Interview with Mollie Johanson
Read our latest interview with Mollie Johansen from Wild Olive. Mollie is a crafter who creates adorable kawaii embroidery patterns (not to mention tons of other crafts that you’ll see on sites like Handmade Charlotte) so other crafters can create their own handmade works of art! She is also a host on the Very Serious Crafts Podcast, a fun podcast all about crafting! Mollie even tested out our Vanishing Fabric Transfers (read her review here) on one of her projects!
Learn more about Mollie and her work below!
Tell us about yourself.
“I’m Mollie and I love crafting! Since I was very young I’ve been making creative messes, and I’m blessed to have a family that has always supported me in that. I especially love anything that is super cute or kawaii, so when I make my own designs, that’s often an element I work in.”
How did you begin working with embroidery and stitching?
“My first experience with stitching came from my grandma when I was probably 4 or 5. Maybe younger! I dabbled in all kinds of crafts through the years, but then in my 20s I got back to embroidery and was hooked. Now it’s one of my favorite things to do for both hobby and work.”
What inspired you to start Wild Olive? What is it about?
“Wild Olive came about during a time when my job was very draining and I needed a creative outlet. Over time it grew into what it is now: a way for me to inspire others with patterns and projects. In my shop, I have all kinds of patterns and lots of stitching clubs that let you embroider designs and make them into quilted projects, and on my blog, I share a ton of freebies because I just like to!”
How did you get involved with the Very Serious Crafts Podcast?
“Would you believe it was a chance conversation on Twitter? Haley from Red-Handled Scissors said there should be a non-interview style craft podcast and I replied that it sounded like something I could do (after my brother hounded me to start a podcast for ages!). The rest is history!”
Check it out here!
Where do you get your inspiration to create your designs?
“One of my favorite things to design is everyday objects with faces on them, which gives me a world of inspiration! But I also look to Sanrio, Animal Crossing, Richard Scary’s Busytown, and other childhood favorites.”
Do you have a favorite holiday/life event that you like to embroider or stitch for?
“Oh gosh! I could honestly stitch for anything! Christmas is always a good one and I’ve designed a ton of patterns in that area. But this year I made something a little different from my typical work and embroidered a piece to celebrate my brother’s wedding. That was special and fun.”
Any advice for someone interested in learning how to embroider or stitch?
“I like to keep my own patterns simple enough that you can embroider the whole thing with three stitches: back stitch, french knot, and scallop stitch. Those last two can feel intimidating, but I recently made a little video to show them in action.
But the bigger point here is that you can usually simplify any pattern down to just a few basic stitches. Practice those and your stitching will look amazing in a hurry!”
Read Mollie’s embroidery basics series here.
With all of the different options available to express one’s creativity, why do you choose this medium?
“I like to think of embroidery as coloring or painting with thread, even when you’re just outlining a thing. It’s relaxing and there’s something very comforting about the whole experience. The feel of the fabric, the sound of the thread pulling through the fibers…I love it.”
What other projects/endeavors are you working on?
“I always have new ideas that I’m excited to work on! My biggest new thing is adding short, simple stitching videos to my new YouTube channel. I want to make it easier for folks to try embroidery, cross-stitch, and other kinds of stitching so they can enjoy crafting too!”