• Tête-à-tête with Arielle Katz of @nycmermaid1121

    Tête-à-tête with Arielle Katz of @nycmermaid1121

    Our tête-à-tête this month is with the super talented Arielle Katz, also known as @nycmermaid1121.  I first came across Arielle's Instagram account a couple of years ago and was immediately taken in by her exquisite stitching.  I've had the pleasure in the past year of getting to know Arielle a bit more through @sbtstitches Stitch Club. Arielle is extremely generous with her time and knowledge and is the "go to" person if anyone has a question regarding stitches, threads, canvases, finishing, etc.  She is immensely talented and I urge you to follow her on Instagram to see what she is stitching.

    1.  For some of our readers who don’t follow you, could you please tell us a bit about your needlepoint background, how and when did you learn to needlepoint?

    I am a 4th generation needleworker!  On my mom’s side, my great-grandmother did crochet and cross-stitch, my grandmother was a seamstress by trade and did needlepoint as a hobby, and my mom is needlepointer.  On my dad’s side, my grandmother was knitter.  I very proudly display different pieces from these amazing women around my home – a crochet blanket on my couch, a cross-stitch table cloth for Jewish holidays, a needlepoint footstool, and needlepoint pillows and wall hangings throughout the space.  

    I personally began needlepointing at the end of 2017 when my mom insisted I needed a hobby.  She purchased a super inexpensive kit for me on the Walmart website so I could test out the craft.  It came with a canvas and threads.  I fell in love immediately and the rest is history!  I had not had the canvas finished until 2021 because I didn’t want to spend a lot on finishing a canvas that cost around $25 (threads included!  Then I found a super talented finisher who was able to turn the canvas into a pumpkin for a price I could handle for that particular piece.  I was thrilled to be able to finally finish and display it.  My first project with hand painted canvases was a set of four Kirk & Bradley cupcakes and a Devon Nicholson layer cake for my kitchen which was, at the time, in the very early planning stages for a major renovation.  The kitchen had not even been designed yet but in the design process, I made sure there was wall space for the five canvases!

    My only wish is that I would have begun to needlepoint sooner so that I could enjoy the hobby alongside my grandmother, with whom I was extremely close.  By the time I began, her health was rapidly declining from Alzheimer’s and she was no longer stitching.   But my mom always says that she’d be in awe and so proud of my work if she could see it.

    2. What are you stitching at the moment?  Do you tend to stitch multiple   canvases at the same time or are you a one canvas at a time girl?

    My stitching habits have changed during the pandemic.  Pre-COVID, I had a 45 minute commute to New York City for work so I’d be working on a large canvas at home, and kept a small one for commuting and lunch breaks.  During the pandemic, I went to stitching one at a time.  However, currently I have three pieces in progress – a round Jerusalem scene I had custom painted by Loops in Israel when I went in 2018, two Kimberly Ann colorful Fendi canvases that will be the front and back of a cross-body bag, and a Needle Deeva floral that is for the woman who was my nanny for 13 years and she is a big part of who I am today.  She’s 91 now and I really wanted to get the canvas done, so I set Jerusalem aside. 

    I also currently have 6 pieces out at finishers, and I recently finished the Rachel “Keepers of the Flame” aka The Holiday Ladies canvas that will go to the framer when I finish the Jerusalem canvas (I’ll be hanging the two together so I need to coordinate their frames).

     3. I am always so impressed by your finished canvases, your stitching is so exquisite along with your color and fiber choices.  Can you give us some insight into your process of choosing threads and decorative stitches?

