Friday, 16 March 2018

Carol from Stitching Dreams

I met this week's Blogger of the Week when we were both nominated for Immediate Media's Blog of the Year Award.  I was unfamiliar with her blog so popped over and realised there was some stiff competition there!  She did indeed win the coveted trophy and I got a nice badge for my blog as well as a new friend.  As addition as some lovely stitching, she always takes beautiful "staged" photos of her finished pieces so there is always some great inspiration there too.  Please welcome Carol from



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.


Hi everybody!  My name is Carol and I live in the United States in the state of Pennsylvania (think cold and snowy!).  My husband and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary last year and are the proud parents of three sons ages 35, 32, and 29.  Our oldest son was married in October so I now have a lovely daughter-in-law who I'm teaching to cross-stitch... Only one of our sons lives nearby, unfortunately.  The oldest and his wife live all the way across the country in San Diego, California and my youngest lives about 4 hours away in Washington, D.C.   I was a reference librarian for nearly 30 years in a very busy public library and just retired last year.  I'm missing my job, but am enjoying the extra time I suddenly have for stitching.  When my husband retires in a couple of years, we hope to spend much more of our time traveling and seeing the wonders of the world. 

"January Sampler" by Waxed Moon 


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?



I've been stitching since the early 1980s.  A fellow librarian stitched on her lunch breaks and I was just fascinated to watch a design appear on empty fabric.  I was hooked, although I did take a ten year break from stitching during the years that I was busiest raising my sons.  I got back into it in 2003 when I was making a scrapbook for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.   I needed something to put on the front cover of it.  I found this pretty heart design and personalized it for them and ever since, I've stitched almost daily!

Anniversary Album For My Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?


I began my blog, "Stitching Dreams" nine years ago in January 2009.  I honestly have to credit my sons for it!  When they suggested I start a stitching blog, I had little idea of what a blog even was. But, I began looking at a few of them and figured it would be a good way to keep track of my finishes.  Little did I know that my blog would open up a whole new world for me--friendships with stitchers from around the world, gift exchanges, and beautiful inspiration on a daily basis!  It has been a wonderful thing... I named my blog "Stitching Dreams" because that very first year, 2009, it was my dream to stitch an ornament sized piece a week for the entire year.  And you know what--I did it! My other hobbies include baking, photography, exercise (to work off all of those calories from the baking!), and reading.

Ornament a Week Challenge From 2009


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?



I stitch whatever calls my name, although I do tend to stitch seasonally.  The only thing I've done is make it a goal to stitch a Christmas ornament each month since I began my blog.  My Christmas tree is pretty full after all these years, but I love it.  Many stitchers have told me how I've inspired them to stitch an ornament a month, too, which make me so happy.  For the most part, I am a one-at-a-time stitcher.  I do have a couple of unfinished projects waiting in the wings, but my problem is that if I leave them, I don't want to go back to them!

My Stitchy Christmas Tree


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?


Definitely Prairie Schooler!  Especially their Santas--they are such classics... I call Prairie Schooler my "comfort stitching"--the charts use good old DMC and what you see is what you get.  There is no wrangling with overdyeds that look nothing like the front of the chart and it is easy, uncomplicated, meditative stitching.

Prairie Schooler Santas


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?


I'm most proud of not just one piece, but of the 2012 "Year of the Bowl Challenge" that I did.  Each month I would stitch five or six little pillows to represent that month (Snowmen in January, Love in February, Thanksgiving in November, etc.).  It was a lot of work, but so much fun and I think that is the year that many of my blog readers first discovered "Stitching Dreams."

Thanksgiving Bowl


 The Year Of the Bowl Stitched Pieces





7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?


I can't think of a true disaster--my iron has had a run in with ric-rac a couple of times leaving a melted mess on my stitching, but I've been able to cover it up with a bow or button.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?


Actually, I'm becoming very interested in English paper piecing.  I've been reading more and more about it and I love the look of hexies!  We'll see if I get up my nerve to try it.  I tend to stay within my comfort zone most of the time :) 


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?


I am great about finishing my smalls as I stitch them--larger pieces, not so much!  I have a large portfolio filled with unfinished larger things that really should be framed.  I haven't found a good framer near me, which is part of the problem.  I will frame smaller things myself, but I should really push myself to get those finished things out, framed, and hanging on my walls!

