Beverly Army Williams’s creative practice is richly varied, though her pace and discipline are a constant element throughout. She builds stories slowly — piece by piece through small, daily actions. Embroidery is her favorite mode of textile exploration. She will often partake in long-form creative challenges: ones that last 100 days or entire years in which content and technique are explored through repetition. One example is her Solstice project, which lasted from the winter solstice of 2020 to the summer solstice of 2021, in which she stitched around 1,820 french knots onto a single piece of cloth.
As days pass, the relationship between object and maker grows and deepens. This mode of creating allows Beverly to work on larger projects, removing the pressure to create all at once. She sees these daily routines as a grounding and orienting force in her life — a part of the day that is quiet, reflective, and intentionally focused. These daily rituals take many forms in her life. She stretches, she knits for 23 minutes, she stitches. Consistent, intentional acts connect and distinguish our days. Growth and change are recorded in these actions as they follow and reflect our lived rhythms. Working in this way, the textile becomes a touchstone as it accompanies us over swaths of time.
In addition to her textile work, Beverly is a writer, editor, and educator. She is trained in fiction writing, though most recently she is focused on exploring poetry. Finding new ways to communicate through written and visual language excites her. Whether on paper or cloth, she sees blank spaces as openings for creativity and expression. “Many people fear the blank page,” she says, “but I just love it.”
Beverly finds embroidery inspiration in plants, wildlife, and the written word. Most recently, she’s working on an embroidery project that draws from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. She is re-reading the stories and sketching to explore emotion, theme, and composition, before stitching them into cloth. Like letters on a page, small stitches combine to create something larger. Just as her written work is centered on narrative, Beverly’s embroidered compositions remind us of the incredible communicative and story-telling potentials of cloth, and the ways in which thoughtful action and intention create avenues for connection and conversation.
Next month, Beverly will be teaching Embroidery as Drawing at Tatter!
Beverly Army Williams
Beverly Army Williams has been smitten with textiles and fiber arts since she was seven. An avid crocheter, knitter, weaver, quilter, and garment maker, she has been embroidering for 18 years. Her embroidery explores the power of repetition and expressive lines. She regularly embarks on long-term embroidery projects, most recently embroidering a series of abstract pieces in 2” squares.
When not stitching, Beverly teaches writing, makes poems, plays with watercolors, and hikes with her husband and two dogs in the woods of Connecticut. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @Beverly_Army13 or visit her website at www.beverlyarmywilliams.com.