I am so excited that I had a chance to interview Cheryl Fall and review her newest book, Simply Samplers. The book is a wonderful mix of projects and tutorials for the beginner and advanced stitcher. The directions are easy to follow and I feel like she is right there with me, teaching me a new technique.
Lucky for you, I have a copy of her book to give away. Just leave a comment to the following question: What is your favorite needlework tool? A random winner will be picked on Monday, September 15th.
Now, let’s find out more about this amazing woman.
How did you get started in embroidery/needlework?
My love of needlework started around age 6 (circa 1968) when my mother gave me a small, metal cookie tin full of pearl cotton balls, skeins of floss, and several half-finished pieces of needlework. They were started by her aunt back in the 40’s and were the typical gaudy pink of the day, but I immediately fell in love with the threads, designs and the entire process. My great-grandmother saw what I was up to and decided to teach me to stitch properly. I’ve been stitching ever since.
What advice would your give to someone just starting out?
Read up and follow the tips that have been handed down by generations of stitchers – especially the tip about “no knots”. Knots really take away from the beauty of a project, cause lumps and bumps in the reverse side, and can come unraveled during laundering, which can destroy your hard work. Weaving in tails and using the proper starting techniques secures the thread perfectly. Also, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start small and build up to larger or more complicated projects to learn the processes involved. I learned that the hard way when I bought a needlepoint kit as a teenager, stitched the square design in half cross stitch and ended up with a trapezoid that was useless.
I LOVE using counted thread and needlepoint stitches in unusual ways. My favorite fabric is 32 counted linen – pure linen feels so nice in the hands – and I love silk threads. If I had to choose a favorite thread color, it would be DMC floss in color #115 – a variegated red. I just used several dozen skeins of it while stitching an upcoming Christmas embroidery book.
I’m finishing up a Christmas embroidery book that will be released in about a year. I’ve always wanted to do one for the holidays, and this one features lots of surface embroidery and counted designs. It’s been a fun one to work on. Future plans are anyone’s guess.
I like to sip a glass of wine while stitching. A sip here, a stitch there… I’m relaxing and enjoying the evening in my happy place.