Decoding Your Story: Christen Brown

Decoding Your Story: Christen Brown

Apr 26th 2024

Welcome to Decoding Your Story, a series of interview-styled blog posts delving into the captivating narratives of makers within our C&T and Creative Spark community. Join us on this journey to inspire, connect, and celebrate the vibrant creativity that defines our crafting family!

In this post, we're excited to feature Christen Brown, the talented C&T author and Creative Spark Instructor. Learn more about her current projects, where she finds inspiration, and what drives her to bring her creations to life.

What project or creation are you currently immersed in making? 

CHRISTEN BROWN: I am working on a series of samplers that take a basic pieced block that I designed, and then transform seam by seam with embroidery and embellishment stitches.

When it comes to art, what specific form or genre are you championing, and why does it resonate with you?

CHRISTEN BROWN: I call myself a "Fiber Artist," which encompasses a broad range of styles, materials, and techniques. I have always been drawn to fibers, threads, ribbons, embellishments, and beads. I love combining these components in colorful, exciting, and creative ways and delight in the fact that I can share the results with an eager audience.

Can you share a recent inspiration that fueled your creative process?
CHRISTEN BROWN: I have been fortunate enough to have been "gifted" a collection of vintage sari border ribbons, glass beads, shisha mirrors, and embroidered silk fabrics. A few of these beautiful treasures have been incorporated into pieces that I am currently working on for an upcoming title (TBA).
Have you encountered any challenges or obstacles in your creative endeavors recently, and how are you overcoming them?
CHRISTEN BROWN: Oh, my, YES! I find that no matter how many times I measure, once, twice, or a gazillion times, I always come up with some edge, side, center, or other part of a piece that is just off. To compensate, I embroider and embellish even more, so that the viewers eye turns to that great button, or pretty embroidered flowers, rather than the 1/4" or so unintentionally wonky finished edges.
What motivates you to continue pushing boundaries and exploring new artistic territory?
CHRISTEN BROWN: I have been creating with a needle and thread since I was 7, at 67 I can't imagine a day without a needle, thread, and something to stitch on. What motivates me to keep on going is the fact that I have a room full of beautiful materials, that I want to turn into more beautiful works of art.
Can you share a glimpse into your creative process, from ideation to execution?
CHRISTEN BROWN: For me, it begins, and finishes with color. Color brings all of the components into play, and combines the materials together to create a story. I also love to use items that are special to me, like a gifted doily, or skein of thread. I enjoy incorporating these with other items I have been saving for just the right project.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists who are just starting to find their voice and style?
CHRISTEN BROWN: There is only one you, and only one you inside your head creating your work. Keep at it, hone your skills, be confident, and be true to your vision. Find a path that makes sense to you and one that will make you happy. Lastly be gentle with yourself, grow at your own pace, enjoy the journey.

Stay tuned for more inspiring stories, insights, tips, and advice from our vibrant creative community to deepen your connection to your craft and inspire your next masterpiece.

Read other Decoding Your Story blog posts on the C&T Blog:

Cyndi McChesney


Christen Brown teaches embroidery, quilting, crazy quilting, ribbon work, mixed media, and beadwork in her best-selling books. With a degree in fashion design, she has shown her work in galleries and fashion shows internationally. She lives in Escondido, California.

Christen's Creative Spark Courses

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Embroidery Stencil Series

Embroidery Books