Are you ready to learn more about another one of our amazing suppliers? Of course you are! Check out this months’ edition of our Guest Showcase with Maggie Gee Embroidery! Maggie enjoyed a successful launch on Hochanda early in October and we are so pleased to have her a part of the family.
Welcome to Guest Showcase! Tell us a little about your crafting background!
Well my mother always used to call me a ‘doing child’! I just don’t think I can think of a time I wasn’t creative! I taught myself to dressmake, made my own curtains and blinds and when I moved 4 years ago it occurred to me it was the first time I had bought new furniture rather than upcycled something! Funnily enough there is very little embroidery on display in my home though! The last thing I did was make another pinafore dress and make my assistant dragon, Dave Jnr. a miniature Hochanda Freedom Badge with card, Glossy Accents and an earing back! It looks like a tiny version of the real thing!
How did Maggie Gee Embroidery get started?
Having worked in retail, I was destined to do a Masters at Southampton in Fine Art and Antique valuation but the course got cancelled so I opened needlework shop instead! Though I am mainly self-taught through a vast collection of antique books, I started my own embroidery classes and made my own kits. I saw the most remarkable change in the self-confidence in my students and I think this is where the ethos of my kits came from. In 2013 I became internet based and this where Maggie Gee Embroidery began. Those years in retail were the best grounding I could ever have had in business and gave me a vast work ethic. Magazine commissions also slot in with the single handed running of the business.
What were the highlights of your first show on Hochanda?
I honestly have been made to feel part of a family. Without exception everyone has been kind, generous and nothing but accommodating. I have felt so privileged to have been invited to join Hochanda.
Do you have any fun Halloween plans/traditions?
My sewing shop was called ‘The Stitches’ Coven’ and I used to create the most amazing window displays ; threads on wires coming out of kettles etc. Many of those props are permanently displayed on the top of my kitchen dresser along with my ravens, Quoth and Seth and my Goose called Seraphina! Halloween is a lifestyle here!
What other brands do you enjoy watching on Hochanda?
Hochanda is streamed into my studio and I have an embarrassingly massive craft stash from you! I am constantly astonished at Hayley from Craft Yourself Silly; her knowledge and expertise is breath-taking in so many areas. I also love watching Katrina from Rowandean Embroidery; to demonstrate so many stitches off the top of her head is amazing!
Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
I play the Alto recorder! It is the most misunderstood instrument on the planet! Those school teachers who made their pupils torture parents with ‘London’s Burning’ have much to answer for! It is the most sublime instrument when played properly. Because I work hard, I have strict hobby time. I make my own clothes and have a side line in making little hand dyed velvet animals which is easier on the eyes and a bit of fun (They started from a teddy bear making kit I bought on Hochanda!) Now my collie dog is very old, I borrow two ‘Rent-a-Jacks’; Jack Russell Terrier girlies called Bubbles and Ivy that I walk a couple of times a week to get my dose of the countryside!
What are your top 3 tips for people trying to get into embroidery?
The 3 P’s! – Patience, Perseverance and Practice!!!
- Remember – any activity always seems hard when you don’t have knowledge.
- Don’t run before you can walk! Be Patient and practice!
- Don’t bog yourself down with You Tube tutorials – they are great for ideas or a bit of help from time to time but try and find your own creativity and don’t let anyone tell you something is wrong. My kits recommend ‘best practice’ but they also tell you how I do things differently too! ; it doesn’t mean you have to do it either way!
4…Can I have 4?….Anyone who looks at the back of your work is just rood!
What are you looking forward to this winter?
I think Hochanda has given me a new lease of life! I have a couple more kits on this year’s list to complete and I have some work I want to re-visit that I know Hochanda customers will love! I love Christmas too! I could quite happily put my decorations up after Halloween but always wait reverently until after Remembrance Sunday!