Studio Koekoek

According to Gerda of Studio Koekoek, capturing the world in cross-stitches is a challenge, but an exceptionally good one. By designing cross-stitch patterns, she has started seeing the world in a different way. Her web shop, Studio Koekoek, is full of original patterns and awesome embroidery art.


Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
“I live in Amsterdam, which I think is really beautiful, and I love all the little cafés and cycling over the canals. I studied anthropology and traveled a lot for my work. I was introduced to embroidery by my mother-in-law, who is an avid embroiderer and really wanted to make us something for our house. I was concerned that I might spend the rest of my life looking at fuddy duddy embroidery work and so I tried making a little sketch. I used graph paper to make my first pattern. Before I knew it I had made a whole series, and we were sitting there embroidering together. It was a revelation; embroidery is such a relaxing thing to do! I’m kind of restless by nature, but embroidering really helps me get into a Zen state.”


What do you like about designing cross-stitch patterns?

“I try to offer patterns that are simple and small so you can quickly see a result. But in terms of design, it is quite a challenge to catch a good likeness with a minimum of stitches. Really fun too, though, because it changes how you look at the world around you. When I was watching the last World Cup, football players just seemed to appear of their own accord on the graph paper in my lap, which led to a series of football embroidery being born. Suddenly I started getting male customers in my shop!”


What is your best experience in your web shop so far?

“It is always fun when someone asks for a personal pattern for a family or bridal couple. They send me a picture and I puzzle as long as it takes to get a good pattern with a good likeness. Recently a man from California sent me an e-mail with the request for a pattern of him and his girlfriend together. He is going to use it as his marriage proposal to her!”