Member Spotlight - Teresa B

From time to time we'd like to feature one of our members here on our blog so we can learn more about each other.  Today's member is our previous Chapter President (2012-2013) Teresa B.  Thank you Teresa for your service to our Chapter and for being willing to be our very first Member Spotlight!

Introduce yourself to us!  Provide a brief introduction to share on our blog.   Family?  Profession?  Where do you live?  Pets?  Whatever you’d like to share!
This is always the fun question for me. I have family, mainly my mom and dad who live with me, or is it I live with them? It’s often hard to tell, especially since they are both getting older and I have taken on more of the responsibilities for them. I work in IT Security and am blessed to be able to work from home. I love it because I don’t have to drive all the way into an office for 30 or more miles. The down side is that I don’t go in to an office and see other people face to face. However, when I’m done working I close my office door and I’m just 15 seconds from my stitching chair! I don’t have any pets, well unless you count those parent’s I mentioned.
Who taught you to stitch and when did you start stitching?
Initially my maternal grandmother taught me to stitch. She was bed ridden for about 9 months when I was 6 years old and we stayed with her while she was recovering. I loved to sit on the bed with her, and she did embroidery. To keep me “quiet” she took an old pillowcase and drew flowers on it, threaded a needle (a sharp!) with floss and showed me how to do a stem stitch. Once I had that down it was on to satin stitches and French knots. Her style was to show me, let me try and then rip it out until it met her standards of acceptable. Not sure why I kept at it, but I did. When I was in college one of my dorm-mates was stitching without anything being stamped on the fabric and I was hooked on counted work from then on out.
Teresa's Christmas Trees filled with stitched ornaments
What types of needlework do you do?
Well there is “do” and there is “tried”. On a regular basis I “do” counted cross stitch (including things like blackwork and lots of specialty stitches) and needlepoint/canvas work. On a less regular basis I “do” hardanger (which I love but don’t think I do very well) and pulled thread work (which I do think I do well). I’ve “tried”, but can’t say I “do” crewel and gold work.
What is your favorite type of needlework?
Whatever I pick up at the time! Seriously, I really do love it all and depending on my mood that’s my favorite type, even hardanger.
What other interests or hobbies do you have or what do you do for fun?
I love to read, that’s a huge passion of mine. I also crochet, which I learned not long after learning to embroider at about 7, and knitting which I only learned about 6 or 7 years ago. I also learned to make jewelry and do beadwork which I very much enjoy but haven’t had a lot of time for lately. And I can’t forget traveling. I love to go places and see things that are both near and far. I was fortunate as a child to travel because of my father’s job and I think that colored the way I see the world and why I love to travel.
How long have you been in EGA?
I believe I’ve been in EGA about 3 or 4 years. I’m embarrassed to say I’m not positive.
Tell us about your EGA experiences, roles held (past or present), etc.
I joined EGA because I wanted to be around other people who loved needlework, of any kind, as much as I do. To learn from their experiences was my goal. I am the outgoing President of the chapter and am looking forward to being a worker bee again. I’ve enjoyed serving the chapter as it has grown and seen some changes, but I also believe that nothing should stay the same forever.
Who are your favorite designers?
This was the question I dreaded the most. I have several designers whose work I love. If you took a tour through my stash you would see a lot of Rae Iverson’s and Ellen Chester’s design, partially because I love what they do and partially because over the years I’ve taken a number of classes from them and of course because I’ve purchased other items to supplement my retirement nest egg. Then you’d also see a lot of other designers that I’ve collected in my stash, like Plum Street Samplers and La-D-Da. The other group of designers would be where over the years I’ve taken a number of classes from certain people and also purchased their pieces, so in that group you’d see Linda Driskell, Indigo Rose (Catherine Strickler), Suzanne Miller, Jean Farish (from my days going to Heart of CrossStitch for you old timers out there), and some Eileen Bennett.   

