I am very late in posting our newest editions of Norden's Needleworkers. And for that I am very sorry. I hope you enjoy reading about two very incredible, and patient women! Diane Grick of Silver Creek Samplers, and Jan Smith of A Stitcher's Garden in Fayetteville, NY.
When did you begin designing your own patterns and how did that turn into a business?
From 1993-2006, I worked as an art director for a quilt magazine. For those 12 years, I ate, breathed, and slept quilts. Making and designing quilts came naturally to me. It was a devastating blow when the magazine went out of business. My passion for quilting waned and I needed an outlet to channel my creativity. I decided to go back to cross stitching (which I did for a few years before learning to quilt) and began to design my own patterns. It took three years before I had enough courage to contact a distributor. My designs were immediately accepted, and I haven’t looked back since.
Do you stitch your own models, or do you have model stitchers?
I do all of my own stitching. I don’t think I’ve stitched a model yet that I didn’t make color or design changes to. I also REALLY enjoy seeing the pattern come to life as I stitch.
How important is social media in the cross stitch industry and how do you make use of it for your company?
I think social media is very important. In January 2012, I began a blog. (downbysilvercreek.blogspot.com) I’m probably one of the last designers to do so! I decided that since I don’t have a website, that a blog would be a good way for stitchers to get to know me as well as update them on what’s new at Silver Creek Samplers. I’m also on Facebook too.
Do you feel your style has changed over time, and if so how do you feel about your older designs now?
My lettering style has changed since my first samplers. I needed to condense my letters a bit to keep my designs to a more “friendly” size. Not everyone wants to spend months stitching a huge sampler, or have the wall space to hang them.
What other designers are you a fan of?
Plum Street Samplers and La D Da are two of my favorites.
What are your three favorite movies?
Dances with Wolves, The Green Mile, and Forrest Gump
Do you have any pets?
No house would be complete without them! Chloe is a 10 year old cat who flunked out of mouse catching school, Molly is our newest member. She is a 2 ½ year old beagle-basset that we adopted this past May from our local shelter. (Don’t tell the cat…Molly is my favorite!) We also have 5 Rhode Island Red hens who live in a chicken coop that my son, Colvin and I built together last year.
Would you share a little bit about your family?
Sure! Alan and I have been married 18 years this September. We both grew up in Montrose, PA and graduated from the same high school, but didn’t start dating until 1993. We continue to live on our own little acre of paradise, located a few miles north of Montrose. Our son Colvin, turned 13 in June. He is already 5’8” and hasn’t really started his growth spurt yet (yikes!) Colvin is in Boy Scouts and enjoys fishing and hunting. Both Alan and Colvin help me out when I have an order to fill. Alan helps me stuff the bags and Colvin zips them up. It’s wonderful family bonding time!
What is your greatest strength? What is your biggest weakness?
I think my greatest strength is my creativity and imagination. My biggest weakness is, without a doubt, procrastination.
What changes would you make if you could go back in time?
I would not change a single thing. Not that I haven’t made my share of mistakes and bad choices. But I’ve learned valuable lessons from my goof-ups and that has helped me grow into a stronger and more confidant person. No one has the power to change yesterday, but you can change tomorrow!
7070 Cedar Bay Rd
Fayetteville, NY 13066
How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn about stitching?
The most fun for the staff and participants is by far our "Stitching Friends Retreat". It is held each year in March at a local hotel. The committee works on ideas, planning, decorations, soliciting donations, hiring teachers, & interacting with the hotel staff for the best possible event we can have. We are in the process of planning for 2013 which will be our eleventh year. We have had many popular designers come to teach for us and attract retreaters from various parts of the country. It's a three day fun-filled event with lots of prizes, gifts, stitching, eating, laughing, etc. To see information about our upcoming "Woodland Forest" please see the retreat page on our web site.
Besides stitching and running your business, what are a few things you enjoy in your free time?
Do you have any pets?
I have an 18 year old long-haired black cat named Jeremiah