For our September interview, we get to chat with Faye and hear all about her love of stitching, family and more. Many of you may know Faye not only from the Scarlet Letter Year blog but also from her own blog Carolinastitcher. One thing for sure she is a wonderful stitch and expert finisher. I am always in awe when I see the creative ways she finishes pieces for herself and others! And now we learn how and where her stitching journey started.
Faye, how old were you when you first picked up a needle and who taught you to stitch?
Being a graduate from the School of Textiles at North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC I have always had an interest in fabrics, design and decor. My mom taught me to sew using a sewing machine at the age of 10 which intrigued me through high school and on into college. However, I cross stitched for the first time in 1977 when I saw a friend in college cross stitching... I was fascinated! She let me borrow her magazine and gave me a piece of 14 count white Aida, the DMC floss.... I went home and stitched the apple design as a gift to my mom. So, I guess you might say I'm a self-taught stitcher from way back... But, that simple design jump started my love for needlework and stitching remains my passion to this day!
What was the first sampler that you stitched?
The first sampler I stitched was a small sampler titled Nabbys Garden by City Stitcher, that my mentor, Edna Medlin of Threads of Gold, sold me. Edna owned a shop that included cross stitch and all the supplies... I went in one day and she said, "Faye, I want you to stitch something on linen...." I was SO reluctant, but knew that linen showcases our fine art so much better. I was hooked on linen from that point on. Her love for reproduction samplers rubbed off on me and I've remained a sampler lover~
What is your favorite time of day to stitch?
I love stitching in early morning time.... When our children were young, that would be the time of day I would have to myself... Before everyone else got up... So, as a habit, I still each morning from 530-630, before I head off to work.
Do you sit in a set place and what tools do you like to have on hand.
I stitch in a comfy chair in the den where I have an Ott light and all my supplies organized on a side table... Everyone knows that's "Mom’s chair"!
Do you use the stick and stab technique, or a sewing stitch?
I use the sewing method. It is a rhythm that is comfortable for me.
Do you prefer to stitch in hand, or with a hoop or frame?
I use a 6" hoop a friend from France sent me. It is small enough to be comfortable in my hand, yet has enough surface area so I'm not constantly repositioning it.
|Progress photo of N. Hinde from Our Scarlet Letter Years blog|
What is your favorite linen and thread?
My absolute favorite linen is a 40 Zweigert based dyed linen called Abecadarian by R&R Linen of Virginia Beach, VA. It is a mid range colored soft linen and is perfect for nearly every sampler project I stitch. As for threads, while I enjoy NPI, AVAS and Gloriana silks, I use DMC, GAST and Weeks threads a lot also. If I had a money tree, I would use all Gloriana.
Have you tried specialty stitches and do you have a favorite?
I LOVE specialty stitches!! I love the Eyelet stitch and Queen stitch.
What was the first Scarlet Letter sampler you stitched?
My first Scarlet Letter sampler stitched was Rebecca Robinson.
I had always admired SL samplers on line, but didn't know if I could dedicate myself to sticking with it and complete one. Nicola’s birthday event and SL challenge gave me the boost to not only stitch RR, but also complete An All was for an Appil and N.Hinde....
|And All was for an Appil|
Which designs appeal to you the most?
I love samplers with traditional color palettes. You won't find me stitching using too many bright colors... I absolutely love reds and Quaker samplers.
Has working with reproduction samplers given you any new insight into the lives of the girls and women in the 17-18-19th centuries that you did not realize before?
Being a First grade educator, I love sharing stories in my classroom about young girls from earlier times and how many of their samplers were used as a teaching/ learning tool. Children of today actually marvel at that idea and when I display one of my stitched samplers as an example, they become totally enthralled. I am so fortunate to have a job where I can introduce samplers to six and seven year old children and couple my passion for stitching with my passion for teaching!
How do you display your stitched samplers? Do you frame them? Hang them singularly or in groupings?
I group samplers in my craftroom on ledges so I can easily move them.
I also enjoy seasonal decorating using my stitcheries. I find various ways to display them in my home....
What other types of hand work do you enjoy?
I also enjoy doing finishing work for other stitchers... I paint and distress boxes to mount their stitched pieces on.... I sew their stitcheries into zippered project bags, wall hangings, table mats, ornaments, pillows, Diddie bags and many other ways. I just enjoy helping others bring their pretty stitches to life in a way they use and enjoy them~
Any guilty secrets to confess?
I'm very picky..... But, I do enjoy a nice cup of coffee while I stitch!
What has been your worst needlework disaster?
I learned the hard way that a lot of our fibers run when moisture is applied.... It was a ruined, thankfully small stitchery.... With a life long lesson gained!
What Scarlet Letter sampler do you want to stitch next?
I hope to stitch Jane Atkinson next. It will be an investment piece for me as I hope to stitch it in silks.
What other hobbies or interests do you enjoy?
I enjoy family time. We are avid University of North Carolina football fans. We love the Fall football season and our time to gather for the tailgate cookouts and giving to the game.
Additionally, I love spending time at our second home at the beach. It is our getaway spot to relax, recharge and enjoy. I feel very blessed~
Thank you so very much, Faye, for sharing your story with us! Your pieces are an inspiration! It is wonderful to hear that you are teaching your young students about samplers from centuries ago! To see more of Faye’s stitching and finishing please visit her blog at Carolinastitcher. I am sure it will become one of your favorites.
Happy Autumn and Happy Stitching to All! xxx