Presenting Sandy Jenkins

Pat Winter © 2006

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Sandy Jenkins self taught needlework designer, crazy quilter extraordinaire

In April, while attending the International Spring Quilt Festival in Illinois, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new face and a new approach to crazy quilting. As I was drawn into an inviting booth filled with embellishment ideas and gorgeous quilts I could not take my eyes off the exquisite crazy quilt hanging on the back wall. I knew instantly this woman has her own “signature” stitching. Her work is magnificent and I have no idea why I haven't seen it before now.

The booth belonged to Sandy Jenkins. This petite, attractive, soft spoken lady from Texas recognized that I was very interested in her work and began telling me about herself and her stitching history. I was amazed at the extent of her knowledge of embroidery and her accomplishments in all areas of needlework. Sandy has been stitching since before she started school, at the age of three, thanks to her great grandmother, grandmother, and mother whom she was invited to sit and stitch with as a child.

Sandy loves to paint too, and has designed many painted canvases for needlework. Her first design sold around the year 1980 and five years later she exhibited her first needlepoint show with 35 designs. Many of her designs featured beads, charms, and buttons to enhance the stitch work.

I was curious about a DVD I noticed in the booth next to beautifully bejeweled butterfly fabric which Sandy offers kits for your crazy quilt projects. Sandy generously sent me home with one to try. I viewed the DVD titled “Embroidery Stitches and Embellishments” and it was very rewarding. Not only did I enjoy the “eye candy”, but the quality of the DVD was superior.

I felt as if I were sitting in her home learning new techniques. The DVD has a tutorial, which covers all you need to know to make a crazy quilt and many extras. For instance, chapter three is about piecing using my favorite method, the five-sided center. Sandy explains why she uses certain fabrics, threads, needles, ribbons, and other embellishments.

I had never heard of the “raised spider” stitch, which she demonstrates in this DVD. I also learned new seam treatments and how to make a perfect morning glory from silk ribbon. Her helpful tips along the way are just wonderful and so useful even for those who have been stitching for many years. The “eye candy” slide show made me want to grab my supplies and stitch away the evening.

I highly recommend this DVD to any level stitcher. It is a “must have” for those who need to see step by step how things are done. I have never seen such a thorough tutorial and I am excited to be able to share my find with you. This tool certainly will get you out of the stitching “blahs” and encourage you to grab your stash and create. If that isn't enough, you just have to see Sandy's cute and fancy eyeglasses!

Sandy spends most of her time teaching and hosting retreat groups and has opened a shop in Fredericksburg Texas after running a wholesale business from her home. She has been featured in McCall's Needlework, Stitch World, and many other magazines.

You can learn more about Sandy Jenkins' Design, Hill Country Needlepoint Retreats, or Stitchers Cottage B&B by contacting her at 112 W. Centre, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 or visiting her web site.

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