1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.
I'm Pat, blogging as The Southpaw Stitcher. I grew up in Chicago, Illinois (USA) and am currently living in the suburbs with my hubby of almost 49(!) years and my dog Molly. You knew I wouldn't miss this opportunity for a photo of the Little Sweetie, didn't you?
2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?
I started out stitching, like many of my friends, as a pre-teen doing surface embroidery and cross stitch on stamped fabric to make into dresser scarves, napkins, etc. Right after high school I discovered counted cross stitch, and did that almost exclusively for many years before branching out into other techniques.
3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?
I started blogging in early 2011. Several of my friends were doing it, and Lelia from Stitches of Life sat down with me one afternoon and showed me all the ins and outs of Blogger. She was and is a great mentor! My blog title is pretty self-explanatory; I'm left-handed and, surprisingly, the name had not been taken at that point, so I grabbed it.
4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?
Like many of us, I used to be a one-at-a-time stitcher. That pretty much went out the window after I started joining embroidery/needlepoint guilds. Now, I usually have 4-5 active WIPs going at one time, and I will work a little on 2-3 different pieces during the course of one day. That's part of the beauty of being retired! I guess my tastes are eclectic since I enjoy doing a wide variety of techniques. The current project that I find most challenging gets worked on for about an hour before breakfast. (I get up really early.) Right now, it's Copper Illumination by Kay Stanis. My deadline is the end of June, and now that I'm back to stitching it, it will most likely get done in time.
5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?
I tend to like geometric designs. My favorite needlepoint designer is Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals. I've done a ton of her pieces, and have many more in my stash. For cross stitch, it has to be Prairie Schooler since I have so many of their designs. However, I also really like Plum Street Samplers, Rosewood Manor and Carriage House Samplings, among others. For blackwork, Elizabeth Almond and Tanja Berlin are pretty much in a dead heat. The photo is Rainforest Revisited, one of my Kathy Rees projects.
6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?
The piece that I'm most proud of is Tanja Berlin's Eastern Bluebird, which won Best of Show at the Lake County Fair last year.
7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?
My worst stitching disaster is a hardanger piece that I was about 2/3 of the way done with when I cut multiple threads of the ground fabric in the wrong place. There was no salvaging that one.
8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?
I would like to have another go at needle punch. I tried it about ten years ago without success (it's supposed to be so easy), and I still have a set of expensive needles specifically for that technique.
9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?
Once I finish stitching a project, it almost always gets finish-finished right away. My favorite way to finish? Giving my stitched pieces to other people and having them do it! For pictures I have a 92-year-old local framer who is a real gem, so I get those to him immediately because tomorrow's not guaranteed when you're that age! My small pieces: pillows, needle books, pin cushions and whathaveyou get sent to Averyclaire, who is one of my good friends and lives close by. She finished this drum pinkeep and the Eastern Bluebird, too.
10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?
I'll go with the Uptown Stitcher because I'm no spring chicken and I love stitching--although I don't dress like her. At all.
11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!
Well, this really isn't a secret, but it might surprise the folks that I currently hang out with. Back in the day (early-80's), I used to love going for a canter (sometimes a gallop) on the trails of our local forest preserve on the weekends. I even took jumping lessons for a while, which kind of terrified me.
12. Anything you would like to add?
I've really benefitted from the various embroidery and needlepoint guilds that I've joined. I've learned many new techniques which is why my tastes are so eclectic, and made some good friends, too.
Thank you, Jo, for hosting this blog and for the fun blog hops that you organize throughout the year.