Teresa's Traditional Elegance II 
Pat Taff/Golden Thread Designs
Are there certain elements that draw you to a design, or some that you avoid?
Sometimes it is color, other times it’s the design and sometimes the stitches draw me to a particular design. I think we all have “favorite” colors that if used well in a design will pull us in. For me it is jewel tones, or shades of red/rose, or blues and greens. My friends know that if a design has a bunny or rabbit on it I may be a goner. I’ve also started collecting samplers with Noah’s Ark because my maternal grandfather was Noah and I was born on his birthday however I never knew him since he died in WWII. I also have a fair number of Adam & Eve samplers as well as a few Quaker types in my stash. When it comes to needlepoint I’m a bit all over the place, but a lot of holiday pieces seem to find their way to my canvas stash.
What are you working on now?
This is a trick question right? Honestly I haven’t been stitching as much as I would like. At the beginning of this year I started having a fairly bad RA flare that kept me from being able to hold a needle much, if any, at all. A great doctor and some fantastic new medicine and I think my hands are back to stitching shape, only to have my job blow up to the point that by the time I finish in the evenings I’m incapable of doing much other than sleeping. Oh well, I have managed to work some on Tocatta #1. For the last few weeks if I stitch I’ve picked up Adam & Eve’s Christmas which was on my challenge list and I really would like to finish it. I’ve also done some really simple stitching on a small Halloween ornament. My stitching bag is full of things that I want to work on…
The Daughters of Longbourn in progress
The Stitching Parlor
Favorite WIP/UFO? Why?
(I’m not sure I like these hard questions…who thought these up?) Ok, if I have to pick favorites, which to me is like asking people with children to pick a favorite child, I’d say that right now…at this moment…if you really are going to make me choose…it would be Blackwork Band Sampler by Rae Iverson/Moss Creek Designs and The Daughters of Longbourn by The Stitching Parlor. They couldn’t be more dissimilar choices. I choose the Blackwork Band Sampler because it’s just a beautiful piece and one that, for whatever reason, I find hard to finish. I will pick it up and work on it for a few weeks then put it down. It’s like I don’t want to let go of it. It’s all silks and just an amazing piece. I’d pick Daughters because I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen and the idea of stitching something that relates to my other love of reading just is perfection. Plus my dear friend Melody gave me the pattern and the linen for my birthday several years ago and when I stitch on it I’m reminded of how wonderful it is to have friends who understand your passion for putting needle and thread to linen or canvas.
Favorite finish? Why?
Finally an easy question…I think. Normally I would whatever I finished last, but that’s not really true. I think my favorite finish was the Quaker Sampler I did for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary a few years ago. I decided to stitch Ellen Chester’s An Emblem of Love in my mother’s favorite color of purple. I used a beautiful deep color and then made a few changes to how Ellen charted it originally. I made all the hearts “gold”, since it was their golden anniversary and I added the year they married. On top of all that I managed to completely surprise them both with it, which is hard since we all live in the same house together and I usually stitch in the family room while watching TV.
Teresa (left) with Ellen Chester of With My Needle
Holding Teresa's An Emblem of Love stitched for her parents 50th Anniversary
Do you have a blog?  If you’d like to provide a link, that would be wonderful!
I have a blog, that hasn’t seen much action lately. But there is always hope….
What is your first or last concert you attended?
So the last concert I attended is really the Jacksonville Symphony. However, if you mean the type where there is really loud music and stuff that would be Eric Clapton in March of this year.
What is a fun or unique fact about you that is not stitching related that you wouldn’t mind sharing?
As I mentioned earlier I lived in Europe when I was a small child however my parents are not military. My father worked for a large engineering firm out of NYC who had contracts all over the world. Before I was born my parent traveled all over the U.S. and had just returned from New Mexico and found out mom was pregnant with me when my dad was offered a job in Amsterdam. They could have gone, but decided to stay in the states until after I was born and wait for the next group of people who would be sent over. They waited and instead of going to Amsterdam they sent him to England. We spent 3.5 years there and were lucky to travel to The Netherlands, Spain and Italy. My mom spent a lot of time soaking in all the culture of the countries we visited and instilled a love of museums and old homes in me from our time there.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I hope that everyone will take time and answer these questions to share on our chapter blog. We have quite a few members who are not “local” and it would be wonderful to hear about each person and their stitching. I’m so happy to be part of a community of stitchers like duClay EGA. Happy stitching everyone!

1 comment:

woolwoman said...

very nice interview Teresa - thanks for giving us a glimpse into your needlework life. Cheers Melody