Member Spotlight - Melody

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 VP of Programs and Education Melody.  Melody works tirelessly for our Chapter and we hope you enjoy learning more about her!

Hi – I’m Melody.  I am married with no kids and no pets currently.  However I have enough wool to keep a good size herd of sheep warm all winter !  I work for a great 4th generation family owned business in Jacksonville FL as an IT Director/Systems Admin. I have been with the company for 11 years and spent the prior 21 years working for another family owned business. I am a native Floridian, born and raised on the north side of Jacksonville.  We moved to Orange Park about 6 years ago and we have been very happy in Clay County.

I guess my grandmother taught me to stitch, just simple embroidery on pillow cases but I started much younger with the sewing cards.  Anyone remember the sewing cards??  I learned to needlepoint at about 8 – 10 years of age, I’ll never forget – we used to vacation every summer at my great aunts summer cottage in Highlands NC and the woman who owned the shop taught me to do simple tent stitch for a backround.  My mom brought me two facing horse heads and I did the backrounds only on them.  I had them up until the time I moved a few years ago when many things had to be culled out, sadly – I wish I still had them.

I am an avid rug hooker.  I do traditional wool rug hooking with wool fabric which is cut into strips.  I have been “hooking” for about 15+ years.  I have been knitting almost my whole life but I did learn to crochet first as a child, again taught by my grandmother. I learned to knit from a german woman who owned a yarn shop in  my neighborhood and I used to ride my bike up there and sit with her.  I learned to do cross stitch in 1981 I think, there were two ladies who I worked with who spent every lunch hour watching the Young and Restless and working on cross stitch.  The one has passed away but I am still in touch with the other woman.  I got involved with reproduction samplers in the early 2000’s and still love the history and mystery surrounding samplers stitched by young girls.  I have done needlepoint on and off since childhood, I am one of those rare people who still loves to do basketweave with wool.  Oh yes I also do the glitzy fibers, beads and so forth but I find doing simple basketweave with wool very relaxing.  As a matter of fact – I have a huge canvas I bought in the 90’s at that same needlepoint shop in Highlands NC that is a painted canvas.  I am progressing thru the backround when the mood strikes me and yep – it is all worked in Paternanyan wool in tent and basketweave.

I can’t say I have a favorite needlework.  They all have a place in my life.  I love to hook and work with the rugs in the winter time when it is not so hot.  I knit year round but my pull to the wool really ramps up in the late summer and fall.  I pretty much stitch on linen and do needlepoint year round.
Well how long have I been in EGA – that is a hard question.  Way back many years ago – I was a charter member of the LeMoyne Chapter in Jacksonville.  That was probably 1974 I would say.  That chapter has now disbanded , sadly.  As I grew older a new love entered my life ( more on that later) and I abandoned my needlework almost entirely for a decade or two.  I re-joined the Dixie Chapter in Columbus Ga about 7 years ago and still retain a plural membership with them.  I joined duClay about 4 years ago as a plural.  Of course I am primary now in duClay.

Currently I am VP/Programs & Education for duClay.  For a short time I was Secretary of duClay.
Favorite designers – oh my gosh- too hard to say.  I know some designers that read our blog and I wouldn’t want anyone to be offended so I am not going to comment on that one.  Suffice to say from the size of my stash that I am enamored with many designers.
I can’t believe I have been blogging since 2005 – amazing !  I wish I had more time to make posts but blogger just keeps getting more and more disagreeable to me.  It is just taking too much time to get the photos uploaded, precious time I could be stitching.
My current favorite WIP is a hooked rug called the Antique Blue Basket.  It is one of my oldest WIP’s and is within maybe 10 hours of finishing the hooking.  For some reason – it just sits and sits unfinished.  It will be my largest hooked finish and is about 3ft X 5ft.  Another favorite WIP is my Autumn House – a needlepoint design.  It is a painted canvas and I developed my entire stitch guide and used threads mostly from my stash.  It is a piece I am very proud of and need to buckle down and finish.
One of my favorite finishes is my wedding sampler.  It was just framed along with our favorite wedding photo.  It is a very simple Blackbird Design but it took me 13 mos. to complete it so I am glad it is finally done.  One of my favorite rug finishes was my Merrie Halloween.  Another favorite finish of mine is my Best in Show winning Mermaid hooked rug.

Oh the last concert I attended was probably Styx last summer.

A fun fact and the reason I took such a long hiatus from any serious stitching is that I exhibited and bred Afghan Hounds for 25 years.  I bred a number of champions and one of my males was exported to Switzerland and was a top producer in Europe.  It was a fun ride and I traveled all over the US with my dogs but life happens and frankly I just grew very tired of being married to the brush.
Now I am just married to the stash.  I have met so many great people in the stitching/hooking/knitting community thru blogs and needlework groups and guilds.  I hope I will never lose my passion for learning new things.  I hope God will grant me good health and a sound mind to have many years to work thru my stash and keep on enjoying my family, my friends and my needlework endeavors.
With warm and wooley-thoughts - Melody

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