• Meet Paige from Blue Ridge Stitchery

    Tell us about yourself, Paige. Where is home for you?
    I grew up on a farm in Virginia and went to school at Virginia Tech and later got an MBA from The University of Virginia where I met my husband, Steffen, a native of Munich, Germany.  Cleveland, Ohio has been our home base for the last 20 years.  The beautiful mountains of my youth and the travel adventures of my life are the inspiration for Blue Ridge Stitchery designs.
     
    What was your first experience with needlepoint. Who taught you to stitch?
    I have been making things all my life; I remember working on a needlepoint canvas that was started by my mother, continued by each of my sisters and then by me.  My godmother, Jean, owned a cozy knitting/needlepoint shop in Charlottesville, Virginia where I picked out my very first project.
     
    What led you to start designing your own canvases?
    A few days a week, I work in my local needlepoint shop, Wool & Willow Needlepoint.  It’s an incubator for creativity!  Joanna of Plum Design used to work there and she encouraged me to try painting some of my ideas.  My earliest designs are of things that I personally longed to stitch but did not yet exist on the market – the Blue Ridge Mountain Range was the first.   I think Blue Ridge Cardinal and the Lederhosen/Dirndl combo are some of my favorites.  They remind me of my original home in Virginia and the years we spent as newlyweds in Munich.
     Where do you find your inspiration? What is your process like?
    My process generally begins with iPad sketches and photographs. Once I’m happy with the general sketch and color scheme, I use a black and white line drawing behind the canvas to guide the stitch painting.  Sometimes I can knock out a design in a few hours.  More often, I will revisit, revise, toss out, start over, and try again until I’m satisfied.  There are times when it is good to walk away for a day and come back with fresh eyes!   I try to stitch as many of my own designs as possible – there is always something to be learned there.
     
    It has been so wonderful to find an outlet for both my business and artistic talents, and I so appreciate the warm welcome I’ve found in this community of needlepoint stitchers, designers and shop owners.  I love hearing from all of you about your special connections to these designs.
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