    Oftentimes, I just have a vision when I buy the canvas.  It was super important to me that the two Alice Peterson book canvases look realistic.  My real job is in the publishing industry (in Children’s Books) so I was able to get my hands on copies of most of the actual books painted on the children’s classic canvas from my company’s warehouse.  I really tried to make them look just like the actual books, but really wanted some areas to pop – so I did French knots for the trees on Where The Wild Things Are, Fluffy Fleece for the sheep’s head on the cover of Charlotte’s web, I matched the gold for the Golden Books using two shades of Kreinik, and I used a yellow ribbon for Mother Goose’s bonnet.  On the adult classics canvas there wasn’t as much fun detail but I used ThreadWorx Overdye Metallic for the water coming off the whale’s tale on the Moby Dick spine, and I did a lot of beadwork on Don Quixote and War and Peace.  For the SBT Stitches Lefty’s Right Mind collab canvas Work Hard Be Nice, I knew immediately that each letter would be its own stitch, and I really wanted the shadowing to show, so I set out to find lots of small stitches, and I knew that they’d each have to have some sparkle.  That canvas had a total of 46 different threads and 16 different stitches, and was the inspiration for the stitch guide for the 2nd release of their collaboration.  The Jerusalem canvas I am currently working on was tougher to make stitch decisions for.  I would constantly stitch something else and then go back to it.  I probably brought it to my LNS three or four times before visualizing suddenly one day what I wanted to do with it.  It was like a lightbulb went off in my head!  There is really no rhyme or reason to how I make decisions – the vision just comes to me!  I often reference books to help – Stitches To Go is my number one absolute favorite but I also love both volumes of Mary’s Whimsical Stitches, and I have several other books in my closet that I reference.  I have two preferred needlepoint shops that I frequent and I will often ask both owners for their suggestions!  They are both extremely talented and knowledgeable!  I’ll sometimes even take screen shots of people’s posts on Instragram if I see a stitch I like that I know would work on something in my stash!  People at my LNS and people who attend the SBT Stitches stitch club every Monday always ask for my thread and stitch advice and I’m always happy to help!  I’d also be happy to help anyone choose stitches or threads – just DM me on Instagram and include a photo of the canvas and the area you need suggestions for!

    4. Can you please share with us some of the goodies you have in your stash?

    I actually don’t have much in my stash at the moment.  I made a commitment to myself in Fall 2020 that I would work through most of my stash before buying anything else.  Currently, I have the Kate Dickerson SUPREME Ruth Bader Ginsberg canvas in my stash, and the Alice Peterson Fashion Books (which is currently out getting a little makeover to repaint a couple of the books to make them more in-line with my own personal fashion preferences).  Audrey Wu recently painted me a custom asscher cut diamond which looks so real and I am so excited to stitch it.  I love Bad Bitch as well, and I recently received the Do What You Love Canvas, which I’ll probably hang on my bulletin board in my office space, or perhaps finish it flat and place it under the glass on my desk.

    I am also extremely into the Hedgehog Needlepoint retro travel tags.  I wish I could buy tags for every place I’ve been but I have no clue where I’d hang them all!  My bedroom closet has five doors and my plan is to hang one tag on each.  Two are with the finisher (JFK, one of my hometown airports, and BOS, my college city), two are on order (LGA, my other hometown airport, and HAJ, my grandmother’s city of birth which we visited together), and one is not yet designed although it’s supposedly coming soon – TLV, for my favorite country in the world.  

    I live in an apartment so my space is limited.  When I buy a canvas, I always ask myself, “how am I finishing this and where will it go?”  If I don’t know what I am going to do the canvas, or if I’m not gifting it to someone, I won’t buy it.  Ensuring that I have a place for each canvas helps keep my stash somewhat controlled.  When I purchased the Susan Roberts Row Houses, I knew that it would hang with an old Lower East Side scene canvas that my grandmother stitched in the 70s.  And I have a lot of little seasonal and holiday ornaments from My Pink Sugar Life that I swap out on the apothecary cabinet in my foyer.  Two of my favorite pieces are these little Edie & Ginger rabbis.  They each hold their own little sign – one says “make challah not war” and the other says “deck the halls with matzo balls.”  I knew that “make challah” would sit on my apothecary cabinet all year to welcome friends and family into my home, and his brother, “matzo balls,” stands next to him from the day after Thanksgiving through the holiday season.  

