Men Who Stitch #2: Kevin Tober

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hi all! I’m back with the second in this month’s series of interviews with Men Who Stitch – this week I’d like to introduce you to the talented stitching of Kevin Tober, who you can find at the blog Cabbages and Kings. I was captivated by Kevin’s detailed, intricate cross stitching – read on to learn more about him and see some of his favorite projects…

Village of Hawk Run Hollow, stitched by Kevin How long have you been stitching?
I started stitching while recuperating from back surgery in 2004. I pretty much taught myself by following the directions in a Dimensions Gold kit. I really got hooked on this hobby when I brought my finished piece to a local cross stitch store for framing (The Crossstitch Cupboard in Fort Lauderdale) and was asked to enter it in their annual contest. I won a ribbon and prize money and was hooked ever since!

What is your favorite aspect of stitching – collecting materials, planning, starting, finishing, etc?
This is rather funny, because I’m known as “an enabler” in some Facebook stitching sites I like to visit. I guess the collecting of materials is one of my favorite parts – I love seeing new designs and collecting charts from my favorite designers. I’m definitely a “floss junkie” as well, and love purchasing, collecting and sorting different flosses for various projects.

What is your favorite project that you have stitched?
I loved working on Kathy Barrick’s “Village of Hawk Run Hollow” by Carriage House Samplings. It was my first attempt at using 40 count linen, which I really ended up loving, and I recently stitched the model for Kathy’s “Crowned Heart” design, which was exciting. I also have several large projects by Martina Weber of Chatelaine Designs which I’m working on that are enjoyable due to the variety of stitches used and their size.

Kathy Barrick's "Crowned Heart" stitched by KevinWhat kind of reactions do you get when people see you stitching?
I have to confess, I don’t really stitch in public so I haven’t received any shocked stares or crazy looks yet. I do appreciate that fellow stitchers (both male and female) are very accepting and encouraging when they see that a guy enjoys this hobby of counted cross stitching which is usually considered a craft done by women.

What would your dream project be?
I’ve started stitching “And They Sinned” by Dames Exemplar, and it is my dream to complete it. I’ve recently begun stitching reproduction samplers, and “Ann Medd” by Scarlet Letter is one that I’d like to stitch someday. The designs by Heaven and Earth Designs are also something that I hope to one day stitch. Those are intimidating to me due to their size, the intricacy of their design, and all the confetti stitching, but I hope to one day complete at least one HAED piece. I have one all kitted up, DMC all organized and on spools ready to start it!

Medieval Garden stitched by KevinHow many hours a week do you spend stitching?
This alternates because of my back problems and subsequent chronic pain. Stitching is a great form of pain management for me, actually, but it’s a “catch 22” situation as I just can’t seem to get off the couch and stitch on some days. I’d say this might be anywhere from a couple of hours a day stitching to ENTIRE days (and nights) when I’m feeling well and excited about a project I’m working on.

Do you have any other creative hobbies?
I can’t draw, but I do have a sister who’s an artist. I do love the performing arts, though, and used to be active in theater before my back problems. I can play the piano and sing as well.

Sail Away stitched by KevinDo you stitch from patterns or do you create your own?
I use charts/patterns and have quite a lot of “stash” to choose from. I would like to try designing my own someday!

Do you have any favorite DMC colors? What is your favorite DMC thread?
I love the 500 through 504 range, because blue and green are my favorite colors. I love the variegated Delft Blue as well. The six stranded embroidery floss is my favorite because it’s readily available at so many stitching and craft stores, and so many projects are charted for DMC floss.

Do you ever meet and share your work with other stitchers? What is your favorite way to do that?
I used to go every Tuesday evening to The Crossstitch Cupboard’s weekly stitching group, which I really need to start doing again! I love Facebook and have many online stitching friends. I also love following stitching blogs and seeing/sharing work through blogging.

Kevin, it was wonderful to meet you! Thank you so much for sharing your responses with our readers and for doing such wonderful stitching with DMC Threads!


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4 Responses to “Men Who Stitch #2: Kevin ToberComment RSS feed

  • RW
    June 14th, 2013 11:09 am

    I wish to remind you about the Beatrix Potter kids story, The Tailor of Gloucester, (no more twist! :-) ) and point out that it has only been in the past century or maybe a smidge more that embroidery began to be called an “old lady” hobby. The only difference was prior to that men would often do it for a salary (like the tailor of Gloucester), and women did it for family reasons. The reason that most museum items seem to be done by women is because they were done for family reasons. The handful of hand embroidered, (mostly pre-1800 I believe) clothing we have in museums all over the world is just assumed to be done by women is because we do not know exactly who did it, and the family (samplers etc) items that exist were mostly done by females. If I recall my history correctly, even Henry the 8th of England took up embroidery for a while after he developed an infected, ulcerated leg near the end of his life. And no one would have bothered him (or Rosey Greer) about thier “old lady” hobby. Once the Jacquard loom was invented, fabric did not have to be embroidered to be decorated, because they could weave the decoration into the fabric, and slowly men would start running machines instead of doing it by hand. Now that even embroidery is done by machine in bulk, men have kind of been slowly, over the past two centuries, been kicked away from doing it by hand through no fault of their own.

    All of that being said, as an embroiderer myself I say keep up the lovely work, and don’t make friends with cats named Simpkin or you will never finish your buttonholes……. :-)

  • sharron
    June 14th, 2013 3:08 pm

    Kevin these are wonderful answers and I once knew you through fb but sadly we parted company.
    Its lovely to see a male stitcher .
    I would love to know if u finished a mirabilia design x

  • Bob
    June 15th, 2013 8:27 pm

    Hi Kevin. Seems we have more in common than just stitching. I also have major back problems. I’m trying to avoid the surgery as long as I can. Don’t let HAED charts intimidate you. After all everything gets done one stitch at a time.

  • Karen Owen
    June 16th, 2013 11:03 am

    We are so
    Proud of you! Happy stitching. See u at the CS Cupboard.

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