Monday, December 1, 2014

First Day of Stitchy Goodness: First Place Winner

On this first day of stitchy goodness, we'd like to introduce you to our Old Stitches New Tricks first place winner, Stephanie Turcotte. She was kind enough to share a bit more of her work with us and answer some questions about her creative process.

1. What sort of crafts do you usually make? 

At the moment I mostly crochet and stitch, and I wish to learn how to quilt so I'm experimenting a lot with English paper piecing. I always have too many projects on my to-do list, and I love to play with all kind of different fibers. Whatever project I am working on, it has to be super bright and colorful!

2. Has this contest inspired you to use old techniques in non-traditional ways in other projects? Or is this something that you enjoy doing regularly in you craft projects?

Lately I felt the urge to experiment a little bit more with my stitching. Following a pattern is fun and relaxing, but I needed a little more stimulation, so the "Old Stitches New Tricks" competition came at a really good moment!

I like to be challenged because it allows me to go further and forces me to see the material I am working with in a different way.

Even if it's relatively new to me, I look forward to experimenting a lot more, mixing different crafting media and foremost learning stitches that are unknown to me.

I really enjoyed this competition, and I am SO happy my creation won first place!

3. What inspires you to craft? How did you get started with crafting, particularly fiber art?

Some of my best childhood memories were when I spent afternoons sitting next to my grandmother watching her sew and weave. This incredibly strong woman has thought me so much, and the most important gift she gave me was the pleasure found in creating things with your own hands.

I have always been crafty. I tried all sort of crafty hobbies, and I taught myself to cross stitch when I was pregnant with my son 12 years ago. I've been a stitcher on and off since then trying all kind of crafty hobbies along the way. I am always trying something new, but stitching has a special place in my heart and I always go back to it. It's the perfect hobby for me because I can take it with me to work and add a few stitches during my lunch break.  

I find most inspiration online on personal blogs and on Instagram. For example, I stumbled upon Carina's blog this summer and I saw this incredible piece she made. I had never seen blackwork before and I absolutely fell in love with it! I like symmetry, geometric shapes, and repeating patterns, so it was an enlightenment for me! It inspired me to try blackwork and to try creating my own pattern for the first time (my blackwork colorwheel). I am very grateful for the inspiration other crafters give me!

Four years ago, we had the horrific news that my mom had only a few days to live. I packed my things as quick as I could to go be by her side and in my luggage I included a hoop, a piece of fabric, needles, and thread and a cute pattern I had been keeping for a couple of years... and beside her hospital bed I stitched it. She passed before I had the time to finish it, but before she did, each time she had a visitor she would show them what I was doing and tell them how talented and patient I was... This little witch has a very special place in my heart! (Mary Engelbreit's "Tiny Witch" pattern)

Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sharing your work with us! You can find more of Stephanie's craftiness on her blog, My Rainbow Crochet, and on Instagram.

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

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