     5. Is there anything special on your wish list that you would like to stitch one day?  

    Honestly – there is no canvas in particular that is on my wish list at the moment.  The Rachel “Holiday Ladies” had been on my wish list for forever but the original canvas was 3 feet long and I had nowhere to hang something that large.  In 2020 Rachel came out with a scaled down version and I snatched that up immediately.  I would love to work on some more holiday themed canvases so I can decorate more for different occasions – Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc. but I need to find the right canvases that go with my aesthetic.  My ultimate wish is to be able to stitch a name canvas, a tooth fairy pillow, an Alice Peterson alphabet, and other little fun things for children of my own someday!  



    Thank you Arielle for such a fun tête-à-tête and for sharing all your beautiful canvases.

  • Tête-à-tête with Audrey Wu and Joyce Silverman

    Tête-à-tête with Audrey Wu and Joyce Silverman

    In honor of Mother's Day this month, we are doing something a little different with our tête-à-tête.  As many of you know Audrey Wu is my daughter-in-law.  She married my older son, Jonathan, almost 3 years ago after having met each other in Tokyo, where they were both studying Japanese.  Rumor has it they sat next to each since the first day of classes and things only got better with time. They recently relocated back to the United States, first in San Francisco where Jonathan's company is headquartered and more recently to the Phoenix area.  We speak via Skype almost daily and bounce ideas off each other all the time.  There is nothing that brings me greater joy and happiness than to have Audrey alongside me in this wonderful needlepoint community.  I hope you will enjoy getting to know a bit more about us.

    *All questions have been taken from our questionnaire on Instagram stories*

    1.  What was it like when you first met each other?

    Audrey: Just like any girlfriend meeting your boyfriend's mother for the first time, it was a nervous experience.  Especially in Asia, you have to try your best to impress your boyfriend's family and leave a good first impression.  When Joyce visited Tokyo one year, we took a few days together visiting the countryside and bonded over numerous things.  Thankfully, Joyce was extremely nice and easy-going which made things go smoothly and we've had a great relationship ever since.

    Joyce: I can't remember the exact first time we met, but each time we would go to Japan she would be around more often.  She always struck me as someone who was kind, sweet and happy, and willing to do whatever we wanted.  I knew she was the one for my son when despite a fear of roller coasters and rocky rides, she enthusiastically joined him whenever he wanted to go to a theme park. 

    2.  What is it like working with your DIL/MIL?

    Audrey: I view Joyce as a mentor who has been nothing but supportive of me and taught me so many things about needlepoint and stitching.  Without her help, I don't think I could have become the needlepoint artist I am now and am truly thankful for everything she does.

    Joyce: For me, having Audrey alongside me provides me with a youthful point of view.  Whenever I show her a new design, she always looks at it with fresh eyes and gives me her thoughts.  Even though our styles are different, we are in complete agreement in our approach and outlook of what canvases to design.  We usually bounce new ideas off each other, including the logistics of sizing, coloring, fonts, etc.

    3.  How do you have the best relationship?

    Audrey:  I respect Joyce very much as a person, but I also view her as a close friend an am happy to express my thoughts with her even if they disagree with what she was initially thinking.  I believe this openess and communication is rare in a MIL/DIL relationship and is very important in maintaining a good and honest business relationship.

    Joyce:  I would say that our temperaments are very similiar and that we look at things the same way, albeit generationally different.  We are both meticulous in our designing, painting and how we live our lives. I believe that Audrey knows and is comfortable with the fact that I will always have her back and protect her from anything in my power.  Audrey comes from a very close knit family and is very comfortable being part of ours.  For both of us, family comes first, needlepoint is a wonderful bonus that I am delighted to share with her.

    4.  How long have you been stitching?

    Audrey:  I've been stitching now for about 3 years.  One of the first few weeks after arriving in San Francisco, Joyce took me to a needlepoint shop as a way to help me transition into a new country and provide a way to relax and relieve some of the stress.  And since then, I've been doing needlpoint just about nonstop.

