Featured Designers: Pam and Katie of Cottage Garden Threads November 27 2019
Nestled in the quiet hills of country Victoria, Australia, Mother-Daughter duo Pam and Katie of Cottage Garden Threads along with their passionate team of local women, design, create and produce these unique, hand dyed products one-by-one.
We got the chance to talk with both Pam and Katie (left to right in photo below) and are excited to share this conversation with you!
Let’s get to know this dynamic duo!
Where were you born and raised?
Pam: In the tiny country town of Dumbulk, about 15 minutes down the road from Mirboo North, here in country Victoria.
Katie: I was born in the Mirboo North Bush Nursing Hospital and also raised in Mirboo North. I left for about 9 years and then came back to work with Mum.
Tell us about your stitching journey. How did you learn to embroider? To dye thread?
Pam: My Mother and Grandmother taught me to stitch. Dying thread began much later in life when a very dear friend (Brenda Ryan) convinced me I could do it to help her with her designs.
Katie: I first learnt to embroider when I was about 10 years old on a patchwork panel. I put handwork aside for the love of making clothes, picking it back up again when I started working with Mum.
How did Cottage Garden Threads come to be?
Katie: A good friend of Mum’s who is a beautiful embroiderer – Brenda Ryan of Thimblestitch and most recently Hare’s Nest Stitchery (patterns coming soon to Red Thread Studio) asked Mum to dye some thread for her using Mum's past experience with dying fabric. The first 35 colors were dyed in Mum’s kitchen sink.
What is the best part about being a Mother-Daughter duo?
Pam: Everything. My daughter keeps me young with new and exciting ideas. We fit together well.
Katie: Our personalities complement each other. We are so much the same but in many ways, we are very different; that’s what you need when you’re working on a common goal with somebody else - intrinsic understanding that sometimes doesn’t even need words.
Pam, what is one thing you have learned from your Daughter along the way?
Pam: To stop every now and again and look back at how far we’ve come, as well as not being afraid to imagine the bigger picture. I would never have dreamed that our threads would end up in the hands of stitchers all the way over in the U.S.
Katie, what is the best advice your Mom has given you about love, life or business?
Katie: If it’s something worth doing; it’s worth doing well.
Tells us about the process for selecting colors for and naming your thread. What are your inspirations?
Katie: Initially we started with Cottage Garden flower names and colors, and then got creative with Tool Sheds and Gumboots and then some collections of old fashioned names like Gwennie - named after my Grandmother and Edward after my Grandfather. There are local areas like Baromi and Berry’s Creek. The Edit ranges were all designed and named by designers like Brenda Ryan, Amy Kallissa, Lisa Mattock and myself. It’s all a bit of make it up as you go along, sometimes we plan, sometimes there are happy accidents that become new threads.
What led you to create Stitcher’s Palettes?
Katie: The Stitcher's Palettes came about from customers requesting solids that would complement the variegated threads.
Complete this sentence. When I am not stitching or dying thread, I am…
Katie: Running a household of 5 kids, a dog, two cats and a turtle. I love getting out in the veggie garden and ‘me time’ includes reading and training for roller derby.
What is your worst stitching habit? How about your Daughter/Mom?
Pam: My worst stitching habit I think is using my needle too long (until it bends then breaks). Katie’s is definitely trying to stitch the very end of the thread.
Katie: Mine is stitching with the thread until there is only a wee tiny bit at the end and having to take a stitch and re-thread it to finish off. Mum’s would be never changing her needle size no matter what stitch or thread she’s using.
What is one stitching notion that you can’t live without? What would you say is the one stitching notion that your Daughter/Mom can’t live without?
Pam: I can’t live without my light and work cushion. Katies loves gadgets and anything with pockets so I would say her work cushion because it is both.
Katie: I can’t live without my work cushion. A cushion I designed to hold everything for me while supporting my arms to reduce neck and shoulder pain. In the limited time I have to stitch, it allows me to jump up and down when I need to for the kids etc. and keeps everything in one place, ready to pick up and get back to stitching toot sweet. Mum can’t live without the single needle she uses for EVERYTHING.
Who has the biggest thread stash?
Pam: I think mine is bigger given I just create more or a new color if I want.
Katie: Mum wins, she has infinity stash because she can make them from thin air like a magical thread genie.
With the successful launch of Field Journal Club this year, do you have any big plans for next year?
Katie: I am creating a Field Journal book with contributors from all around the world, telling the story of what stitching means to us all.
Have you wanted to try Stitcher’s Palettes for yourself?
Now’s your chance!
To celebrate this season of Giving Thanks, we’ve teamed up with Katie to give you a free pattern Home Sweet Home when you purchase a boxed thread set of Stitcher’s Palettes by Cottage Gardens Threads.
Each box contains four skeins of thread; three solid skeins and one variegated skein as if blended on an artist’s painting palette to form the ideal, perfectly matched color selection. Like Pam and Katie say, ‘You will love the color and feel the difference.’
“I am thankful for many things, one of which is living by the ocean….my home sweet home,” – Jen Lee, owner of Red Thread Studio
Time for you to get stitching! What are you thankful for?
Home Sweet Home stitched using Stitcher's Palettes in Bon Voyage