Trick or Treat!

We are certain that, by now, you’ve met our friend Susan (@yardgrl60 on IG)! She is our favorite cross-stitch queen whose personal mission is to make every stitchy maker out there fall in love with Aurifloss. From what we’ve seen, it seems to be working! Susan takes our delightful little wooden spools wound with 100% Cotton 6-Strand Floss and turns them into a parade of fabulous mini masterpieces.

To learn all about Susan and her background, take a peek at her very first interview with us right HERELittle Quaker Christmas is where our stitchy love affair began and we’ve just been having one big cross-stitch party ever since.

We’re pretty giddy about today’s post for a two key reasons… first, we have the opportunity to celebrate Halloween a little early!! Second… we get to do that through the release of Susan’s 7th Aurifil collection, #TrickorTreat. This spooky set features 10 small spools of our luscious Aurifloss in a perfect range of Halloween hues.

If that’s not enough? Susan is also offering the featured collection cover chart as a FREE PDF download over on our website.

Isn’t it fun when we get to set you up with everything you need for some perfectly spook-tacular stitching? Join us for a conversation with Susan to hear more about her personal love for Halloween and why she loves this collection! We have to offer a HUGE thanks to Susan for always playing along with us!

pssst — are you on Instagram? Head to our account for a chance to win one of Susan’s brand new sets!!

Hi Susan!! Thank you for humoring me with another interview! We do have some fun with these, don’t we?? 
I love it when you invite me to your house and we get to catch up!

I’m super excited about today’s collection launch because it allows me to get all up in the spooky zone a few months early! What is your favorite thing about Halloween? 
Honestly, it’s more fun just to have an excuse to decorate and celebrate another day in the year. I don’t necessarily center my sewing around the themes… I typically let the colors do the talking. When it comes to the stitching, I try to just embrace some cute designs that I can pop around the house for the short amount of time. 

Do you decorate for the holiday and if so, what is your spooky style? 
What actually happens, or I should say happened before the year that we were locked down, was that the entire outside of our house was staged as a haunted house. My family all took off from work or school just to get the outside decorated, set up speakers with spooky music, put up spider webs all over, displayed skeletons, and inside, always had a buffet that was totally on-theme appropriate!!

We haven’t gotten back to that level yet because the amount of trick or treaters in our neighborhood hasn’t quite gotten back to triple digits. We’ll get there!

When your kids were young, were you in a ‘make the costume’ or ‘buy the costume’ place and were there any favorites? 
We were all in for making the Halloween costumes. My mother would create these amazing little masterpieces from my Halloween visions. Let’s see, some super cute ones were: a marionette when my youngest was just learning how to walk… (it was perfect because we could keep her upright with the strings); of course we had Carmen Miranda with the fruit on top of the head; & two of my littles were twiddle dumb and tweedle dee. It was so much fun before all of my kids developed stronger ideas about what they wanted to be and I still got to choose for them! Haha!

We know you love cross stitching for Halloween – do you sew & quilt for the holiday as well? Do you have a favorite pattern?
I feel like any quilt can be season appropriate for any holiday or season just by the fabric choices made. So, if I need something in a quick pinch, I race to an Irish chain pattern. It’s the best pattern for fitting all holidays. 

You created the Little Quaker Halloween chart for us a few years back and it’s been one of our most popular charts to date. What do you think draws people to hand work and stitching these days?
I think there was a study about this after the early days of covid… Cross Stitch was identified as one of the top crafts that was picked back up again or started as a new hobby.  I totally understand how easy it would be for folks to pick up any new handwork during that time because it is always something that can be worked on individually or as a group “sport” and there are so many like minded people to help you along the way. 

Tell us a little more about your new Halloween chart and why you think that cross stitchers around the world are going to love it!
I really, really love this little chart. It’s fun because it says it all for one fun day. There is no right or wrong way to set it out and people have turned my version over and over in their hands at my house to see which way they like it the best. How cute would this same design be sewn onto a pocket for a denim shirt or even onto a trick or treat bag?

Your new collection, Trick or Treat, released yesterday in partner with this fabulously haunted chart to give stitchers plenty of time to prep… can you tell us why you were so keen on a Halloween collection? 
First of all, this is every single shade of my perfect Halloween. But, think out of the box and it’s also exactly the colors of Fall. Think of falling leaves and it’s perfect. Also, can I just say that the black in this collection is my very favorite shade of black on the planet. It’s like a number 2 pencil without being too harsh. 

How did you assemble the range of 10 included hues?
I truly get asked this a ton! As with everything I do, I race straight to my fabric. I have chosen all colors from matching my fabrics. It’s such an easy transition for me to lay out the fabrics I love and plop spools of thread on top until I get a super cohesive and happy color grouping. 

How else do you see folks using the threads in this collection? (a colorful spiderweb maybe??)
How about any sort of tree?  Or even a cute little house?  If you look at any chart just like a quilt pattern, think of the season you want it to represent and change the colors. This isn’t just strictly Halloween, it’s truly a great fall collection too. 

Can we anticipate other Halloween charts to be released down the road? 
Oh boy, Erin, you are putting me on the spot. Can I scream yes? Okay, I won’t yell, but… keep this collection close at hand, I have quite a few fun charts up my sleeve. 

We know you’ve shared plenty of stitchy tips in past posts, but we’re certain we’ll grab a few new folks this time around. What are your top tips for cross stitch? 
It’s never about the race, it’s all for fun so take your time, enjoy the entire process. 

What are 3 cross stitch must-haves? 
I use a magnetic board to mark where I am in a chart, my trusty bright light hanging over my shoulder, and of course the remote control in my hand to find the perfect show to sit and stitch Along with. 

What are you up to this year and where else can we find you? 
Right now, I am in the editing phase of a project I have been working on with Lissa Alexander, which, by the way, includes a free cross stitch pattern (using Aurifil threads of course) that you’ll receive when you pre order the book through Fat Quarter Shop. And Erin, along with just about everybody else out there, or at least those in Florida, I’m staying indoors with the air conditioner running. It’s all about staying away from the heat and not feeling guilty in the least for binging and stitching my days away!

Halloween Speed Round
Trick or Treat?:  Treat
Candy or Apples?:  Candy
Scary Movies… heck yes or NO WAY?: True crime not scary 
All time favorite costume:  yikes, I’m going to go with fortune teller.
Song that always reminds you of Halloween: Is that background music while somebody goes down the basement stairs in the middle of the night count as a song?  Creepy music at its finest. 

A love of color makes it easy for Susan to grab inspiration from her native Florida surroundings. With no grand idea other than knowing she wanted embroidery and nine patches in her first quilt, a new world opened up to this mom of now five grown children. Being self taught with many hours of reading about the makings of a quilt and quilt blocks has made this a lifelong passion. Susan is always searching for new and fun ways to show off as many colors as she can in a quilt. Most of her quilts are a creative impulse from trips to the garden center, a photograph, or browsing through paint chip selections. “I really never see just the quilt, I seem to see the quilt in the room that it belongs in”.  Working in a quilt store for years helped Susan to pursue that passion of color and the fabric inspired life she enjoys while constantly striving to make her next favorite quilt.

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