A Look Back At 2012

It seems such a short time ago we were embarking on a journey into 2012, and now here it’s all flown by. This past year was a big one for Urban Threads for lots of reasons, from new series and a new website to Lab projects and awards.

We thought it would be a good time, before 2012 leaves us for good, to look back on some of our favorite moments of the past year. Click each image to learn more about each of our favorite events…

2012 kicked off with what was only our second Lab project at the time, the Baroque Punk Blazer. We were so thrilled with our Lab project from 2011, that we just had to jump into more, and this collaboration with local fashion designer Laura Fulk was just as fun as we hoped it would be.

This past year also brought a fun new collaboration with some good friends in the embroidery world, with our monthly series called Gear Threads over on Mr X Stitch. It has been such fun highlighting the amazing stuff going on in the world of mechanized embroidery these days, and the talented artists who are using it.

We also launched the Urban Threads Lookbook, so stitchers can browse through some of our favorite projects, collections, and designs and get ideas to inspire their threads in an easy-to-browse magazine format.

We have updated the lookbook three times since its launch and hope to keep it a growing resource of inspiration!

Of course, you can’t talk about the last year without talking about all the fun new special collections that came out. Designs this year ranged from the light stitches of the Parisian Love Letter collection to the sculptural satin stitches of Baroque Punk, and stitchers had fun experimenting with new kinds of wearable lace and turned their machines into mini monster making factories.

We had a blast designing each and every special collection, and have so many delicious schemes for next year. You can see all of them from this year and more in our Design Packs section.

Our Urban Entrepreneurs series carried on with gusto, showcasing the amazing stitchy talents of folks who use UT designs in their everyday crafty biz.

This year featured entrepreneurs were given the chance to get on a special collaborative resource that lists folks who are happy to do custom work for people who aren’t lucky enough to get their hands on an embroidery machine of their own.

And of course, when April Fools’ Day came around…

Well, we couldn’t resist having a little fun. You crazy Urban Threadsters proved just how awesome you can be though when you actually demanded that Steampunk Bacon Cat become a real design, and when you ask, we deliver.

Steampunk Bacon Cat even reached mini meme status when he was featured in a webcomic, which cemented his fame and highlighted just how weird we are to the rest of the internet. We’re so proud of our furry, savory, dapper little kitty.

This year also brought an abundance of fun new tutorials to whittle your afternoons away on. Crafters learned how to make everything from elegant stitched fashions to tiny 3D robots, and it’s probably only here would those two kinds of things be found in the same place. You can learn even more weird and wonderful skills than that by checking out our full tutorials section.

They’re all free, and we promise, they’re all totally easy, even if you’re totally new to crafting or machine embroidery.

Not to be outdone in projects, you guys shined bight and bold with your own amazing creations that we highlight in our featured projects section.

When you guys go above and beyond in your amazing crafty skills, it’s only right for us to pay proper respect to these amazing creations.

Seriously, it’s hard to keep up with you guys sometimes…

We love our jobs here at UT, so it’s no surprise the crew also occasionally got up to totally random shenanigans, whether it was rocking some new fashions in the studio to show off 13 design trends to make your embroidery more awesome, or doing whatever this is, we always have fun with what we’re doing.

Also, we’re not afraid to show off just how bonkers we are sometimes, because as far as we can tell, you’re just as nuts as we are.

After our Baroque Punk Lab project earlier in the year, we had to keep experimenting with all the awesome potential of embroidery, in another Lab Project.

That meant we went big and bold with this machine embroidered upholstered chair that showcased the new Mendhika collection. We were tickled pink when it got featured up on a favorite blog of ours, Design*Sponge.

Of course, one of the biggest new developments of 2012 was our brand shiny new website that went up this past summer!

We stripped it down and gave it a total refresh, with bigger, bolder pictures, easier to navigate designs, a new tutorial section, and lots lots more. It was a labor of love we developed ourselves and it has gotten a great response from all of you!

We’re of course always looking to add more improvements and fixes, of which we’re sure you’ll see more of in 2013.

More more and more Lab projects! We just had such fun with these collaborations in 2012 that we asked our good friend Mr X Stitch to help us out with one.We teamed up with punk rock kilt outfitter Alt Kilt to make a custom embroidered kilt to show the more guy friendly side of embroidery that’s emerging in the world.

