February 21, 2014

Interview with Margaret

Today I have a special and inspiring treat for all of you stitchers - recently on Flickr I stumbled on some breathtaking needlework photos by Maria Blackstone, who is currently working on a photo documentary project of her Great Aunt Margaret. The photos and the needlework were equally breathtaking, and I'm happy to say that Margaret was kind enough to answer a few interview questions for us. 

Let's all say hello to and meet Margaret!

Your work is so exquisitely detailed, especially your landscape piece. Is this worked from a pattern or did you create this design yourself?

The landscape is worked from a postcard. I enlarged it to the size I wanted, then traced the outlines, pin pricked all the outlines. Laid that on to the material, rubbed ground charcoal over all the holes, which made marks on the material. Then joined up all the dots with pencil.

The stitched reflection in the water is amazing. May I ask how you achieved this look?

Having done the embroidery I covered it with a chiffon material and now I am embroidering the weeds, and have now put the duck house over that.

Your threadwork is so finely detailed - what kinds of threads do you use in your embroidery?

It is mainly done in single thread DMC stranded cotton.

How long have you been embroidering? Can you recall your first embroidery piece? Or your favorite?

I have been doing cross stitch for many years, but have only been to classes over the last 12 years, which is where I do silk shading, as in the landscape, Gold Work Black work (method) as it is now done in colour as well as all black. I can’t remember my first piece. My favourite I think is a blue iris. This idea came from the Gardening Section of the Daily Telegraph.

In the photos we see you doing cross stitching and freehand embroidery - do have a preference for one or the other?

I enjoy doing both. The cross stitch I can get on with on my own from a chart. The other methods I do at the classes, as I need guidance, then get on with at home. I go to classes once a month, this gives me time to do homework. I also embroider greeting cards for people who have special birthdays or anniversaries.

Do you have any other artistic habits - painting, drawing, or other sorts of crafts you enjoy to do?

I do Calligraphy, and various paper crafts to make greeting cards.

Do you have a favorite place to stitch?

In my lounge, as the light is good.

What do you think is the best way to learn embroidery?

I think you want a friend to start you off, say with cross stitch which is most people's starting point, and after that attend a class. I am not creative, I need to be given the inspiration, then I can do it, or adapt it.

Well, I think we must disagree with you, Margaret - your projects show that you are indeed VERY creative and a gifted needleworker! Thank you, Maria, and thank you Margaret, for sharing your talent with our readers!

For more on Maria, visit:

For more photos of Margaret and her needlework, visit:

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!


  1. Wow, beautiful work - so very talented and truly creative! xxx

  2. This is incredible and inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Thank you for this interview! I saw her work on Flickr and wanted to know more about her and her process!

  4. Gorgeous stuff! There's so much life and movement in those stitches.

  5. wow! lovely! thanks for sharing!

  6. wow..that is amazing. Thank you for sharing

  7. Really lovely interview and amazing work!

  8. Wow, beautiful stitching and such patience to have made the landscape with single thread.

  9. I wonder what the 'gold work black work' method is that she says she uses.

  10. Wow, your work is Exquisite, thank you for sharing it with us.

  11. I think that is the most beautiful embroidery I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing x

  12. I can ask her and I'll post it on my blog www.mariasdocumentary.tumblr.com :) Maria

  13. Please Check out my blog www.mariasdocumentary.tumblr.com for more :) X

  14. This is an awesome interview and photos. We need to learn from our elders as they have much to teach and share.

  15. That is amazing! I love the reflection in the water. Just stunning!

  16. Oh my, what a talented woman. Bless her soul! Her work is so gorgeous.

  17. My goodness, how gifted she is. The reflection in the water is remarkable.

  18. Wow, amazing pieces of work. Thanks for the interview, that was really interesting!

  19. Her stitching is beautiful. I agree very creative and talented.