Mr X Stitch presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Tugba Kop

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Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge! I’m Mr X Stitch and I’ll be your guide to the best in contemporary embroidery. Each week I’ll showcase someone who is rocking the world of embroidery and textiles.

Tugba Kop is an Illustration graduate from Kingston University.

Her work charmed me, and I contacted her to find out more:

I’ve been interested in sewing for as long as I can remember! Both my parents were working in the textile industry, so I was surrounded by textiles from an early age. My mum would bring home black bin bags full of unwanted fabrics for me to play with. I later rediscovered my interest in sewing as a means of image making, as opposed to construction. I would say that I mainly learned through experimentation, trial and error. I was never that interested in the technical side of sewing though, it was always the more decorative and unconventional sides that really fascinated me.

“I place great importance on the drawing stage of my process. Without a quality drawing, the sewn versions would be doomed from the start! My drawing style is quite linear so it translates well with the sewing machine. I’ve always been interested in drawing and sewing seperately, so I think it was only a matter of time before I brought the two together. Stitching my drawings into fabric just felt like the natural transition to me.

“I draw inspiration from everywhere! Firstly, I love interesting looking people. In my foundation year, I grew obsessed with drawing beautiful people, but now I’m the complete opposite! I look for character in the people I draw – the stranger the better! Other than that, I’m inspired by everyday observations that go unnoticed, fabrics, colours, films, photography, fashion, blogs, other artists work-the list is endless!

“As well as image making, I also use my sewing machine to make leather accessories that I sell in my Etsy shop. There is so much I am interested in, that I try to incorporate my work into different mediums. I recently created an image especially for the front cover of a sketchbook I was making.

“I even rework my finished pieces. I turned my family portrait image into a cushion! By reworking it, it completely changed the meaning of the piece. I liked the idea of displaying a family portrait in a more homely way, while creating something practical for the home at the same time.

I really like Tugba’s work; the intelligent free machine embroidery captures the quirks of human behaviour and evokes nostalgia in a similar way to that of Gillian Bates and yet there’s a hint of darkness reminiscent of Emily Eibel. The use of different materials gives the work that extra edge, and I find the use of leather to be both novel and natural.

Get to know Tugba via her blog, marvel at her work on her website and buy pieces from her etsy store. Tugba has only just begun and I’m excited to see where she goes.


Mr X Stitch is a manbroiderer, cross stitch designer and runs, the number one contemporary embroidery and needlecraft blog on the planet.

He can often be found hanging out on the Craftster needlecraft boards, at the Phat Quarter on Flickr, or designing patterns for the MrXStitch etsy store.

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One Comment

  1. Chrisy says:

    Stunning, inspiring stuff….a true artist painting with a needle…thank you for sharing…

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