Mr X posed like a champ, and more importantly, talked with us about what it’s like as a dude working in this traditionally feminine craft. These days dudes can not only rock embroidered looks, but take the craft on themselves with mad skills. It’s a changing world out there, and we’re only happy to see guys take part!

Urban Threads got some fun press this year, with features in print magazines like Gothic Beauty and Stitches, and online in craft blogs like Whip Up, Designs in Machine Embroidery and Design Sponge. I even got a chance to share my actual voice with folks in a radio interview! You can see it all and more over on our new press page.

Stitches especially has a special spot in our hearts this year, because in addition to some lovely features, we were delighted to be the recipients of three Golden Needle Awards:  Design of the Year, Artistic/Fashion, Design of the Year, Technical/Fashion and Editors’ Pick!

We were even more delighted in December to be once again named on their list of 75 Most Powerful People in the Industry, even bumping up three spots from last year. It’s a great honor for our little alternative embroidery company to be recognized among the greats of the industry.

Near the end of the year, we took on one of our most ambitious Lab projects ever, with the experimental Evenfall Lace series. We wanted to see just what kinds of crazy creations and effects you could get out of just your embroidery machine, no crafty collaborations required.

With the new designs, we crafted up lace jewelry, a set of full size lace wings, and even a pair of lace shoes! Then to top it off we decided to make our first ever feature video so crafters of all kinds could get a look at the magic embroidery machines can create. We loved making the video so much that we hope to experiment more with it in 2013!

Finally, we closed out the year with a little Lab project that grew into something much, much bigger than we ever thought possible…

Early in the last month of 2012, we shared our Giving Bunny project with you and asked you to take part in the collaboration. Only a few short weeks in, and the project has already expanded to hundreds of bunnies, 6 continents, five additional language tags and lots of happy new bunny owners.

At your request, we also introduced a special tag and info when you asked if the bunnies could go out on a special mission in wake of the devastating tragedy in Connecticut. With the collective efforts of all of you, one tiny little bunny design has turned into a simple but powerful way to spread some handmade joy to total strangers, and we intend to keep the project running long into 2013, so everyone has a chance to take part. It has been inspiring to watch you all take on this project with such a giving heart. I think collaborating with all of you has been our favorite collaboration to date!


So farewell 2012, you were a standout year. We had such fun with new projects, people, and crafts, and we can’t WAIT to share with you some of our schemes for next year. Until then, happy new year everyone, and thanks for spending 2012 crafting with us!

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7 Responses to “A Look Back At 2012”

  1. 1
    Stef says:

    I am so glad I found your site this year (My checkbook isn’t though..oi..) I started out looking for hand embroidery patterns, and segued into buying my first machine then used it to basic mess around, buy a ton of patterns (Plus get all the FREEBIES) making a ton of things for friends and family to finally starting my own business!

    So far, things have gone wonderfully well with my shop and it is all because of your patterns. Thank you thank you!

    Y’all are special people, and I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring. 😀

    (Hopefully it will bring ME more monies so I can get a bigger machine. hehe)

  2. 2
    Cherrylmaree says:

    You are all so wonderfully talented and I am so glad I followed Deb’s advice and took the time to see what you have to offer. This year has been fantastic for you and I look forward to sharing your creative adventures into a bright future. Best wishes.

  3. 3

    You guys rock the fashion world when it comes to embroidery! I am probably older than most of your customers, but stitching out all the contemporary stuff makes me feel young. Just did a steampunk denim jacket and can’t wait to wear it to a concert. I won’t ink this old bod, but I can play with designs that mimic tattoos. LUV IT!!! Thanks and happy 2013!

  4. 4
    beth says:

    I too am so happy that I stumbled on your designs, it is always fun to see what is coming next, the designs that I have stitched out are beautiful, I just wish there was more time!

  5. 5
    Mary says:

    Thanks so much for all you come up with and do for us! I love your site, and although I first went looking for Steam Punk designs, I now love reading the blog and drooling over the LookBook. and buying new embroidery designs, of course. When I teach new owners how to use their embroidery machines and they ask where to get designs, your site is the first off my lips. I look forward to the new year with you…many wishes for your continued success!

  6. 6
    Angela says:

    I followed you the whole year and each time I am completely inspired, thank you for sharing your super creative talent. Can’t wait to see what is in store 2013! Happy New Year to all !!

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