October 27, 2012

New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns - An interview with gnomecat

Hi, everyone, hope everyone is enjoying the new interview format for my monthly round-up post for the New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns (NEwVP) stitch-alongs (SALs). I think it is really fun and interesting to get to know some of the people behind the stitches!  (If there are questions you wish I was asking, please let me know in the comments!)  This month, instead of featuring someone who participated in the monthly SAL, I am featuring someone who participated in the year-long stitchy quilt along!   

As always, I invite all of you to join our New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns group or at least stop by and take a peek.  There are lots of new embroideries with vintage patterns being added on a regular basis that are totally unrelated to any monthly SAL.  Plus, since I'm doing an interview format now, I'm not able to show-off all the beautiful SAL stitcheries in our photo pool!  

And now I am pleased to introduce you to Flickr peep gnomecat.  I hear her real name is Jen ;)  

1.  Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a twenty-something who is obsessed with crafting, junking, reading books, and playing with my five cats [Frank, Stewie, Milo, Hooch and Lily]. I honestly act more like a 70 year old grandma than a twenty-something and I love it.

Boy meets girl.

2.  Do you have a vintage embroidery pattern stash?  If so, please tell us about them!

I do. I’ve been building it for a few years, most of them have been found through Hoop Love Vintage Transfers Flickr group. My grandma has also passed quite a few vintage embroidery patterns to me that she no longer uses.

Girl plays hard to get.

3.  How long have you been stitching (embroidering)?  What or who got you started?

I have only been stitching for a few years. The husband and I purchased our first home in 2009 and I felt a strong yearning to learn different crafty mediums so that I could decorate it with a crafty flair and on a budget. One month after purchasing our home, my mother bought me a sewing machine and the rest is history. Since then I have learned lots of different crafting mediums with my favorites being quilting, embroidery and crocheting. My overall goal is to have a very crafty feeling home and I’m slowing accomplishing that.

Boy acts romantically.

4.  Why do you like vintage embroidery patterns?  Do you have a favorite one or a favorite theme?

I gravitate towards vintage embroidery patterns because they are so whimsical. Who doesn’t want to dry their dishes with a towel that has smiling silverware? I love how most vintage embroidery patterns will incorporate a face; it brings personification to a whole new level.

Kisses, due to romanticness.

5.  Tell us a bit about the your "storybook of cat love" quilt you made.  (And I see stitchy pillowcases in one of the pictures too!)   
What attracted you to this particular pattern set?  Any story behind the fabrics you chose to piece the quilt together?  What does your hubby think about y'alls bed quilt and coordinating pillowcases?

Well as I mentioned, I love cats and I saw the patterns I used from Hoop Love Vintage Transfers about two years ago. I printed them and saved them for a rainy day. Earlier this spring, I was “bored” and needed to start a new project. It hit me, stitch up the cat love patterns. I decided at that point that this quilt should resemble a “storybook” as it went through the phases of the cat’s lives [courtship, marriage, kids, etc.]. As I was stitching the blocks, I even came up with a silly story about how the two cats met [isn’t stitching fun?!]. I had gone thrifting with a friend earlier in the year and had found some really cheap vintage floral sheets that I decided to use as the backing, sashing, boarders and binding. I then used the “stitch in the ditch” technique to “quilt” the quilt. As I was in the quilting phase, I got the urge to embroider again, and decided to find “Mr. and Mrs.” patterns thinking, “how cute would that look to match the cat love quilt?” so I couldn’t help myself.

Luckily, I have a very easy going husband who completely supports my love for crafting. His philosophy is whatever makes me happy, makes him happy. Of course, he likes to give me a hard time about how our house only represents my style but anytime I complete a project and ask for him to critique it; he declares it “the best thing ever” so therefore his opinion doesn’t matter much.

Cuddle time.

6.  Do you have a favorite embroidery stitch?  If so, why?

My favorite stitch is the back stitch. I love how it looks outlining everything! My biggest downfall as a stitcher is not branching out and trying lots of different stitches.

and next comes marriage.

7.  Do you have a favorite DMC (or other brand) floss color?  If so, what is the color name & number?

I do not have a favorite DMC floss color, although that is my favorite brand. I tend to gravitate towards mustards and avocados as they are my favorite colors.


8.  And speaking of floss, how do you organize all your skeins of embroidery floss?

I used to keep the majority of my floss in a zippered pouch; however, that got out of control and I started winding them around bobbins and keep them in a plastic case. I haven’t finished putting them all on bobbins [it is quite a project!] but think it will be worth it in the long run. I have a large basket [looks similar to a picnic basket] which I have deemed my embroidery basket.

enjoying time together; knitting the hubby socks.

9.  In your home, where do you usually sit to stitch?  Do you like it to be quiet while you stitch, or do you watch tv, listen to the radio, or talk on the phone while you stitch?

As with all my crafting, I have to have the t.v. on for a bit of a distraction. The best is picking out a t.v. series and then watch it from Season one on. You will be surprised how far through the series you can get just working on one project or one set of blocks to embroider.

and then comes babies in the baby carriage.

10.  Anything else you would like to share?

Blog link: zeeramblingsofacatlady.blogspot.com

storybook of cat love quilt.


Thanks for taking the time to read my post and meet just one of the many terrifically talented stitchers in our NEwVP group!  Please do stop by to visit!  Also, have you heard the news that the NEwVP group will be hosting another fantastic stitching contest?!  Oh yes!  Fantastic new prize sponsors too!  Stay tuned for the details coming toward the end of November!  The details will be posted in the NEwVP group!


  1. Really enjoy these interviews!

  2. What a cozy bed to snooze on!

  3. What a great idea for a collection "story book" cats! I absolutely love where the idea was taken. It really is a sweet idea for a bed spread!