• Meet the Artist: Rachel Donley

    Meet canvas designer Rachel Donley. She is the needlepoint artist behind Rachel Donley Needlepoint and our best-selling Letter to Santa and Valentine Online Classes.
     Headshot of Rachel Donley
    Read on to learn more about her and her love of stitching
    Tell us about yourself Rachel. Where is home for you? 
    My husband, 2 boys, pup and I live in Pittsburgh.  Although we have been spending a lot of time in the Carolinas as our boys both go to Clemson, and we may head south soon.
    What was your first experience with needlepoint? Who taught you how to stitch?
    My first project was a boyfriend belt (not knowing the reputation they have as a breakup belt) that I taught myself to stitch for my boyfriend’s birthday present. He must have liked it - because he proposed on that birthday and is now my husband! His mother and sister are avid stitchers and shared their passion for needlepoint with me.
    Valentine's Day Postcard finished needlepoint sign 
    What lead you to start designing your own canvases? What is your process like?
    I wanted to stitch a fun cocktail clutch - but couldn’t find what I had in mind. So I designed and stitched the lime wedge purse (and added a pink monogram of course). My local shop kitted it with threads and had it finished for me.  Several stitchers saw it and wanted to stitch it (and lemons, and watermelons, and more) and my line grew from there.
    I’d like to think I have an organized process; I have a list of ideas I’d like to design; but it all goes out the window when a new inspiration hits me at 2:00 am and that becomes my focus.
    Where do you find your inspiration?
    Inspiration comes from my favorite things to do and my favorite people to do them with! Tailgating at football games, sipping summertime drinks on travels, baking Christmastime treats, planting in my garden with my pup to help.  Most of my sayings came straight from the mouths of the people in my life. I also am inspired by stitchers suggestions - about half of my monogram rounds designs were by request! 
    Rachel Donley gingerbread needlepoint canvases 
    Do you have a favorite canvas in your line?
    My personal favorite canvases are my gingerbread series - they always make me happy - I’ve kitted our family and now I need to stitch them!  My favorite canvases to see finished are the Santa Letters - I love seeing how they become holiday heirlooms with their family names.  
    Click here to shop Rachel’s entire line of canvases available through Needlepoint.Com.