Tuesday, March 24, 2009

About Me

My name is Carolyn Standing Webb

Sewing has always been a part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of playing under the quilt as it was being stitched by the women of the neighborhood who had gathered together to quilt and visit.

My parents met in college in art class so art has always been a part of my life. My father still oil paints, carves decoys and makes jewelry. Mom sewed for us, drew paper dolls for me as a child, and quilted and embroidered.

I sewed for my dolls and embroidered dish towels at an early age and have been working on one project or another ever since.

My parents gave me a treadle sewing machine when I was 10 years old, a machine that I still have, and I started sewing clothing for myself not long after that. I continued to sew clothing for me and my friends through out high school and although my degree is in education I created a business to do custom sewing so that I could stay at home with my children and work. I worked on costuming some plays and a couple of movies before ending up for several years as the costume mistress of Old Deseret Village, a living history museum that recreates the years 1847 to 1869.

During this time I was still hand embroidering for my own pleasure and to create clothing for my daughters. I hand stitched and embroidered the christening dress for my first girl from the left over fabric of my wedding dress. I did a number of pieces of crewel embroidery and discovered that there was a whole world of beautiful embroidery to be explored. My first cross stitch sampler worked at about age 11 was a piece printed on linen and I hated it so much I vowed that I would never cross stitch again. It was impossible to get the stitches to look as even as I wanted. Later, I saw examples of counted cross stitch and loved the way that it looked. I hunted for fabrics to stitch on and could not find anything. Finally I bought a pattern stamped on cotton that I liked but didn’t want to stitch the stamped design. So I used a flour sack for a background because it was an even weave cotton and counted the design on the flour sack, stitching over 5 threads each way to get the design the size that I wanted. I was thrilled later when I discovered Aida fabric so that stitching went much faster.

I started teaching embroidery in a local needlework shop in 1979 and was told about EGA by a framer that I met. I joined in about 1988 and loved it. There were so many new things to discover and learn. Everyone was so friendly and willing to share their knowledge. I attended regional seminars and took classes when I could. I took several correspondence classes and then signed up for the Master Craftsman program in counted thread. I thought that I knew a lot about counted thread until I started working on the pieces. Several years of concentrated learning, re-stitching and perfecting later I receive my Master Craftsman in Counted Thread.
One day when I was teaching a class, I shared one of the pieces that I had designed and stitched and was talked into teaching that blackwork piece to some of the women in class. That started my career in teaching at seminars and for guilds.

I collect antique needlework tools and have had a fun time finding wonderful old treasures.

My problem now days is find enough time to explore all of the choices in front of me. If I could fit about an extra 10 or 12 hours in a day, I might get everything done. Well maybe not.....