Would you share a little about your stitching background (when you started, who taught you, etc)?
I have been stitching and crafting as long as I can remember. My dad taught me to needlepoint on a kit I got for Christmas one year when I was about eight years old. My mom insisted that I learn to knit and literally drug me to knitting classes at Sears on Saturday mornings. My Mom and a neighbor (Judy Rothermel, for you quilters out there) took a quilting class when I was young and that started my love of making quilts.
I remember taking my Mom’s class projects and putting a few stitches in here and there while she was at work! We spent many Saturdays in Amish country buying fabrics and looking at quilts. I taught myself to cross stitch during study hall in high school. I remember my first project was a unicorn with a ring of flowers around its neck. I was so excited when Shepherd’s Bush came out with a pattern that had beads in it and different stitches! Once I realized there were different stitches it opened up a whole new world for me.
What is it about samplers that you love the most, and that draws you to design samplers?
I can’t really explain what draws me to samplers, it is just the feeling I get while stitching them. I love thinking about the girls that stitched them and what their lives were like. Samplers with lots of different stitches in them are my favorite as I love to challenge myself to learn new stitches and techniques. I love to reproduce samplers to try to bring the samplers back to life for a new generation of stitchers. I have also started doing some of my own designs which is a fun new challenge.
Do you have any particular Samplers Not Forgotten designs that stand out as personal favorites?
My preference is large samplers with the color red in them, animals, and flowers. Based on that, Elizabeth Lamb which was my first reproduction would probably be my favorite. I am also really fond of Jane Portues...who could resist a zebra! Isabill Robb and Maria Simoncini are also at the top of my list. I have some really great reproductions in the queue that will make it to the top of my list soon.
What do you find are the biggest obstacles in the process of creating a new design?
My biggest obstacle in reproducing a design is color. It is sometimes difficult to find just the right color. I love the old look of the samplers after they have faded out but I like to try to stay true to the original and refer to the back of the sampler for the original colors. I will admit I have broken down a couple of times and gone with the faded color but I really do like to stay true to how it was originally done.
What are your thoughts on your first trade show in Nashville this year?
I have always dreamed of going to the Nashville show and it certainly did not let me down. The designers and shop owners were wonderful.
Do you visit cross-stitch shops in your area very often?
Jane Portues 1837
This stunning sampler has a stitch count of 364w x 281h on 36ct Vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens.
Agness Horsburgh 1844
Another lovely reproduction sampler, Agness Horsburgh is 176 stitches wide x 238 high.
See more from Samplers Not Forgotten in our
Online Reference Catalogue.
I have a local shop, The Strawberry Sampler, here in PA. It is a wonderful shop with wonderful people who have gotten me out of lots of tight spots trying to get things framed. I also make trips to Baltimore to Needlecraft Corner. Drema, the owner, has been my biggest supporter from the very beginning. I would go to her shop and sit on the floor in the corner and play with silk floss trying to find just the right color (that is after she helped me find just the right fabric for a reproduction). She gave me lots of advice to get ready for Nashville this past year. Jean from the Attic in AZ has also been such a huge supporter. Going to her shop is on my bucket list!
What do you think our industry could do to better promote cross-stitch to the next generation?
Starting them young before they think it is an “old ladies” thing. Encouraging and supporting new and younger designers. We need to pay it forward to the next generation of designers whose designs will desired by the younger stitchers.
What are some things you enjoy in your spare time?
Stitching, stitching, and more stitching! I do also enjoy gardening (inside and outside as I have a lot of orchids and terrariums), baking, walking my two dogs, knitting, beading, reading, collecting antique lockets (they speak to me like samplers speak to me)…….the list goes on!
What are your three favorite TV shows or movies of all time?
This is a difficult question for me to answer. I loved the movies Out of Africa and Grease (the music was great in both of them). My current favorite shows are Downton Abbey and 24.
As summer draws to a much too sudden close, if you could go anywhere in the world for a few days where would you go?
There are so many places I would love to go. I think Egypt or Australia would be top on my list if I was to go someplace new. If I was to revisit someplace I would go to Sorrento, Italy or Kiawah Island.
New Trim From Dames of the Needle
From The Cauldron introduces a unique and beautifully dyed trim line! Pom Pom are great for a wide variety of projects, be it a small pillow or ornament, or an
ornate keepsake box! Give these a try and you'll love 'em!
Summer Stitching by Little House Needleworks
Get the graph for this colorful design FREE when you purchase the Classic Colorworks thread pack! The design may be done with 6 strand cotton
or perle 5 cotton (the photo below is the perle 5 version). Your choice! Classic Colorworks threads are hand dyed and wonderful to use when stitching!
Contact your favorite needlework shop to get your hands on this threadpack and the free graph that comes with it!
Find a shop using our shop locator
Find a shop website and purchase online
Try the Perle 5 Cotton threads with this graph as shown in the image below!