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!