    Joyce: I learned to needlepoint as a young girl when I was around 10-12 years old.  I had a relative that owned a needlepoint shop in the town I grew up in.  I would always be there stitching and if I didn't like a design, I would repaint it myself with markers.  Throughout the years, I have stitched quite a bit of needlepoint gifts for friends and family, countless Christmas stockings, Easter eggs, baby sleeping hangings and endless pillows.  

    5.  What is your favorite canvas of each other's?

    Audrey:  My favorite SilverStitch canvas would have to be her "Press for Champagne".  I've never been to London but Joyce often tells me the story of this amazing bar where you press the Champagne button and it miraculously appears.  One day, I'm hoping to check it out.  Until then, I'll have to make do with a needlepoint version.

    Joyce:  Like everyone else, I am completely blown away by the gemstone collection. The intricate detail and coloring are beyond exquisite and something that had never been done before on that level in the needlepoint world.  

    6.  What is your own favorite design?

    Audrey: I like all of my canvases in their own way, but if I had to pick just one, I think I'd go with Xiao Long Bao. Due to life being a little hectic the last few years, it's been hard to visit my family in Taiwan. And each time I go back to see them, the first meal we always eat includes Xiao Long Bao. So, this food really holds a special place in my heart and I'm really happy to have the opportunity to design it as a needlepoint canvas. 

    Joyce: I  I am partial to the personalized Easter eggs.  Growing up Greek Orthodox, Easter was a very special holiday for my family  As soon as I had a family, personalized Easter eggs were quickly designed and stitched for everyone, including the dogs.  

    7.  Do you have any collaboration plans?

    Audrey:  This is a good question.  Joyce and I have discussed this idea several times.  I think it's just a matter of finding the right design idea that works for both of us and going from there.

    Joyce:  It is something we have discussed and it certainly is a possibility for sometime in the future.  When Audrey first started, I felt it was important that she create her own unique style without any interference from a meddling MIL. 

    Both Audrey and I would like to thank everyone for their questions. We hope you have enjoyed our little tête-à-tête and getting to know a bit about us and our relationship.




  • Tête-à-tête with Diane and Lauren Baxter of @threadstooneedlepoint

    Tête-à-tête with Diane and Lauren Baxter of @threadstooneedlepoint

    Our tête-à-tête this month is with Diane and Lauren Baxter of @threadstooneedlepoint.  Threads Too Needlepoint is a brick and mortar needlepoint shop located in Fair Haven, New Jersey.  As you can see from the photos, the shop looks amazing and it is definitely on my roadtrip list one day. They are currently expanding to a larger space to offer even more services. Diane and Lauren are constantly showcasing new and fun canvases and promoting new and upcoming designers.  I highly recommend that you follow them on Instagram and Facebook as they have the best social media accounts out there in the needlepoint community.  I am very fortunate that Diane reached out to me a couple of years ago to carry my canvases and am absolutely thrilled and honored they agreed to do this month's tête-à-tête. 