Cricket Collection's "Eggs...etera"


 A Bowl Full of Smiling Snowmen;


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?


I would say "Simple Life" most represents me... I am very content with the simple things in life--a newly built nest filled with Robin's-egg blue eggs, a fresh snowfall, the laughter of my sons, a kind word given or received.

"Simple Life" by Little House Needlework

11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything! 


I can never remember jokes so it will have to be a secret--sort of (some of you know this!).  In 1996 we spent a year remodeling our home and in 1997 the magazine Better Homes and Gardens honored us with the Grand Prize in their annual home remodeling contest.  It was featured in the February 1998 issue of the magazine--exciting, but a bit hard for me as I'm naturally shy and quiet.  It was most interesting to see the photographers and room designers at work, though!!


12. Anything you would like to add?


Thank you all for reading my little interview--and a special thanks to Jo for the "Blogger Of the Week" feature!  It is so much fun finding new stitching blogs.  Happy Stitching, everyone!





48 comments:

  1. Carol I loved reading this post all about you and your blog. YOU were my inspiration to begin my blog! Keep it up Carol! We all love you!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Vickie--I'm really happy to read that my blog inspired you to start your own wonderful blog... You are so sweet!

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  2. Hi Carol! It's lovely to see you as Blogger of the Week. I have followed your blog for many years and just love all of your beautiful sttiching. Your Smalls are always so beautifully finished :) I can't believe how many you have stitched for those challenges mentioned above! Wow! :)
    Hugs x

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! Yes, I have stitched a huge amount of smalls since I began blogging in 2009... I love being able to display them in different rooms and in little vignettes :)

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  3. Carol, what a wonderful post - I so loved reading more about you and your life and your seeing so many gorgeous examples of your beautiful stitching and finishing.

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    1. Thanks, Kaye! You probably didn't learn much new about me after having read my blog for so many years, but I truly appreciate your friendship and your comments!

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  4. So great to see you here as well and to read your answers to Jo's questions. The pictures of your stitching are all fantastic and yes, you also motivated me in the past to do some more finishing. And now you are also entering the world of the hexies, lol.

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    1. Thanks so much, Brigitte... That means a lot to read that I have motivated you to finish some things as you are a wonderful finisher. And yes--the hexies are becoming addicting--I can see that already :)

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  5. So great to see a post here. A lovely post with so many wonderful little ornaments and cushions.
    I like your blog and you inspire me, to make little cushion.
    Best wishes Manuela

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    1. Thank you, Manuela! I'm glad my blog inspires you because I also receive inspiration from yours--just admire your beautiful quilts so very much :)

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  6. So nice to see you featured here, Carol! I knew you stitched a lot of ornaments (and get them finished!), but completing your one a week challenge is an incredible accomplishment! You certainly do inspire us ... I hope to get back to stitching an ornie each month.

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  7. Thank you, Deb! Yes, my ornament a week challenge was my start in blogging back in 2009. The past 9 years have been lot of fun and so much fun to meet new stitching friends like you through the years :)

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  8. I started following your blog in the year of bowl smells. It's so nice to know your story. I too live in Pennsylvania. Hello neighbor!

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    1. Hi Suzanne--So nice to meet you and hear that you've been enjoying my blog for a few years. Where in Pennsylvania do you live?

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  9. Carol, it's lovely to see you featured here and to learn some more about you. I enjoy following your blog and Instagram account.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary--and thank you for your always welcome comments on my blog :)

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  10. Great to see you featured here Carol, and to learn a little bit more about you

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    1. Thank you, Christine--I always enjoy seeing what you've been up to on your blog posts!

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  11. Hi Carol, so nice to see your blog here. I always love your beautiful, neat and meticulous work:)

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    1. Aww... thank you, Preeti--that is so kind of you! I always enjoy seeing what you've been creating, too!

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  12. Very pleased to learn more about you Carol! Your stitching is beautiful and your Christmas tree, all I can say is WOW! Looking forward to seeing more beautiful stitching on your blog.

