ʼs. Can you believe that? I am really dating myself. Before that I enjoyed crewel and needlepoint, but on a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina, I saw a great deal of cross stitch and decided to give it a try. Needless to say, I fell in love with it, but there was not a wealth of cross stitch designs to chose from at that time and even fewer “traditional” or “folk art” designs. Since I grew up in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia and moved back there shortly after getting married, my love for all things “olde” just kept being nourished. Hence, the need to design my own needlework was born. Fortunately, a local needlework shoppe owner, Elizabeth Sheffield, saw my designs when I took them there for framing. She encouraged me to chart my designs to sell in her shoppe and they sold immediately. I think of her often and know she is truly responsible for my career.
|Love Thy Country|
Q. Do you stitch your own models, or do you have model stitchers?
A. I used to stitch a lot more than I do now. You might not know it but I became a “Grammie” for the first time this year. I canʼt imagine why but this little guy “Avery”, has become more important than stitching but he has. Donʼt get me wrong, I still stitch. Stitching is such a part of me that I just have to make a few stitches everyday, or my day is not complete. I just did a new design “To Stitch Is Bliss” and I truly believe that. It is a blessing to have some wonderful stitchers to help me though. Without them, this would have been a very sparse year for designs.
|Birds 'N Blossoms Pin Cushion|
Q. What would you say to your fans that are reading this?
A. Thank you so much for following me all these years. My heart is happy every time my designs sell and it is because of all of you.
A Little Bit About Sandra -
Q. Besides stitching and designing, what are a few things you enjoy in your free time?
A. I really do not have much free time anymore. I go to Richmond, Virginia, two days a week to babysit Avery. Now that he is almost a year old, he is in constant motion, which results in me being in constant motion. I am so happy that I am able to spend this time with him though and there is nothing I would rather do. My other favorite things to do are shopping for Avery and “antiquing”. It is really silly because I donʼt need any more “stuff”, but it is contagious. The hunt for the bargain is what I love most. Not many bargains out there anymore, but you never know. Of course, I am always searching for that bargain antique sampler. HAHA
Q. Whatʼs your favorite holiday and why?
A. Oh, that is definitely Christmas. Family is so important to me and that is what makes it so special. Iʼm a very “sentimental” person and love doing the same foods and the same traditions, and sharing those things with my family and friends.
Q. Would you share a little bit about your family?
Q. What do you want to achieve in life?
A. I want to continue to be involved in this wonderful needlework industry as long as I can. Since I started my business in 1979, I have never regretted this creative thing that I do. You would think that burn out would have happened by now, but it hasnʼt. Wish me luck!
Featured Shop -
A. My mother taught me at seven to use the sewing machine and I just never stopped. Knit, sew, needlepoint, counted thread, crochet, quilt – I have or continue to do all of them with the massive amounts of product in all disciplines to prove it. Both grandmothers were prolific seamstresses and needleworkers - basically if it had to do with any kind of fiber they were well accomplished in it.
Q. How long have you been in business?
Q. Do you have an online web store, and if so how do you feel it has affected your business? A. We started as an on-line store many many years ago – it is the only way to continue to stay in business these days. With computers, smart phones, notebooks and every other way possible to communicate on a 24-7 basis, it is an absolute must for a "luxury product" business to keep afloat. The only caveat is that the website has to be updated constantly and kept very currant. A. There are lots of products and designers that have fallen by the wayside since the downturn in the economy. Lots of linens are no longer available, harder to get, distributors not carrying the spectrum of products that used to be readily available. On the other hand, there are new products coming out (new linens and new hand-dyed linens), some new threads, etc. We are more careful as to what we purchase for the shop at this point and we have found that the stitcher would rather spend their fun money on linen, threads and charts than they would on "tools" or frames, or thread holders, etc. A. I think that in five years I will be retired and the shop will be closed and I will be traveling and seeing parts of the world I have only dreamed about.
A. I stitch anything and everybody but I do have some favorites: Blue Ribbon Designs, Drawn Thread, Blackbird, Merry Cox, C.A. Wells, Shepherd’s Bush…they all hold a special place in my heart…and I know I’ve forgotten some – without question.
A. I have attended many TNNA trade shows and enjoy them greatly. Our only problem is that there are never any on the west coast and for us to attend markets it is very time consuming and very expensive. We shoot for 2 shows a year. The networking, the ideas, the finishing, the decorating – not to mention the business and social aspects of Market are things that should be treasured – they make us who we are.
Q. What type of events do you offer at your store?