    1.  Can you tell us a bit about your needlepoint background, how and when did you both learn to needlepoint?

    Diane: I have been needlepointing since I was in my late teens! My mother did beautiful needlepoints, and taught me. I have not been able to sit quietly and watch TV without stitching ever since. 
    Lauren: I started stitching about 7 years ago when I started dating Diane’s son, Andrew, my now husband! At the time, she was stitching a bunch of beautiful pillows for their new home in Vermont. I had no idea you could create such amazing things!
    2.  Can you give us a bit of the history behind Threads Too Needlepoint?  Have long have you been in business?  And are you both involved in the decisions as to what designers and canvases to carry in the shop? 
    -The owner of our local needlepoint store of 30+ years retired in 2017. We were saddened and worried as to where we would feed our needlepoint habit! So… on a whim, Diane decided to buy the business. As luck would have it a  beautiful space across the street became available, and Threads Too was born! We are both involved in all the decisions for the store, and we have so much fun picking out new canvases, threads, and finding new designers!
    3.  Diane, the question everyone wants to know, how is it working with your daughter-in-law and for you too Lauren, how did you start working with Diane?
    Diane: I feel very lucky to have Lauren working with me. She has brought in a young, fresh point of view while still having an appreciation for the classic art of needlepoint. We both have similar tastes so it makes it very easy to work together. When I closed the store to in-person shopping due to the pandemic, Lauren came in full time and took over the Instagram and social media. She has done an amazing job, the outreach and growth has been incredible! Those millennials!!! 
    Lauren: As Diane said, I started working at the store full time when the pandemic hit. I first though I would be taking a little break from my career as a hairstylist in NYC while “we flatten the curve”. As the months of quarantine went on I found myself loving being at the store and working with my mother-in-law and growing our family business together, so in July 2020, I quit my job and committed myself to Threads Too! We have a very good relationship and I genuinely enjoy our time together, I often hear I am lucky to have a mother in law I love and get along so well with, and I couldn’t agree more!
    4. Can you tell us a bit about what you both have in your stash and what are you stitching at the moment?
    Diane: I have a quite a few projects going at the moment! Right now I am stitching your “Netflix and Stitch” canvas, because that’s just about all I do at the moment! I am also working on a small @kimberlyannneedlepoint mini-flat squares canvas to turn into a Credit Card holder. I am almost finished with the Cornflower canvas by @thornalexanderstyle, and now I am back to stitching an Hermes inspired canvas by @katedickerson that I will make into a lucite tray for the store. I often start a project, and then a new canvas arrives at the store and I can’t help myself! I get sidetracked! There is no such thing as too many canvases in the stash! 
    Lauren: I also have a few projects in the works at the moment. It kind of depends on my mood and if  I am up for stitching my 18mesh projects (LOL). I am currently stitching your Blue Leopard clutch,  I switched up the colors to shades of green (my favorite color) with Silk and Ivory Threads and I am IN LOVE with it! I am also stitching the Ballerinas canvas by @plumdesign_ for my friends daughter. I loved that canvas from the first time I saw it and I knew I had to stitch it! I also have a belt I am working on, and on the weekends I like to do a small project such as an ornament. The quick finishes are very rewarding!   
    5.  You have a very strong media presence on Instagram and Facebook.  How do you think the business has evolved since the pandemic?
    We closed the store to in-store shopping March of 2020 and have not been able to reopen yet (we are planning to reopen to in store shopping by the end of April!).  With that said, we have had no choice but to evolve. Social Media has been a crucial part of our business this past year. Most of our new customers found us through Instagram, and the outreach has been amazing! Since we have new customers from all across the country, we have been doing “virtual shopping” via FaceTime and Text to help them to see the canvas and pull threads from afar, and we will continue to offer that service even after the pandemic! We are now buying for a much broader audience, especially now that there has been a huge surge of new and young needlepointers! That definitely opens up a wider range of canvases to choose from, that we may not have been able to sell in store before, especially when it comes to 18 mesh canvases. Now that we have been doing so much shipping, we have decided to move our store into a bigger space next door which gives us a room that we can dedicate to wrapping and shipping! We have really enjoyed connecting with this community of needlepointers and designers, and we are so grateful for the support! 


    6.  What do you see for the future of brick and mortar shops such as yourself?

    We think that this pandemic has made people appreciate the in store shopping experience and the social interaction. People really miss being able to look at canvases in person, touch the threads, and play with different colors and fibers, and have a friendly chat. Our local customers are missing our bi-weekly stitch ins, as are we! We do think brick and mortar stores will be stronger than ever as people have a whole new appreciation for supporting small businesses!  
    Thank you Diane and Lauren for such a fun and informative tête-à-tête.  We wish you much success with your expansion and can't wait to see what you post next!
  • Tête-à-tête with Sara Trucksess of @sct_designs

    Tête-à-tête with Sara Trucksess of @sct_designs

    Our tête-à-tête this month is with Sara Trucksess of @sct_designs. Sara is married and has 4 young sons and lives in Kansas City.  She has always been involved with needlepoint in one way or another most of her life.  When I first started following Sara, I was immediately taken with her use of vibrant colors and her range of designs.  It was such a fresh breath to see such fun, cheerful canvases.  I'm not sure how it started but we eventually started chatting online and I am absolutely delighted that she agreed to do the tête-à-tête for us this month.

