Cross Stitch Q&A

In a time where big box stores are pooh-poohing my favorite hoby as “something nobody does anymore,” I feel it’s more important than ever to support those whose blogs are dedicated to the art form known as cross stitch. A little while ago, I came across a lovely new cross stitch blog at SewingButterfly’s site. I hope you’ll check it out if you’re interested. It’s young but already quite inspirational. She answered this Q&A in one of her first posts and inspired me to do so as well.

1.  How did you start or who introduced you to cross stitch?

My mother. She was a prolific stitcher when I was a child and taught me the summber before my senior year in high school (way back in 1992)

2.  Do you have favorite themes or designers?

As far as themes go, my least favorite would be samplers, but that isn’t the question. I do most of my cross stitch as gifts so I try to tailor the theme to the person it’s for. My favorite designers are Sue Hillis, Teresa Wentzler, and Nora Corbett.

Sue Hillis – I love her designs because they’re funny and fun to stitch and work up quickly. Plus, she’s from Richmond, Virginia like myself, so I love the chance to support a needlework artist from my hometown.

Teresa Wentzler – I’ve loved dragons since I was in third grade, so when I saw Ms. Wentzler’s The Castle, I fell in love. I started it in 2007 and got less than 1/4 of the way through before it went into my unfinished object (UFO) pile. I think I’ll soon restart it on evenweave fabric to make all the half stitches easier to stitch. Ms. Wentzler no longer designs patterns but is in the process of rereleasing her patterns at Patterns Online.

Nora Corbett – Her patterns are so ornate that they are works of art. Her 9/11 tribute The Lady Of  The Flag is in my stash and will likely be the most daunting project I’ll ever take on.

3. What floss brand do you use?

DMC, though I plan to eventually try some specialty thread.

4. Do you use a needle threader or are you a floss licker?

Neither. I fold the thread around the needle and push the bundle of thread through the eye.

5. What type of stitching frame do you use?

I have yet to figure out Q Snaps, so right now it’s just the tried and true embroidery hoop.

6. How many projects have you finished?

This year – 2 so far

The past 15 years – maybe 25 to 30.

7. How many completed works do you have currently displayed in your home?

Two – A UMass cross stitch from 2003 and a clipper ship I made for Bill in 2004.

8. Do you do more stitching for gifts or for yourself?

Definitely gifts.

9. What is your favorite project or finish you’re most proud of?

The UMass seal I made for Bill’s new office, and the Minuteman I made for Coach Whipple.

10. What has been your least favorite or worst experience with stitching?

Repeatedly having to rip out stitches (“frogging”) in the same place which has been at least partially remedied by wearing reading glasses while I stitch. Also not allowing myself enough fabric to finish a piece – fortunately that only happened once.

11. What do you love and hate about cross stitch?

Love – watching a pattern come to life. Making something for someone and seeing their reaction to it.

Hate – the disdain given my craft by the big box stores.

12. Have you introduced anyone to cross stitch?

Yes, my friends Nancy and Marie. I have also gotten my niece and nephew interested, but my mother will be the one to teach them since I don’t see them that often.

13. What was your first project and did you finish it?

A little snail playing a flute that I gave to my flute teacher as a Christmas present.

14. How do you store your floss?

For current projects I store my floss and scissors in a ziploc bag. For my thread collection, I’m in the process of winding bobbins and storing them in a three ring binder.


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