Susie Gay with Jeannie at a SAGA Convention Banquet.
Who taught you needlework skills and when did you first start learning?
My Mother taught me to sew using her Featherweight Sewing Machine (it is now my Featherweight Sewing Machine) and my favorite color is always Blue!
What is your favourite form of embroidery?
Featherstitching is my very, very favorite embroidery stitch but I love them all.
When do you find time to embroider/sew?
I stitch almost every day. As far as finding time to do it? I think we can always find time to do things that are important to us.
What inspires your designs?
My designs are mainly inspired by old things. I love old baby clothes. I examine old baby garments for inspiration and am lucky that many people share their treasured baby clothes with me. Many of my designs/patterns and classes came from garments shared with me. I am especially drawn to the styles from 1900 through 1940's.
Do you attend classes and workshops as well as teach at them?
I am really interested in developing my needles skills further so I do take classes when possible. My favorite classes have been ones I have taken in England and France. I am excited to be teaching embroidery at the Chicago Retreat where I will sharing some of these Whitework stitches.
Do you belong to a sewing guild of any kind?
I love to smock and I do belong to a local chapter of SAGA, The French Handsewers. I believe it is essential for us to support local and national guilds to keep the stitching I love so much alive. Remember: Ask not what Saga can do for me, but rather ask yourself "What can I do for SAGA?"
Where is your favourite place to stitch?
I have two favorite places to stitch. In the warm weather it is my garden. Natural light is so wonderful for stitching and the flowers and birds make me happy! In the winter, I love to stitch by the fire.*
What is your most favourite sewing tool?
My most favorite stitching tool (besides scissors and needle of course) is the Thimble. I carry it with me for any type of sewing. I don't know how anyone stitches without one. It makes your stitching so much faster. I think everyone should use one. If you learned to use a fork….you can learn to use a thimble!
Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
Of which I am most proud? And had the most fun of all doing it? I did some research at the Louisiana State Human Ecology Textile department years ago when I was allowed to go through their clothing collection of Infants and Toddler clothing. I was overwhelmed with ideas as I looked at the baby clothes and helped them catalog several of their garments. When they ask me to be guest curator for their museum exhibit, I was thrilled. The LSU textile exhibit ran for a year and is the thing in my career that I am most proud of and enjoyed enormously. I masterminded the entire display and the textile department did all the museum work, creating a professional exhibit. I chose the garments, wrote the information, decided on every part of the theme and arranged the order of the display. I titled it "Dream Stitches: Baby's Layette". The exhibit focused on the stitching and planning of a Baby's Layette, displayed appropriate items, information and garments dating from 1854 through the 1930's. It was fabulous!
* As to a favorite location for teaching. The location is always a classroom regardless of what is outside the door. My favorite is always the classroom full of excited women who want to learn new stitches and improve the ones they know as they enjoy doing it. Not cooking dinner is a plus!
I don't think a person should be too serious about sewing. Do your best and enjoy every stitch!
Thank you, Jeannie and you can visit Jeannie's website :
The Old Fashioned Baby
and her blog:
OFB Sewing Room Blog!
For more information on the SAGA Chicago Retreat visit www.smocking.org