    1. Can you tell us a bit about your needlepoint background, how and when did you learn to needlepoint, and when did you start painting your own canvases?

    I come from a long line of artists and fiber artists: needlepointers, knitters, quilters, designers, and painters. I was always surrounded by some type of productive crafting as a child and I participated with great joy. I can first remember knitting sweaters for my dolls with my grandmother, followed by needlepointing a pillow for my bedroom around age 8 or 9. My grandmother was an artist and we painted together nearly every day of every summer. My mom is also an artist who used to design needlepoint canvases before I was born. I picked up needlepoint again as an adult in late 2018/early 2019 when I finally felt like I had a modicum of free time after years of raising a whole pile of boys. Trying to find time for yourself in the throws of parenting is complicated - there are such tiny pockets of time in which you find yourself suddenly free... 5 minutes in carpool line, 10 minutes while watching a kid splash around in the bathtub. I had been spending those stolen moments to myself pointlessly scrolling my phone. Needlepoint filled the void with a much more productive activity! I started designing my own canvases almost immediately after I picked needlepoint up again. I love the stitching, but I’m an artist at heart and I needed the freedom of blank canvas to make things look the way I wanted them to. I actually started free stitching designs on blank canvas first. I started painting them secondarily when people began requesting them.

    2. Suddenly, there seems to be an explosion of your new canvases each one prettier than the next, appearing daily on Instagram.  Do you have a seasonal schedule as to what you paint and when you want to release them?  Give us some insight as to your painting schedule.

    Oh gosh, thank you! This really has been my most fun career to date! I feel like I need to do a better job of planning ahead seasonally. I am frequently scrambling to figure out what day it is, let alone what month anymore. But typically, I feel most inspired by the season I’m in. So, for example, when holidays roll around, I finally get my head around holiday designs. I get to painting them and then I have them painted in volume with the help of my wholesale rep, @kcndesigners. With the delays we have experienced in the needlepoint industry this past year, that frequently puts designs out right on schedule for the following year’s holiday buying cycle. But truly by accident, not by design! I just paint what I’m thinking about at that moment. What you’re seeing come out now are things I painted last spring and summer that are finally arriving, all at once! I’ve set up camp in my dining room lately while all the boys have been home on and off with virtual school. From there I can help with homework, initiate other craft projects, deliver (endless) snacks and paint canvases all at the same time. It’s something I truly enjoy and would likely be doing every day no matter what. The fact that it has turned out to also be my job is the cherry on top!

    3. I noticed that you recently have done several collaborations with other needlepoint designers. Can you tell us a bit about them and do you foresee doing more in the future? 

    I adore the collaborative nature of needlepoint. Every canvas that I paint is specifically made to be reinterpreted by someone else’s creative brain and I love seeing the colors and finishes people pick to make pieces their own. Collaborating with other designers has been a really fabulous creative exercise that helps me hone my million-and-one ideas into a direction I might never have considered before. And that is such a thrill to me! My very first collaboration with Janet Blyberg @jcb_stitches was an absolute delight. Janet and I used to work for the same photography curator at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. 20 years ago and getting to reconnect was an added bonus! Our buoy clutch will be making its wholesale debut via @kcndesigners next week. My collaboration with Lo Harris @loharris_art has also been such a joy. Her confidence and vibrancy are palpable and being able to introduce her to our needlepoint community has been a total privilege. Getting to delve into printed canvases with both @moorestitching and has been such a wonderful way to bring more accessibility to our craft and I’ve been awed and thrilled by the initial success of my DIY knotted headband collaboration with darling blogger and needlepoint designer Krista Robertson of @pennylinndesigns. We are furiously working to get more headbands into everyone’s hands! I’ve also got a wholesale line of tartan headbands that were launched this past week that will be  coming to your local shop via @kcndesigners.  My friend Patricia O’Dell @mrsblandings_stitches and I have a floral collaboration arriving this spring that includes some of my most favorite canvases to date. And I also have some fun shop exclusives happening right now, with a new Year of the Ox ornament at The Needlepoint Clubhouse @stlneedlepoint, a great 21 Stitch Challenge kit at @kcneedlepoint and an exclusive line of fully kitted canvases with a brand new online shop called @happystitchingdotcom.  I’m very excited about an upcoming collaboration with one of my very favorite interior design shops in the country and there are a few more partnerships that are in their infancy now with great potential for excellent collaborations soon. I can’t wait to share them all with you! I’m always excited to collaborate in new and interesting ways, so I hope to have even more projects with friends on the docket in the future. Even the messages people send me with requests and ideas for my regular line of canvases are something of a collaboration. I love to know what people want to stitch and then think about how to create them in my own way.

