Artist Paris Evans Creates Stitched Art with Heart

Posted at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 15, 2022

SALUDA – Paris Evans, the owner of Milkweed Studios, began selling her embroidery and designs at craft shows and online before becoming a thriving business that now operates from her home studio in Saluda.

Milkweed Studios features several handmade products and does specialty embroidery on everything from vintage clothing to denim jackets, all hand-sewn. She hand draws all the stencils and has created a wide variety of embroidered patches, and recently added canvas felt earrings.

You may have seen his hand-embroidered work on denim jackets, corduroy hats, or even hanging on the wall at a recent exhibit at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. The Charleston native moved to Saluda about three years ago with her husband, photographer Paul King, and was quickly adopted by the city. She opened a physical store downtown before moving to a home studio that she and Paul built themselves.

While Evans grew up in Charleston, she spent many summers and vacations in the mountains of western North Carolina, visiting family in Hickory and Burnsville. Her grandmother used her talent with yarn as a car upholsterer, to whom people came from miles away to have their torn car seats repaired. Taught to sew by her mother, Paris combined her talents by incorporating embroidery into her works. While attending the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), she began creating mixed media pieces where she layered hand embroidery over her pencils or paints.

“I got back into embroidery a few years ago, and things fell into place when a friend encouraged me to attend a local market in Charleston. I started sewing live, and it grew from there,” says Evans. “I found a lot of clients online, and now I do a lot of work for my local and commercial clients. And, of course, my home studio is available for tours by appointment.

Upon entering Evans’ home studio, one is immediately struck by the brightly colored yarn, the variety of embroidered patches and a rack of clothes waiting for his latest creation to be sewn. The centerpieces of her workshop are her two vintage sewing machines, on which she does most of her work, one from the 1930s and the other from the late 1800s.

“I’m so happy to be here,” Paris says of the area. “I love the Saluda community and meeting everyone. It’s so nice to be in a small town where people are so excited about the arts and my work.

For more information or to make an appointment to visit his studio, go to www.milkweed-chainstitch.com or check out her Instagram feed @milkweedstitch.

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