One day I walked into a fabric store and saw this beautiful embroidery on display ~
I could not get it out of my mind. I had to learn to do this needle art called ?Brazilian Embroidery?. I signed up for a class. The class began on January 20, 1980. I was addicted.
There were no printed designs, no books. The instructor hand drew the designs onto fabric for us. I started my own notebook ( which I still have ). After each class I would write notes on how to do the stitch or flower, make drawings. There were only a few colors of this luscious thread. EdMar Co. was just getting started also.
Soon, EdMar did have some printed fabric designs, just fabric pieces, no pictures or packaged. Then a book of instructions appeared. I stitched all the designs that were available – I wanted more. I began to designing, paying more attention to natures colors and details. So many different colors of green leaves, the shading in flowers; a butterfly or bee was enjoying the flowers too.
Sue was so busy teaching classes, she ask me to help her. I started teaching the Beginner Class.
Everyone I knew had Brazilian Embroidery gifts, including my Husband, Father and Brother.
I had my work(??) in a store on consignment. That gave me a few more dollars to buy more thread ~ had to keep stitching. EdMar came out with more lovely colors: mauves, burgundy, smoky blues, sage greens?..
I still wanted more ~ I WAS an addict. This was better then chocolate ice cream.
In 1985, Sue, who was the supplier of the thread, needed more family time. She ask me if I would like to purchase her inventory ~ YES! Threads in Bloom was born.
Next was magazine articles. The first one was McCalls in April of 1987. I was in the Rolodex of the magazine editors on first name basis. There were some years I would have 5-7 articles out in various needle art and craft magazines. I was listed in magazines as ?Contributing Editor? WOW. My husband was keeping track of how many articles I had done; cataloging the magazines for me. At this point there a little over 60 articles. Orders came pouring in.
Of course, the magazine articles had to be original designs, I kept designing and stitching.
I began doing a newsletter to my mail order customers, and a different newsletter for my local customers. We began having a get together every month, some ladies driving 1 ½ hour to come to our gathering. I felt honored they would drive so far to meet each month.
I have taught Brazilian Embroidery at our local Community College, with the City Parks Department (offering classes of various crafts), other towns close to home and in other states.
My Mother came once a week to do my house cleaning, so I could spend time working on Threads in Bloom ( besides holding my regular full time job). My son helped with cooking and my husband took care of laundry and dishes. Threads in Bloom inventory and office space took over a couple rooms in our house.
I met so many wonderful people, that is the greatest reward. Emotionally, Threads in Bloom has helped me through some very difficult times. I have the pleasure of having some of my embroidery work on a Friendship quilt in Khmelnitsky and part of an International Friendship Tapestry that began in Iceland. It has needle art of every kind by stitchers from five continents, over 235 pieces joined together in friendship. And, it is still growing.
Here we are over 26 years later ~ still loving it, still designing, still stitching and still meeting wonderful people, new friends.
I am as enthused and addicted to Brazilian Embroidery as I was in 1980. It has been great fun watching it evolve from a few colors of thread to over 200, several books lots and lots of beautiful designs to stitch. New stitches and variations of stitches; new flowers have grown.
I truly need to give much of the credit to my family and friends who gave me so much support over the years ~ but we are not finished yet.
To be continued ~