you too!

Happy Quilting


  1. My most favourite textile artist - spread the word! xx

    1. I couldn't agree more! Monika is such a sweet lady too. I am so glad she was able to find a few hours to repond to my request! Thanks so much for your comments! I'm still unable to have full functionality on the Internet, its not stable yet!

  2. Monika's work is incredible. I've been following her for awhile. I agree.......spread the word.

    1. I'm on it and so it goes, Monika is a friend of mine and was sooo busy. Thank goodness she was able to fit in my questions to profile her work. Thanks Jo for your comment!

  3. Wow - Monika does amazing work! There's such an incredible amount of detail in the pieces shown here. Now I'm off to check out her blog!

    1. Good to know that you like her stuff, its well worth following her work.

  4. Love this series - thank you for introducing me to great artists like Monika.

    1. "Love this series" is music to my ears, I work on building interesting posts and series, thank you so much!

  5. O my... you folks are going to make me cry. ♡ THANK YOU for your kind words. :) and Thank you Caroline!

    1. Thanks Monika!! So happy you have found a few moments to pop over and say hi! Your work is reaching far and wide by now. lol


Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!
I think its neat when other's feel compelled to write a comment. I check on notifications frequently. If you are a no-reply commenter, please leave an email address if you wish to hear back from me directly.

Popular posts from this blog

Hexie Quilt Top WIP

Sashiko Sockeye Bowls

A little bit of stitching...