I don’t remember learning to sew. Like walking or language, it is ingrained in the earliest parts of me and passed down almost genetically through the women in my family.

My bisnonna, an Italian textile factory worker c. 1920s

To the continued frustration of my mother, however, my attention was not captured by creation and product, but by process. I pestered her and others in my family with a voracious appetite for learning something, anything, new — embroidery, knitting, crochet, quilting, fashion, and other non-textile pursuits like stained glass and woodworking — despite dozens of unfinished projects littering my workspace. When I’d exhausted my family, I moved on to asking everyone else. Since early on, my life has been spent in perpetual search for a new teacher.

My first outside mentor was also my university advisor and an archaeologist whose research concentrated in the Peruvian highlands. She allowed me to freely explore global textile traditions, and she opened a world for me that would eventually become the driving priority in my life — to travel and learn.

Since 2005, I have lived and traveled across five continents and the Pacific in search of textile traditions. I am grateful for the many teachers that I’ve met along the way — wonderful people who are connected to their work and happy to share whatever they can. Most of my learning opportunities have been informal adventures, with a few epic quests, as I follow different threads in this global craft. I am always amazed by how simultaneously similar and different it can be from one culture to the next.

I’ve reached a moment of focus in my life, and I now have more time to spend refining and sharing what I’ve learned. I still concentrate on process, and I am still meticulous and slow to produce, but it is my hope that I can continue to learn whenever possible and share that with others along the way.

Hanging out with the llamas at Machu Picchu

My name is Emily, and I currently live in sunny Puerto Rico with my wonderful husband, Ben, a sweet gatita named FilosofĂ­a Greytoes (called Sofi), and a little lovebird named Luci(fer), probably male.