1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.
Hi everybody! My name is Carol and I live in the United States in the state of Pennsylvania (think cold and snowy!). My husband and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary last year and are the proud parents of three sons ages 35, 32, and 29. Our oldest son was married in October so I now have a lovely daughter-in-law who I'm teaching to cross-stitch... Only one of our sons lives nearby, unfortunately. The oldest and his wife live all the way across the country in San Diego, California and my youngest lives about 4 hours away in Washington, D.C. I was a reference librarian for nearly 30 years in a very busy public library and just retired last year. I'm missing my job, but am enjoying the extra time I suddenly have for stitching. When my husband retires in a couple of years, we hope to spend much more of our time traveling and seeing the wonders of the world.
"January Sampler" by Waxed Moon
2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?
I've been stitching since the early 1980s. A fellow librarian stitched on her lunch breaks and I was just fascinated to watch a design appear on empty fabric. I was hooked, although I did take a ten year break from stitching during the years that I was busiest raising my sons. I got back into it in 2003 when I was making a scrapbook for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I needed something to put on the front cover of it. I found this pretty heart design and personalized it for them and ever since, I've stitched almost daily!
Anniversary Album For My Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary
3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?
I began my blog, "Stitching Dreams" nine years ago in January 2009. I honestly have to credit my sons for it! When they suggested I start a stitching blog, I had little idea of what a blog even was. But, I began looking at a few of them and figured it would be a good way to keep track of my finishes. Little did I know that my blog would open up a whole new world for me--friendships with stitchers from around the world, gift exchanges, and beautiful inspiration on a daily basis! It has been a wonderful thing... I named my blog "Stitching Dreams" because that very first year, 2009, it was my dream to stitch an ornament sized piece a week for the entire year. And you know what--I did it! My other hobbies include baking, photography, exercise (to work off all of those calories from the baking!), and reading.
Ornament a Week Challenge From 2009
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.?
I stitch whatever calls my name, although I do tend to stitch seasonally. The only thing I've done is make it a goal to stitch a Christmas ornament each month since I began my blog. My Christmas tree is pretty full after all these years, but I love it. Many stitchers have told me how I've inspired them to stitch an ornament a month, too, which make me so happy. For the most part, I am a one-at-a-time stitcher. I do have a couple of unfinished projects waiting in the wings, but my problem is that if I leave them, I don't want to go back to them!
My Stitchy Christmas Tree
5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?
Definitely Prairie Schooler! Especially their Santas--they are such classics... I call Prairie Schooler my "comfort stitching"--the charts use good old DMC and what you see is what you get. There is no wrangling with overdyeds that look nothing like the front of the chart and it is easy, uncomplicated, meditative stitching.
Prairie Schooler Santas
6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?
I'm most proud of not just one piece, but of the 2012 "Year of the Bowl Challenge" that I did. Each month I would stitch five or six little pillows to represent that month (Snowmen in January, Love in February, Thanksgiving in November, etc.). It was a lot of work, but so much fun and I think that is the year that many of my blog readers first discovered "Stitching Dreams."
The Year Of the Bowl Stitched Pieces
7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?
I can't think of a true disaster--my iron has had a run in with ric-rac a couple of times leaving a melted mess on my stitching, but I've been able to cover it up with a bow or button.
8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?
Actually, I'm becoming very interested in English paper piecing. I've been reading more and more about it and I love the look of hexies! We'll see if I get up my nerve to try it. I tend to stay within my comfort zone most of the time :)
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?
I am great about finishing my smalls as I stitch them--larger pieces, not so much! I have a large portfolio filled with unfinished larger things that really should be framed. I haven't found a good framer near me, which is part of the problem. I will frame smaller things myself, but I should really push myself to get those finished things out, framed, and hanging on my walls!
Cricket Collection's "Eggs...etera"
A Bowl Full of Smiling Snowmen;
10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?
I would say "Simple Life" most represents me... I am very content with the simple things in life--a newly built nest filled with Robin's-egg blue eggs, a fresh snowfall, the laughter of my sons, a kind word given or received.
"Simple Life" by Little House Needlework
11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!
I can never remember jokes so it will have to be a secret--sort of (some of you know this!). In 1996 we spent a year remodeling our home and in 1997 the magazine Better Homes and Gardens honored us with the Grand Prize in their annual home remodeling contest. It was featured in the February 1998 issue of the magazine--exciting, but a bit hard for me as I'm naturally shy and quiet. It was most interesting to see the photographers and room designers at work, though!!
12. Anything you would like to add?
Thank you all for reading my little interview--and a special thanks to Jo for the "Blogger Of the Week" feature! It is so much fun finding new stitching blogs. Happy Stitching, everyone!