Friday, October 2, 2015

Magical Arts Friday - An Interview with Cross Stitcher Jane Linnell

Magical Arts Fridays

By Pamela James

MM: Jane, give us some backstory on when and how you became a cross stitcher?  

I became a cross stitcher when I was in my early 20’s.  My grandmother always did needlepoint and I loved the work she did.  My mother did Crewel and stamped embroidery.  I tried the stamped embroidery and was quickly bored so I thought I’d try cross stitch.  I found it held my attention longer and fulfilled my need to create with my hands better.

MM: To date what has been your hardest piece to cross stitch?

I did a piece in the around about 1987 I think.  We had become good friends with the pastor at our church named Reverend Barry Parsons.  Father Parsons was coming to our house to have a ceremonial meal with our family in preparation of my daughter making her first communion.  Earlier that day I had gone to the mall to run errands with my eldest son.  While at the mall my son was having a developmentally appropriate temper tantrum regarding a toy he wanted and I would not purchase for him.  We had gone on to another store and was unaware that a woman was watching the entire situation.  My son dropped my hand and went around a clothes rack playing hide and seek with me.  I diverted my attention for a minute and realized he didn't pop out of the clothes rack as I had expected.  Long story short, this woman had actually taken my son.  Mall security and the police had been notified immediately.  She later returned my son with the toy he was tantruming over.  I was so grateful to see her with him heading towards the police.  As she approached she began to yell at me about what an awful mother I was  blah blah blah.  She was promptly taken into custody and the MD. State Police got involved.  I share that background story because I went on a private walk with Father Parsons and shared the story.  He prayed with me and assured me it was the grace of God who kept Pete safe and that woman clearly had her own journey and issues to manage and I didn't have to receive her ugliness.  With that being said I cross stitched a piece for Christmas for Father Parsons.  The most difficult part of that piece was it was stitched on all black cloth!  The end product was beautiful and I was very proud of it because it allowed me to pour out all of my gratitude and love.

MM: Do you have a favorite piece?

NOt really.  I just like to stitch when I can…..I generally give away the pieces I do.

MM: For you what is the best and worst part of cross stitch?

The best part is the satisfaction and peace I enjoy as I’m working on the project.  The worst part is when I get on a roll and have a good rhythm going …..I have to stop due to other demands on me or my eyes getting tired and going cross!

MM: Do you have some favorite designers?

Not really.

MM: Do you have other hobbies?

Yes, I love to needlepoint, knit, garden, golf, read, bike, read, photography.

MM: What are some of your future projects?

I have a few cross stitch pieces to work on and I’ll get to them when the spirit moves me.  I also have a bigger needle point piece I’d like to finish.  I also have a crewel piece I’d like to work on for my granddaughter.  It’s a piece she retrieved from an aunt she loved dearly who passed away at a very early age due to cancer.  I'd like to finish it for Lea in honor of her Aunt Jeannine.

MM: Tell us about where you live? Be our tour guide.

Right now I’m between DC and NC.  I love the energy and diversity of the city and find myself frequently missing DC.  I also enjoy the peace and solitude of living in NC.  We live on a golf course with a pond right in front of our house.  We are a 5 min. walk from the Intercoastal Waterway and about a 10-15 min. drive from the ocean depending on which beach we choose to visit.  We can hear the ocean at our house.  We enjoy the beautiful wild life that comes to the pond and our yard.

MM: Where is your favorite place to cross stitch?

Anywhere that’s quiet and peaceful.  It’s a form of meditation for me so I need peace.  It’s not unusual for me to have some classical music on in the background as I’m stitching.

MM: Have you taught others to cross stitch?

I’ve tried to teach my granddaughter but she doesn't have the patience for it at this time.

MM: Do you have a favorite place to buy your cross stitch ?

Not really.  I buy what speaks to me.

MM: if you could sit down with a designer and have them design something just for you? Example: For me it would be a haunted library because I love Halloween and fall.

I’m not really sure.  Perhaps something collage like or abstract that has dragonflies, butterflies, hummingbirds, flowers….roses. 

MM: Does your cross stitch hang in pride of place at your home?

I’m embarrassed to say I have a few pieces finished that I've yet to frame so they are in a drawer for safe keeping.  I have a few finished needlepoint pieces unframed as well.  I have one piece of needlepoint I did that is framed and hanging.  Everything else I’ve done I've given away.

MM: Lastly, do you have a favorite cross stitch gift you have given or a gift that has been give to you?

My favorite piece I’ve given away has been to Father Parsons and a coin purse I made for my cousin.  My favorite gift given to me is the piece Terri Parsons gave me.


  1. I am so glad you love it! That made my day!

  2. Jane,
    I enjoyed seeing your pictures. Thank you for the interview. It certainly put a little magic in my day.


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