More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On Model Stitching

Jen wanted to know how did I get into model stitching?

Gosh I can't exactly remember when I started model stitching...years ago. I've checked back and my first model was in 2003. Its really quite simple actually, how I got into model stitching. Through a couple of classes with Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams (and I'm sure many e-mails inbetween) we came to be on familiar terms (now I'd like to say we're friends). So one day I e-mailed Jennifer and asked her if she was looking for model stitchers. Jennifer didn't make any promises or hinted, but she asked me to stitch one of her gemstone dragons (they were freebies at the time) on linen and to keep track of how long it took me. I was then next to send her the sample of my stitching (which she infromed me up front I wouldn't be getting it back), informing her of how long it took me. From there, the rest was history, I stitched my first model for her Noah's Alphabet and I've been model stitching on and off from there.

Some jobs I've gone out looking for, such as the two models I did for The Silver Lining. Again I got in touch with the designer and sent a sample of my work. The other people I have stitched for : Misty Stitches, Changing Tides, Great Bear Canada, and A Needle Pulling Thread have actually all gotten in touch with me. I think that's the highest compliment out there, to have people asking me to stitch for them (I was also invited to join Ghost Stitchers at one point but I had too much on my plate!). Most of my recent work has been for A Neelde Pulling Thread, and I hope they will continue to be happy with my work and continue to request my services.

What is the key to model stitching? Being quick, accurate, neat and observant! You have to be a good stitcher, have a neat front and back, also not afraid of new techniques. Accurate : you need to reproduce the piece as charted. Observant : you have to be able to notice what is or may be a mistake, to not be afraid to check with the designer to see if its intenional or a mistake. Also I always read through all the directions if they are provided with the chart, and report anything that is worded wierd, spelt wrong, etc. I tend to imagine I'm proof reading not only the design but the entire package. Communication with the designer while model stitching really makes for a smooth experience and I have often felt that my input is apprecaited!

Model stitching isn't consistant work (but then you'd never get your own projects finished), it can be stressful with tight deadlines, and it'll never make you rich. However, I still love seeing my work on the cover of a chart, or in a magazine!

Thank you to everyone out there who has been confident in my skill as a stitcher to let me work for you!


Mylene said...

Lovely picture, before we know it they'll be all over the place soon!

Big congrats on being a model.
Would really like too, but i've read everywhere that most wanted models from the U.S and Canada. The distance is too far away for packages from europe.

Stephanie said...

I'm glad there are people out there like you who are happy to go through the trouble and stress so the rest of us can see what the designers are imaginging :) Wouldn't be a job for me though - I've got far too many things on the go already!

~Tammy said...


That is really cool how you became a model stitcher. Thanks for explaining it all.

I'll now be looking for your name in magazines and leaflets of the company's you mention.

Rebecca (AKA - Rebel In Ontario) said...

You do beautiful work and completing models just allows the rest of us to see your work in other spots than in your home!
Model stitching is not something I could tackle at the moment, I have WAY too much on my plate to add anything more in (or should I say on?).

tintocktap said...

Great post! I've always fancies the idea of being a model stitcher, but I have to remind myself that I really don't have the time!

Lisha said...

Very cool. That is a pretty big honor. I'll be looking for your name too. I would like to do that, but I would be so afraid I couldn't meet a deadline. How much time do you usually have?
Have a great day!

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing your story Dani, it's really interesting to see behind the scenes of the industry!

Sandy said...

I love model stitching! I love the thought of being the first person to ever stitch a design and to help the designer tweak the design to perfection. Plus, it gives me a chance to stitch something I may not normally pick to stitch myself. I model stitched for Stoney Creek for a few years, and have done stitching for a few other designers. It's such a fun thing to do!

Beatrice said...

Thank you for telling us about your model stitching. I'm honored to have a piece stitched by you and I admire it everyday.
Keep up the amazing work you do!!!

ollie1976 said...

Dani-thanks for the great answer.

Kathy A. said...

Thanks for letting us in on the ins and outs of model stitching. I can understand why they want you to stitch for them. Your stitching is beautiful!! Look forward to seeing you this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your model HD Dani.

I have been a model stitcher for a eyar now and love it. I did 3 models last year, and I am about to get my first for this year. Can't wait.

Love you piccies, thanks for the comments hun on my blog.

Hugs xxxxx

Wendy said...

I'm looking forwards to seeing your work in the Needle Pulling Thread! Model stitching is a great service to provide to designers, giving them more time so they can keep designing even more and more great things for the rest of us!

Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing your story on model stitching. I'm sure they're all very pleased with your work. It's always beautiful! It's a true compliment when they come looking for you.

~ Witchypoos ~ said...

Hi Dani

I am nominating you for a You make my day award.

Hope to visit Canada again sometime soon !