Meet our teachers: Sophie Simpson, counted cross stitch
I’m so proud of the quality of instructors we have lined up to teach our classes at The Village Haberdashery! Many of them are a little bit famous in certain crafting circles, but since they may be new to you I thought I’d make introductions in a little series called Meet our teachers.
Sophie Simpson is the designer, writer and compulsive stitcher behind embroidery business, What Delilah Did. Her first book, Storyland Cross Stitch, is being published in July. We’re thrilled to have Sophie teaching her Counted Cross Stitch Primer in the shop on Saturday, 3 August from 2-5pm. Places are limited so reserve yours here.
The Village Haberdashery: You make cross stitch look so incredibly cool! How did you get started and what drove you to create a business around the craft?
Sophie Simpson: Why thank you! I have always loved making things, especially textiles, but I never really gave a second thought to cross stitch until about 5 years ago when I came across a beautiful embroidered monogram on some antique linen. It made me think completely differently about a craft I had previously considered to be fixated with tacky teddy bears and Disney characters; showed me that it can be more stylish when you pare it down with nothing more than a little texture and beautiful materials. As soon as I tried it I was addicted, but I couldn’t find any designs I wanted to stitch so I started to make my own. My aim is to design things that are a pleasure to make and that look beautiful when you are finished; things that you are proud to display in your home.
TVH: Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?
SS: I am obsessed with period dramas and old houses and antique design – nothing fancy, just simple traditional country style. And I have a thing for fonts too. My favourite thing is to take something old and bring it up to date to create something that is relatively timeless. That said, every time the sun shines I find myself craving neons and geometrics, so our changeable British weather has left my current range looking quite eclectic…
TVH: You have a beautiful new book due in stores next month. Tell us about it!
SS: It is called Storyland Cross Stitch and is a collection of projects and stories set in a wild sort of a fairyland with jackalopes and frog princes and enchanted forests and big bad wolves… all in my signature style. There are patterns big and small; things for beginners and seasoned stitchers alike, and a little miniature kit in the back so that you can have a go at stitching something right away. It is a little unorthodox (rather like me) and is packed full of things to fuel the imagination. I really hope that it might inspire people who might have overlooked cross stitch to have a go at it. I have been working on it for so long that I really can’t wait for people to see it.
TVH: What will students learn in your class, Counted Cross Stitch Primer (and what is in those fabulous goody bags you’ve promised?)
SS: Cross stitch can seem quite complicated to begin with, but once you know the basics you’re away – in the Primer my aim is to teach you everything you need to be able to conquer any pattern you want in the future. I will explain all about different fabrics and threads, pattern reading and stitching technique, and then you will put your new skills into practice by trying your hand at one of my new personalised folk letter designs. You will take home a goody bag full of things to help you finish off and frame your folk letter and carry on stitching up a storm after the lesson: a wooden hoop, needles, more patterns and tutorials, and best of all the bag itself…one of my exclusive stitchable canvas bags that you can use to store all your paraphernalia. A few hours with me and you will have a new addiction!