1. Please introduce yourself; name, family, pets etc.
Hi my name is Deborah (the biblical spelling and it means little bee so I like bees). I live in a small town on the North East Coast of England. This used to be mining country. I have no pets although I did one summer have bees nesting in the garden.
Can you spot the bee?
2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?
Now there is a question with a multi layered answer, I recall green Binca at infant’s school and stitching on that but I don’t think I was officially cross stitching till my mid to late 20’s due to a Christmas gift of a kit. (Teresa Wentzler’s The Castle.)
3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?
I started my first blog on 14 February 2013 about getting to work and back, at the time I had limited access to the internet and could not add photographs. A craft blog had to wait until 9 June 2013 when I was able to add pictures because the pictures are mostly the important bit. What inspired me, my BFF starting a blog about the Open University journey (she graduates next month). Why a blog, I have been thinking about that, I believe it to be a combination of having a record of what I have made, having a place to share crafting tales and thoughts without boring family and friends to death and of course narcissism. As for the title, I Googled several variations and they were taken; A Patchwork of Crafts both reflects my interest in patchwork and the mad way I dot about between the things I give a go, and was not being used by someone else.
4. How would you describe your stitching style? Serial starter, a rotator etc.
My BFF would call it in the zone, something takes my fancy and I start it and whilst I’m zoned in it gets worked on. However, other things can distract me and projects go on hold. Sometimes for days, sometimes years. I tend to have three of four quilts at various stages, a similar number of cross –stitches and more projects in my head (and stash) than is wise. I also tend to make things difficult for myself overcomplicating (my friend calls it Deborizing) which can make a project take longer than perhaps it needed. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes not. I am also parsimonious (that’s polite for tight) and like to use stuff up and recycle or repurpose and not throw things away.
5. Do you have a favourite style or designer you are drawn to?
I think there is a difference between what I am drawn to as an image and what I am drawn to as a sewing project. I have learned a few lessons about myself, I like what I like and there is no point putting any labels or limits on that as there will be something that comes along that surprises me. I get equally frustrated with big areas of solid colour as I do with intense tweeding and confetti. So I need to add into a projects completion time the chance I will get fed up with it at some stage. I like dragons, drapery, and scenic designs at the same time I like cute and traditional, bright and monotone, modern and old fashioned, so I guess a real patchwork of things.
6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?
That is a bit easier to answer, and anyone visiting my blog probably already knows, for cross stitch it is La Scapigliata by Maria Diaz which is the featured post on my blog.
It is just so very effective and Deborized by stitching it one over one on 45 count linen.
For the patchwork and quilting it is Monument Dragon (beware an epic post for an epic quilting journey). It was a long time in the thinking before its long time in the making and the quilted dragons well that was the Deborizing on that piece.
Embroidery, my Christmas card inspired trilogy, mainly the shepherds at the moment with high hopes for the Herald Angels getting started sometime soon.
7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?
I mostly refuse to accept that disasters have occurred. I try to view them as inspiration for a design opportunity, not perfect, unique! On the cross stitch for my brother and his wife (Arthur and Guinevere, the cross stitch title not my brother and his wife’s names) I did not leave myself with enough fabric down one side to frame it as suggested.
The result, a mount cut to curve around the design. Very pleased with the result and without the “disaster” not something I would have attempted.
I guess on this All Our Yesterdays design I did have a large area of green grass in the background that had to be unpicked as I has sewn it in full cross when it should have been half (or tent as some call it) and had to cut the threads and use tweezers then sticky tape to get all of the bits off before I could start again. I might have been tempted to leave it but the grass to the foreground was the full cross and it gave the image perspective and depth.
8. Which new technique would you like to try, stitching, finishing or another craft?
I am always finding something to add to the future try list it is amazing how many crafts and, styles there are out there. Hardanger, drawn thread work not tried that yet, doing a HAED is on the list, so many blocks in the patchwork (currently trying a sampler quilt to work through some of those) it would be nice to make something that is wearable perhaps.
9. Do you have a box of finished but not fully finished pieces? What is your favourite way to finish a project and what do you do with them?
Guilty as charged, at least as far as the cross stitches go. I mostly frame them although smaller items might become cards. If the project was not made with a gifting deadline of some sort then it will wait till I am in the framing zone or I find the perfect frame. They are easier to store unframed and are ready if an event comes along with insufficient warning to sew something in time.
10. Which of your projects most represents you?
That’s getting a little more difficult, so perhaps without over introspection I will say the Monument Dragon, as much for what is not in it as what is, the memories the image invokes and the memories the quilting journey (I did say it was a long one) contain and well it’s a dragon, it would have to be a dragon.
11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke or anything
I did mention I was parsimonious, well I don’t do ORT, well not since the thread ball anyway. Thread is either long enough to sew with (anything over 4” is long enough to sew with) or it isn’t and goes in the bin. Material is either big enough to put in a quilt (anything wider than 1.5” is big enough) or it isn’t and goes in the bin. I just don’t have the space for ORT. Then again maybe my idea of usable is someone else’s idea of ORT.
12. Anything you would like to add.
It is great having people visit the blog from all over the world (even if the flag counter is not always capturing the countries) and wonderful when people leave comments (even if blogger does not make that easy). I equally like visiting others, sharing smiles over successes, wincing with those design opportunities and seeing the wonderful divergence of tastes in patterns and styles that is broadening my own taste.