National Craft Month: Cross Stitcher Carla Preston
National Craft Month: Cross stitcher Carla Preston
Cross stitch chose Carla Preston. Over the years she tried many hobbies. Her grandmother unsuccessfully tried teaching her crochet. Although she learned how to make a chain stitch, she wasn’t interested in continuing. Next, she tried plastic canvas work, which was “okay.” Then came cross stitch.
She discovered the craft by happenstance. During college a high school classmate lived down the hall who cross stitched. Carla saw a piece displayed, asked how she did it and 30 years later her passion for cross stitch continues.
“There’s something captivating to me about cross stitching and how those perfect little Xs make pictures come to life,” said Carla.
Award Winning Artist
Her favorite piece she has created won second place at the Kentucky State Fair last year. She carefully crafted a full coverage cross stich, meaning no fabric shows through the stitching, picture of Michael Jackson. Starting with a photo, she built her own pattern to create the piece titled “The Master at Work.” Michael Jackson is her favorite singer, so the portrait is near and dear to her heart.
That’s not her only Kentucky State Fair victory. She got third place for an artistic cross stitch of her brother’s family and an honorable mention for a cross stitch of a Victorian lady.
“I haven’t entered many items (I’m a slow stitcher), each one that I’ve entered has won something. One of my ‘bucket list’ items is to win a blue ribbon at the state fair, so maybe one year soon I’ll get one,” said Carla.
She is currently working on a full coverage Buster Keaton piece and plans to start another based on a picture of Lucille Ball. Currently, she has 13 projects going and rotates between cross stitches to keep it interesting. That’s a small number compared to May, when she participates in the cross stitch community’s Maynia event, where she’ll start a new project every day of the month.
Want to Learn
Potential cross stitchers look no further! Carla has her on “FlossTube” channel (aka a cross stitch YouTube channel) with a multi-part getting started tutorial series. Beginning with the basics, like materials and stitches, Carla walks you through the whole process. You can find her at The Crazy Cross Stitch Lady (LINK).
“I was surprised at how easy the craft is and wondered why more people didn’t do it. At the time I was learning, cross stitch had fallen out of favor after a heyday in the 1980s, so you just didn’t hear a lot about it and not many people I knew were still doing it. In the last 5-10 years, though, it has come back full force.” Said Carla.
The 2023 Kentucky State Fair is August 17-27 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville KY. Entries will open in early May. Information will be available on https://kystatefair.org/participate/compete/.
Posted in: News