Behind The Canvas: The Perennial Stitcher

A BIG welcome to our newest designer, Margaret from The Perennial Stitcher. When Margaret reached out to join the collective, I was ecstatic. I have loved her designs (and following her!) for quite some time now and I knew she would be the perfect addition to our designer group. Now having the chance to get to know her better, I have fallen even more in love with all things Margaret and TPS and I hope you do too. 
The Perennial Stitcher: Penny Linn Collective
Your name/where you're from:

Margaret Gaskins

Where can people find your designs? and your LNS!

Where can people follow you on social?

@theperennialstitcher - My canvas designs, other needlepoint projects I’m working on from my immense canvas stash, and the occasional update on my garden.


How did you learn to needlepoint? What was your first needlepoint project?
I cross stitched and did other kinds of embroidery for about twelve years before taking up needlepoint during the pandemic. Once I realized how restful it was to not have to count stitches, I was hooked on needlepoint and haven’t looked back. I actually can’t remember what my first project was…probably because I always have at least 3 projects going at the same time.
What is your favorite stitch? What stitch are you hoping to learn/do next?
Basketweave is my favorite tent stitch, and Nobuko is my favorite decorative stitch. I just bought the first volume of Mary’s Whimsical Stitches and can’t wait to try some of them. Every time I ask someone what the name of their really neat stitch is, it’s always from one of Mary’s books.
What are your favorite threads to use? 
For 18 mesh I like Pepper Pot and Vineyard Silk. For 13 mesh I prefer Silk and Ivory.
What made you want to paint your own pieces?
I’ve done art since childhood and have always loved painting in particular. As an adult, I gravitated towards fiber arts as both a creative outlet and a way to help manage my anxiety and ADHD using repetitive motion. Designing my own canvases felt like a natural combination of all the ways I love to create.
Describe your canvases in three words:
Lovely, joyful, and cheeky.
What inspires you most when creating new designs?
Nature, my garden, everything vintage, pop culture, travel, and my own personal style. I also love doing designs that can be personalized and customized.
What has been your favorite canvas to paint?
My favorite design I’ve done has been turning a 19th century Charles Dana Gibson illustration into a needlepoint canvas. My favorite canvas to do the actual painting on is a geometric picture frame I designed for my cousin’s new baby.
What has been your favorite canvas to stitch?
I loved stitching my Antique Locket canvas. It’s a quick stitch that doesn’t feel too basic and has a lot of easy self-finishing options. I used mine as an insert in a self-finishing leather travel jewelry box.
What is one piece of advice for painting your own canvas?
Don’t buy expensive paintbrushes. Needlepoint canvas absolutely destroys paintbrush bristles. The cheapest brushes usually aren’t precise enough for me, so I like to use mid-range brushes of decent enough quality.
Where is your favorite place to stitch?
In my cozy armchair, tucked under a blanket with my heating pad.
If you're not needlepointing you're...
Working as a litigator, vegetable gardening, cooking, playing on my Nintendo Switch, reading, and spending time with my daughter.
What three items do you always have in your project bag?
At least three needle pullers, a folding Bohin seam ripper, and a pair of sharp scissors.
What shows are you currently watching?
Obi-Wan Kenobi, reruns of the Great British Bake Off, and whatever my kid has on tv (Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, etc.)
What is your favorite podcast?
Noble Blood, a history podcast about royalty.
Who is your favorite needlepoint or non-needlepoint follow on Instagram right now?
I self-finish a lot of my pieces, so I love the self-finishing tutorials @nashvilleneedlepointer posts. I also enjoy the free decorative stitch diagrams posted by @whimsicalstitch and shopping vintage finds from @thrillsofthehunt.
If time and money were no issue, what type of needlepoint project would you want to do?
All of the big Christmas projects: a tree skirt, stockings for the whole family, and a full nativity. Also an ottoman. And a set of huge matching pillows for the living room. Basically, I’d needlepoint anything in my house that would sit still long enough.

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