May 28, 2007

Interview with a Stitcher

Carol's Flickr icon

Many of us have seen this photo that accompanies the letters, cbcyr. She belongs to the Flickr Embroidery Group and many people are raving about her work. I was lucky enough to steal some of her time and ask a few questions about her embroidery and her life. This is an interview with Carol.




Q. Carol, how long have you been embroidering and how did you get started?
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A. I did some embroidery and needlepoint as a kid , my mom was my teacher of all things crafty. I just started embroidering again a few years ago.
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Q. I think I first noticed your work on flickr where I saw a quilt you made with embroidered horses. I thought it was great and your work helped inspire me to try embroidery. What or who, would you say, have influenced you in crafting?
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A. Ugh, Those horses! Let me warn people about making embroidered quilts for twin birthdays with a short deadline….. DON‘T DO IT! I am influenced by so many people, books, pictures, blogs, etc. as far as crafting goes. All of the information sits in my head and occasionally something will hatch. I have far more ideas (and fabric) than I will ever have time to finish in my lifetime.
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Q. Are you most attracted to any particular style of embroidery?
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A. I found Jenny Hart from Sublime Stitching on Craftster a few years ago and was immediately drawn to her style because I am not really a “ducks wearing bonnets” kind of girl either. Shortly after finding Sublime Stitching I found what is probably as close to heaven-on-earth as I can imagine….. Patternbee.com . Vicki from turkeyfeathers does a great job restoring vintage embroidery patterns. Vintage patterns are my true love and give me a serious case of warm-fuzzies. Really, I could go on all day.
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Q. So you are a busy mom and work as well, right? Do you have any tricks for balancing all your roles and finding time to stitch?
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A. Yes, I have a husband, 3 busy daughters and I work as an office manager at a super-cool advertising agency. I’m also the one that always volunteers for everything without ever thinking it out first. You need me to sew 20 costumes by next week, bake 6 dozen cookies, drive your kid to the game and do the walkathon? Sure, I’ll do it, no problem. They I cry and whine on my blog about how busy and stupid I am!
I think my trick is that I sleep 6 hours a night and my house is a mess most days.
Some seasons are better than others for crafting I think, I haven‘t quite mastered spring crafting. For the rest of the year I like to have various projects going on at all times. I always have a tea towel on the hoop near the couch for TV watching and I really enjoy doing embroidery poolside while my kids are swimming, my hands are never idle.

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Q. What other interests do you have besides crafting?
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A. Pretty much whatever my kids are doing, I really love watching them play sports. I love to cook. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. My husband and I are active in our kid’s school and our church.
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Q. Do you plan your embroidery projects or do you just wait for inspiration to come to you and just go for it? How does the creative process work for you?
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A. Lately it’s been an idea for a gift that I need the next day and I stitch like a lunatic to get it done. Most times I just stitch whatever I feel like but I prefer to be on a mission.
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Q. What would your perfect day be like, what would you do?
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A. It would be all about ME! No cooking, cleaning, driving, no making decisions. I would sew in my pajamas and drink coffee. Just for one day, that’s all.
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Q. What advice would you give to those interested in learning to embroider?
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A. Buy lots of DMC floss when it goes on sale. There are no rules, just do it. People tend to get hung up on rules when crafting and that just annoys me. Of course there are general rules that keep projects from falling apart but as far as stitch length and size, neatness of the back of your work etc. We are not performing surgery, just have fun and do what looks good to you. Start small, nothing feels better than finishing a project fast.


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Here are just a few of Carol's embroidery projects.

Mona Lisa I am quite proud of this little piece. I joined a challenge on Craftster a few years back where we had to use only 3 colors of floss from the same family and create whatever we wanted. This was unlike anything I have ever done. It later became a patch on a tote bag for an art teacher at school.

Gabby's quilt I put a lot of time into the embroidery on this quilt, it was when I first started up again so I was very careful with my stitches on every piece.

mushrooms and turtle
This is just such a cute vintage pattern that I loved doing and is one of my favorites:
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To see more of Carol's work visit her blog, wip, and view her photos at Flickr.

3 comments:

  1. thanks for the interview. it's fun to get to know a fellow stitcher this way. hope there are more interviews to come.

    love the mona lisa - very ambitious. the closest thing i have come to doing a mona lisa is a paint-by-numbers:)

    maggie
    portland maine
    usa

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  2. How wonderful! Yes, I'm a huge fan of Carol's projects, and she is also one of our Embroidery group admins! :)

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  3. That is wonderful idea. I love her work and now I know her even better. Thanks.

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