Today I’m delighted to welcome Heather Gray of Modern Needleworks as our guest for a designer profile. Heather’s kit and work are shown throughout the interview and are available at her Etsy shop.
What inspired you to start needlepointing?
I started to cross stitch as soon as I was old enough to hold a needle. I transitioned to needlepoint in my early twenties. (I’m 39… at least for another month). I have always been inspired my grandmother. She could do/make anything… sewing, quilting, crochet, applique… you name it. She kept me a lot when I was young and I learned so much from her. She never used a pattern, or if she did use a pattern it was one she developed or made. She was an artist long before what she was doing was considered art. She is now 95 and is still making things! I live across the street from her now. She is the #1 guiding force in my life.
What got you doing your own designs?
My home is a mix of vintage, modern, industrial, primitive, collected… nothing formal or fussy. Most of the needlepoint designs available did not fit with my personal style so I designed a few embroidery and needlepoint designs for my personal use. After I completed a few projects for myself, friends and family raved. Modern Needleworks was born.
Who do you see as the ideal customer for your designs?
The young and young at heart… Really anyone who wants to needlepoint but wants fresh and exciting pieces to stitch.
It doesn’t matter if someone is an expert or novice or if they have a lot or a little time to invest… we have kits for everyone.
I just love the ornaments on wood, what challenges are there in designing for these?
Designing patterns for the discs can be a challenge. There is a limited amount of space/stitches on each disc. It’s often challenging to develop designs that have a bold, graphic aesthetic in so few stitches.
What’s next for you?
I’m developing some new products, all for the modern DIYer. Many of these will be small, affordable kits that can be completed in 2 or 3 evenings. I know it’s a tease but that’s all I can tell you right now. You’ll just have to wait and see.
I also plan to launch modernneedleworks.com later this year. Lots of great stuff in store!