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    1. Thanks so much, Faith--so glad you enjoyed looking at my blog and my Christmas tree. Many, many hours of patient stitching and finishing have gone into creating those little ornaments, that's for sure! Really nice to meet you :)

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  13. I loved getting to know you Carol. You have so many beautiful pieces featured here - wow! x

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    1. Oh, thank you, Bethan! It's so nice to meet you and I hope you'll visit my blog again soon :)

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  14. What a beautiful collection; I love your bowl of infinite designs! All of them are so neatly finished and they must be a real joy to bring out each season/holiday.

    The BH&G prize is really interesting! I would be torn also; I would dislike the "attention" but would be so curious about all they are doing.

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    1. Thank you so much! I really did have fun doing my "Bowl A Month" in 2012! I need to go back and add to a few of the bowls (like March and May) that I don't have as much stitched for.

      Yes, the BH&G experience was both fun and nerve-wracking--I never expected to win the Grand Prize. I merely entered as a way of forcing myself to take before and after photos and put down into words what we had done during our remodeling :)

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  15. Lovely to read about you Carol and to see some of your older ornaments together! Your home always looks beautiful, it must be a feast for a stitcher's eyes with all your ornaments in bowls. There are always so many gorgeous things to see on your blog.

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    1. Thanks so much, Justine :) I do love seeing my stitching placed throughout my home--it adds such a personal touch and everyone who visits is always very inquisitive about it...

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  16. Hi Carol,this is an extra treat seeing your beautiful stitching and finishing here.It is always a pleasure:)

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    1. Thanks you so much, Lesley--I think you knew most of what I said in my little interview, but I appreciate your sweet comment and all of your kind words on my stitching and finishing :)

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  17. Lovely to see some of your older projects Carol. How exciting to be in the Better Homes and Garden magazine.

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    1. Thanks so much, Julie! Yes, the magazine feature was exciting, but a bit out of my comfort zone. After it appeared, we got calls from the newspaper and even a television station wanting interviews. I agreed to the newspaper, but could never go on camera :) And then there was the air-conditioning company who wanted me to do a commercial for them--um... NO!! Anyway--my 15 minutes of fame so to speak!

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  18. I've enjoyed Carol's blog for a long time now. I'm trying to make pieces like yours for my seasonal shelf area. Your finishing is just amazing!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Katie--you are so sweet and I wish you luck in creating a seasonal shelf! It is really so much fun and those little pillows always make me smile when I put the different ones out each month :)

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  19. What a wonderful post....it's so nice to get to know you! What beautiful stitching and finishing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Rhona! I always enjoy visiting your blog and seeing your lovely work, too :)

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  20. I really enjoyed reading your story Carol. I love your stitches and your wonderful finishes and you were the very first blog I followed. You were a real inspiration to both Mary and I and most encouraging when we decided to join the blog world. Would you consider showing photos from the magazine of your remodel for some of us newer followers? I think that must have been a very exciting time. I've enjoyed your stitching so much and I'm so glad Jo featured you. RJ

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    1. Thank you so much, RJ... I am so glad to have helped inspire you and Mary to begin your wonderful blog :)

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  21. Hi Carol, nice to meet you! You have some lovely stitching...and a ton of ornaments! I am quite impressed by your challenges - one ornament a week, five pillows a month, that takes some serious dedication.

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    1. Thank you so much, Leonore--nice to meet you, too! Yes, I look back at my ornament a week year and wonder how on earth I stitched that much! But, I didn't finish/finish each one so that saved a lot of time. I look forward to stopping by your blog very soon :)

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  22. Carol: Its such a pleasure to follow you and to learn some things about you.

    Catherine

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    1. Thanks so much, Catherine! I always enjoy visiting your blog and seeing your lovely stitching AND finishing--it's always a treat!

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  23. It was so much fun reading this. I learned new things. I would love to see the magazine. You need to share it with us!

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    1. Thanks so very much, Sandy! I don't know about putting the magazine out online--will think about it :)

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  24. I just love Carol's blog and her stitching is so pretty! Thanks for sharing this interview!

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    1. Thanks so much, Arlene--I always enjoy my visits to your blog, too. Am amazed at how often you post--really impressive!

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  25. Wow love your write up and a chance to see all your lovely stitching again .
    Thank you.

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  26. I always enjoy reading Carol's blog. Lots of eye candy (lol) stitching and she creates a warm atmosphere with writing about stitching and life.

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