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…
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.
What 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!
How 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.
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!