Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Needle Guardian Interview with Tina Starke

Reaching out to my stitchers at "I cross stitch and I'm not ashamed of it" resulted in some pretty amazing stitchers coming forward and actually answering a few questions about themselves, cross stitching and their experience with their choice of TW Patterns.

May I please introduce to you Tina Starke!

1) Please, introduce yourself and be as windy as you like
2) When did you first pick up a needle and what was your very first cross stitch project?
3) How many Teresa Wentzler patterns have you stitched?
4) What made you decide to stitch Needle Guardian?
5) For you, what was the most difficult part of stitching the Needle Guardian?
6) Any advice for those stitching or planning to stitch this pattern?
7) Feel free to add anything else! (If you have a blog, by all means include that web address here please)
1). My name is Tina. I live in northern New Jersey with my husband of 25 years, 2 dogs, 4 cats and some fish in a not-McMansion home. In other words, I’m a real New Jersey housewife. I have one son who’s a junior in college, majoring in biochemistry. I work part-time at our local animal shelter so I am involved in animal rescue, punishment of animal abusers, and rehabilitating the image of pit bulls. I also love to cook and consider myself pretty experienced in the kitchen, with a wide range of culinary interests. I am also an orchid hobbyist; nothing like seeing exotic blooms during the cold days of January and February.
2) I got into doing needlepoint kits when I was a teenager. My mother was doing them so I joined in. We had quite a few floral cushions between us Winking smile. Then I dabbled in crewel but didn't really like the thick yarns in crewel kits. I was still doing needlepoint when I moved to New Orleans for a job after graduate school. Some of my coworkers were doing this thing called cross stitch. One of them was attempting to design and stitch a Christmas stocking for her husband using assorted oil industry motifs like a drilling rig, salt dome, etc. I was intrigued by this notion of creating something on blank fabric. One day, while browsing in a big box craft store and finding no needlepoint kits that I liked, I decided to give cross stitch a try and bought a beginner’s kit of a pig on a farm. I finished it over the course of a weekend and I was hooked. Even after I noticed my crosses were going in different directions. That was in 1987.
Needle Guardian by Tina Starke
3) Although I've long admired Teresa’s designs, collected a number of patterns and kitted up one (Tapestry Cat), I've only completed a single design, the Needle Guardian.

4) Needle Guardian was actually commissioned by a friend (hence the name Lyne on it). I thought I’d have it stitched and finished in about 2 weeks. HA! It took at least a month to finish.

5) Needle Guardian had a LOT of quarter stitches. And a lot of spots with 1-2 stitches of a color. And of course being a TW, tweeded threads. So quarter stitches, confetti stitches, and tweeded threads to do those quarter stitches and confetti stitches slowed me down considerably.

6) Anyone thinking about doing Needle Guardian (or probably any TW pattern) should do it on evenweave or linen. To stitch this on Aida will probably drive you nuts!

My greatest thanks go out to Tina for participating and if you'd like to ask her more questions about her project she can be found on Facebook.

Until tomorrow my sweet, sweet stitchers!!


  1. Is there really that much of a difference between Aida, linen and evenweave? What is the difference anyway? I know that the count has to do with how many threads/inch (thus the smaller holes) but I don't understand why someone would have issues with a TW pattern on Aida.

    That being said, when I do my R&J pattern I will go to my supply store and get fabric from them so they will probably recommend something for me that it's my basic Aida that I get at Hobby Lobby. ;)

    1. With evenweave or linen you use a higher count (25, 28 or 32 usually) and stitch over 2 squares, therefore making it much, much, much easier to do quarter stitches, which TW is obsessed with.

    2. For TW you WANT evenweave or linens and like Nancy said, it's better for the quarter stitches. See with Aida there isn't a hole in the center of the square, you have to punch through the fabric to make that happen. Also the higher fabric count also makes a difference. Some of the TW patterns call for over one stitching AND over two....I'm thinking we need pictures for you at this point :D

    3. I know my R&J pattern calls for some of it being over 1 and some over 2 so I'll probably get linen or evenweave for that. I think the bookmarks will be fine on Aida though. :)

  2. Also great interview Carla, these are going to be fun to read.

    1. I agree, and to hear the story behind the project is just plain fun!

  3. This needle booklet is one of the projects that keeps spooking through my head too...even though I already have one. Great interview, can't wait for the others :3

    1. I agree, I would like to stitch this one up as well....hmmmm, too bad I'm doing stitch from stash or I would get it right now!