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Meet the author: Yvette Stanton

Yvette Stanton is the publisher and designer behind Vetty Creations. She has a passion for whitework embroidery, and a passion for sharing it with others. Yvette has written several books on whitework, one of them with her twin sister, Prue Scott. She also has written two highly acclaimed stitch dictionaries, one of which focuses on left-handed embroidery. Yvette is an accredited tutor with the Embroiderers Guild of NSW, and teaches embroidery classes, specialising in whitework at shops and guild groups around Australia. Visit Yvette's blog at http://vettycreations.com.au/white-threads/

An Interview with Yvette

Where were you born?

Sydney, Australia, where I have lived pretty much all my life (apart from three months in Ethiopia, and a year on the mid north coast of NSW), and still do now.

What is your educational background?

I have a degree in Design (Visual Communication), which is a slightly silly way of saying that I’m a graphic designer by training.

What first got you interested in embroidery?

When I was little I was given a copy of The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlecraft. I used to work my way through it, making things. Then at secondary school I did Textiles and Design from Years 7 to 10, and loved it.

How long have you been embroidering?

Since I was a little girl – I’m sorry I can’t be more specific than that!

Where do you get your materials?

From my local needlework shop wherever possible. However for Mountmellick embroidery, I actually import supplies from the UK, because that’s where they’re made.

How/Where did Search Press discover you?

I had written and published several embroidery books and felt that I needed a good distributor in the UK and Europe, so I approached them. With a fair amount of hard work on my part (because I am a small, independent publisher), eventually they agreed to take me on. I’ve enjoyed working with them ever since! Search Press are wonderful distributors of my books, and take them to places I’d never to be able to reach otherwise.

What were your first thoughts when asked to write a book?

I’m pretty sure it was along the lines of “What?!” It wasn’t on my radar at all! I’ve always been a voracious reader (a friend once said of me, “Yvette doesn’t read books; she devours them”), but never expected to be a writer, and certainly I never expected to make it my career.

Has publishing a book changed your life in any way?

Totally. As a graphic designer, I worked for several years as a book designer, which I loved. That gave me insight into the world of publishing. Then I wrote my first two books which were published by a large publishing house. For my third book, I decided, “Actually, I think I can do this myself, seeing I have the particular range of skills and experience that I do.” I’ve self-published ever since. My seventh book is due for publication very soon. That’s seven books so far, that I never expected to write!

Without being offered the chance to write a book, I’d still be a book designer, working on other people’s books. Now I’m working on my own books, and having far more time to do embroidery. I have to – it’s my job!

Any tips for beginners?

Find a craft that you love, and just do it. Enjoy the creativity of making things. I know it keeps me sane!

What is your favourite craft tool?

My Italian embroidery scissors. They’re lovely and dainty, and a pleasure to cut with. I take them around the classroom with me when I’m teaching, and the students always love using them too.

Have you travelled for your craft?

Yes, I am very fortunate to have done so. We usually turn my research trips for new books into family holidays. So when I said to my husband, “What do you think about a trip to Portugal?” his response was, “as long as I can go to Paris.” It was deal!

Our most recent trip was to Sardinia, and it was so lovely and relaxing. The people were so welcoming, generous and happy to share their culture with us. People say that travelling with kids opens doors, but I also think that travelling for embroidery opens doors.

One of my most special memories of Sardinia always will be visiting a Sardinian family, and having the matriarch of the family dress my young daughters up in her (now grown) daughters’ folk costume blouses, skirts, aprons and caps. Without our shared love of embroidery, we never would have had this experience.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Much of it comes from historical embroidery. I tend to do a lot of research – looking at as many photos and real articles of historical embroidery as I can.

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