So, Karen E. Dudzinski? I began designing in 1996 after completing Susan Portra’s Spirit of the Southwest. My brain said, ‘That was really fun, but I want to try new stitches, on other mediums, in so many colours!!’. So I started playing. One day I was in The Needle Gnome, my go-to Local Needlework Shop in Acton, Ontario, and Renata (the owner) asked whose design I was stitching…and when I told her it was just me playing, she said ‘If you ever publish that, I’ll carry it in the shop’. At the time I thought that was kind of cool, and as the days went on, the sentiment changed to ‘Well why not?’, and Textured Treasures was born. A year of researching business registrations, tax laws, and publication platforms lead to the launch of Textured Treasures in 1997.
I discovered the Needlework Designers of Canada and joined them in a collaborative booth at the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival in Toronto with my first 4 designs in 1998. I was blown away by the number of sales, and dove full into designing.
A few brief hiatuses over the years, having children, moving provinces, and I am still at it, more than 25 years later. There are so many techniques I still have to try, and with each new class I take, some piece of it tends to work its way into my designs. I love texture, and colour, and seeing how each new stitch combination works out. Even the simple act of working on a new colourway for one of my designs brings me the child-like excitement of ‘Hey, look how this is working out!!’.
Inspiration presents itself to me in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways: leafing through a random home and garden magazine; google searching something for one of the kids; visiting a museum, art gallery or historic site; just walking through every day life (have you seen the awesome painted sidewalks in Almer, QC?). Art, colour, and inspiration are everywhere.
I stitch because I love it. I design because the creation of something I love fills me with such happiness.
I hope some of this happiness will spill over into my charts and kits and you will receive the same joy and wonder when you stitch one of my designs.