    4. Can you tell us what’s in your stash and what are you stitching at the moment?  Also, is there a favorite canvas that you have in your collection?

    Right now I am trying to catch up on stitching a lot of my samples. This year, I would really like to expand my stash to include more designs from all the talented designer friends I have made over the past couple of years! I need this 4th kid of mine to go off to kindergarten and then I have big dreams of lying on my couch all day needlepointing anything I want whilst eating bonbons. Hahaha- yeah, right! I got canvases to paint and boys to feed!! But a girl can dream! I just finished stitching up the buoy clutch from my collaboration with Janet Blyberg @jcb_stitches and one of her darling buoy ornaments too. I have started working on my 21 Stitch Challenge sampler with @kcneedlepoint and I’ve also been cranking out headband sample canvases as fast as I can stitch lately! I’m hoping to stitch one of the Matisse canvases from this spring. And then I’m considering some @moorestitching monogrammed pillows for my family room so I can throw away some other pillows that my kids have trashed... after that, some Christmas pillows, and then, who knows! I have a great tartan Westie canvas from Cat’s Cradle that I’d love to stitch before the next holiday season rolls around. We had a Westie for 14 years and the obsession does not go away! I have a lot of favorite canvases in my collection, which is why I think I have so many designs. How can I pick from all of the amazing patterns and colors the world has to offer? I love parts of all of them. But I think my favorite is probably the koi fish that was co-designed with my oldest son when he was in 7th grade. He came home with this fabulous fish drawing one day and it was just begging to be painted.

    5. As a mother of 4 young boys, how and when do you find time to not only design, paint but also stitch all of your canvases? 

    Unfortunately I don’t get to stitch every design, which is why I am truly so delighted to see the finishes people share. Sometimes it’s the first time I’ve gotten to see something finished! But the short answer is: there’s never enough time in the day!! Somehow you just find time for the activities (and people) you love the most. I have always been entranced by fabric, color and pattern. I owned endless artist biographies, drawing and fashion design books as a child that I used to pore over and create from... it’s what I have always done in my free time. While life led me to practical artistic careers in museums, auction houses and more, I never lost that constant desire for creation in my daily life. Now, when I start rearranging my living room pillows and suddenly end up a down a rabbit hole of redecoration plans, needlepoint offers me the opportunity to create my own fabric, exactly as I want it, down to the last detail. Designing is both my stress relief and my joy. My boys are 14, 12, 9, and 4 now, and sometimes old enough to do lots of things around the house for themselves (with lots and lots of direction, although, darnit, still not the laundry!! Yet!!). I’m so grateful that a career in needlepoint allows me to be here for them while they still need me, and feed my own creative needs at the same time. I think it’s good for them to see me working on something I truly love. I definitely lose track of time when I get a good idea. It’s like a bee in my bonnet and I often can’t stop until I’ve seen it through to completion. I am so grateful for the help that @kcndesigners offers me with distribution. I would never be able to do it all alone, and I certainly haven’t been able to keep up with all the stitching either. But it’s all joy, even the parts I can’t get to right now, and in 2021 what can we all hope for but a little bit of happiness at home!

    Thank you Sara for such a fun and informative tête-à-tête.