Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Answers to Important Questons

A while back I saw these questions posted on "Musings From a 3 Bedroom Ranch" ( saved them. I have finally found the time to get around to answering them . . .
1) Why do you stitch?
I stitch because I love the creativity; it relaxes me; I feel I’m leaving something behind; my hands MUST be kept busy.

2) On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least important and 10 being most important what is your cross stitch passion level?
The passion level is about a 15. There is not a day that goes by that I’m not stitching something.

3) If you're only option for cross stitch supplies and patterns happened to be the major chain craft stores would you just walk away from the little X? Kiss it goodbye?
That would depend. If my ONLY option was a chain store (meaning I could no longer find a shop, or purchase on the internet) I assume the chains would also be carrying the finer fabrics and fibers that we all love so much. So; I’d be shopping at the chains. I may hand dye my own fabrics, but I’m not going to start weaving my own linen – nor do I think that determined manufacturers will allow chains to ignore them if the chains are the only game in town.

4) Also are you so passionate about cross stitch that if indeed your only option was the major chain craft stores, would that inspire you to create your own cross stitch pieces because you have to stitch and you've stitched your way through the whole of Dimensions catalog--because you must stitch and the thought of life without a relationship with the little X leaves you feeling empty?
Well, I’m already doing that; not because no one out there is making anything I don’t want to stitch, but because I want to stitch my OWN designs as well as the designs of others I love so well.

5) Finally what do the cross stitch magazines on the market offer you? Do they relate to you as a cross stitcher? Do you look at them and think to yourself, who do they think buys this magazine? I guess what I'm asking, when you see the current cross stitch magazines do they make you feel like they know their readers or do you find it's more of the same? What could they do to be ambassadors for the art of cross stitch other than putting a sampler on the cover [ edited]? What are we missing on a PR level that could change the opinion of cross stitch itself?
This seems like it should be two questions to me. So I’ll answer the first – what do I think of cross stitch magazines. This is a complex question. Magazines, in general, are eye candy to me. Mostly I look to them to get inspiration; to see what the trends are. I don’t get much from many of them. There is one that I can’t even remember the name of that I always get something out of. Another, Country Living, I sometimes get something out of. Southern Living used to do it for me, but they became thinner and same old same old so I gave them up and buy the annual cookbooks at the used book store. I used to take a “stitching” magazine called Piecework. It WAS a well rounded magazine that covered all sorts of hand work, some I’ve done, others were just interesting to read about. They turned into mostly a knitting magazine. The year their “Annual Quilting Issue” contained 10 out of 48 pages (or some ridiculous ratio like that) of actual “quilting” pages (and two of the 10 were for a “knitted quilt”) I said that was it and dropped the magazine. I used to purchase Just Cross Stitch at the newsstand, but found most of their things too juvenile for me. I even decided to quit getting their annual Christmas ornament issue because last year there was only one ornament that I liked (or would make the effort to make). There is one magazine that I took Sampler and Antique Needlework, but my subscription is now lapsing. The one magazine that I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE is The Gift of Stitching. I love the content, the designers, the photography and the fact that the magazine is ONLINE. I DOWNLOAD it. There’s no TRASH. I’m a big recycler, but I love it when there’s a product that I don’t even have to recycle. The entire magazine can be saved on my computer and eventually saved to CD. And I’m not a big fan of ADS, and in GOS they are all pretty much on one page. I can ignore them if I want or take the time to look at the one page to see what is new on the market. There was another magazine out of Britain that I found and WAS going to subscribe to, then I found out what it was going to cost for an annual subscription (something like $75) YIKES! No way! They’d be so much smarter to do an online subscription like GOS and expand their base that way, but as of this writing they have yet to listen to me.
The second part of the question; about cross stitch magazines being “Ambassadors for the Art” is just silly. People who don’t stitch aren’t going to pick the magazines up on the newsstand. It would be like me picking up a magazine called Plumbing; not going to happen. I’ve heard all the excuses in the world – it takes too much time; I hate to count; I can’t see . . . blah blah blah. If someone wants to stitch, they will stitch; they will find someone to teach them to stitch. It’s the whole you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. And the good news is that if people don’t stitch and they want something that is stitched, then they can pay someone like me to stitch it for them. Win win.

6) And finally, do you do other crafts and if so what are they and why do they pull you away from cross stitch?
Nothing pulls me away from cross stitch. I’m an early riser, so usually have my coffee, watch the news and cross stitch. Or, in the evening – after my 14 hour day – I will do an hour or so. Sometimes more when I have a deadline looming. Since I have a finishing business, clearly I sew (on the machine and by hand). I also sew things for my grandaughter. I used to do a lot of scrapbooking, but have given that up. Or I should say I've given up paper scrapping. I do it digitally now. There’s just not enough time with my business, my son, my husband and my volunteer work. However, I usually get caught volunteering to do something for my DAR chapter – like flower arrangements – or the historical society – like Christmas tree ornaments or graphics design. And honestly, even when I’m canning fresh tomatoes, it becomes an art of display and arrangement.

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