I started stitching twenty years ago when I found out I was going to have a little girl. I decided I wanted her room to be full of cross-stitched teddy bears, so I pleaded with my mom to pick up her long-forgotten hobby of stitching and help me get some decorating done. She agreed, since it was for her first grandchild, and we headed to the nearest place that sold cross stitch supplies and purchased a book called Priscilla's Precious Bears.
Soon we discovered Treasured Stitches, a cross stitch shop that was within walking distance of my parents' home (and co-owned by Darlene Anderson), and it is there that I discovered Shepherd's Bush patterns: my first true cross stitch love.
Mom and I continued with the teddy bear theme for Breanna's room, and they all turned out quite adorably. But oh, those sweet little sheep, designed by the hands of Tina and Teri Richards… who could resist them? I soon acquired quite a collection of their gorgeous patterns and kits, and even called the shop once, awkwardly asking them if they would please consider designing a "Quilt Gatherer" piece to go with their other 'Gatherers.
That must be one huge piece they're doing for me, bc I haven't seen it released yet.
Soon I became active on the internet, and met my first-ever cyberfriend, Chris. She was also a Shepherds Bush addict, and we exchanged many emails oohing and ahhing over whatever new patterns came out. When Tina and Teri decided to hold their first retreat, I could hardly breathe for wanting to attend. But alas, for one reason or another, I've never been able to.
Excuse me while I have a moment of morosity.
Okay, I'm fine now.
Every year that Shepherd's Bush has had a retreat, Chris has attended. And every year, I've said to her, "One day I'll go too!" My mom, knowing my obsession with SB, visited their shop years ago and had Teri autograph a shop-exclusive kit for me. I think if George Clooney would have walked into the room, I would have said, "Oh, hi, Mr. Clooney! LOOK WHAT MY MOM GOT FOR ME." (And then I would asked him to sit next to me and pretend I didn't know how to stitch so he would put his arms around me and hold the needle and fabric "no, like this," like they do in the movies.)
I cannot believe how chatty I am today.
Since it's entirely too late for long-story-short, I'll continue. Fast-forward to our trip to Park City… when I realized I was going to be within walking distance (66 miles in -3 temps is totally doable), I knew I had to be there. I simply had to go! So while Mike and Marty ski'ed the blacks, I headed to Ogden in our rented Ford Flex. Sabrina and Sophie came with me in case I swooned and needed smelling salts.
Btw, that's Nancy on the left. Hi, Nancy!
Here's Sophie, rifling through all the stockings… she found it quite amusing that the original name of the stocking I stitched for Sabrina is Sophie's Stocking.
Somewhere in this glorious section of the store, you'll find Sabrina…
And here she is again, telling me to take a picture of Primitive Needle's Adam and Eve… I love how Tina and Teri convert the color schemes of so many designs to their signature soft palette…
I truly wish I could have photographed every nook and cranny of this transformed carriage house. What an experience it is to see something new every time you blink!
I am so very happy I was finally, after twenty years, able to visit this loveliest of shops. I was also honored to meet Teri, who was as hospitable and kind as I imagined her to be.
When my girls and I got to our car, Teri came running after us, telling us she forgot to give us something. She then presented each of us with the sweetest little sheep pins, and I found the gesture to be so lovely that I felt happy the rest of the day.
Thank you, Tina and Teri, for sharing with all of us your amazing talent, and for being mindful of the nuances that make each visitor to your shop feel warm and perfectly welcome.