Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Focus: Maggie Weldon

I've been working quite hard on designing patterns lately. At the beginning of this new year I set down many ambitious goals for myself, and I'm happy to report that things are going well. Although, I do vacillate with regards to my image of myself as a crochet designer. Sometimes I feel so accomplished and proud of what I've already achieved, and other times I am reminded that I am as a child compared to other designers, designers like Maggie Weldon. Maggie currently has over 1000 (yes, 1000!) designs available. She has been published many a time and has touched all areas of the crochet community through her video tutorials and social networking. She even makes pottery impressions of vintage lace! Crocheters like Maggie remind me that I'm just starting my journey, and hopefully one day I can look back on an impressive career as well. Let's learn more about this dynamic, gifted woman.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it? 
In 4th grade I learned the chain stitch from a nun after school. After chaining forever - I had a huge ball of just chains. I was learning to sew at the same time so I thought I would have to sew the chains together side-by-side with a needle and thread! Thank God it was easier than that!

A couple of years later I saw diagrams of crochet stitches in Family Circle and Woman's Day Magazines. I was back in business!  I grew up in an unsettling family environment so I learned to escape through crochet.  I just loved crochet and did it for hours and hours.

When my son was born I took him to a friend’s house dressed in a beautiful baby bunting I had crocheted from a pattern I had purchased. When it came time to take the bunting off - I couldn't get him out! I had to cut the front seam open. I later redesigned a button down front and the designer in me was born. Since then I have started www.MaggiesCrochet.com and sell over 1000 of my original crochet designs along with yarn, hooks, and other craft items.

Why do you crochet?
Crochet keeps me calm in several ways. In the past I battled anxiety attacks and crochet allowed me to feel safe. The processes of creating (and tearing out) stitches can be very therapeutic. I also feel like my brain is constantly in design mode. In my everyday life there is so much inspiration to be found. Crochet is a way for me to release that creativity and to share this art with others. I feel rewarded every time I hear a story of how my designs played in a role in making a special memory for someone. 

Crochet Favorites
My favorite hooks are definitely Dreamz hooks, Tulip Etimo Rose hooks, and Deb Norville wood hooks. I've recently been introduced to Starbella Strata yarn and I just love how versatile it is-not to mention the colors!  

What are you working on right now?
I have been designing for over 30 years and have been working hard on developing my YouTube channels. We just finished setting up our new video studio at the office and are producing how-to videos. Lately I have been shooting free pattern videos sponsored by Premier Yarns, making more ruffled scarf videos, and arm knitting videos. Last week I did a how-to arm knit infinity scarves in 30 minutes and how-to arm knit an afghan in 2 hours. If you subscribe to my channel you will get updates when new videos are published, but if you do not have a YouTube account you can find most of our videos on our blog.

A few finished objects...
Long Hooded Cape: My favorite part about this pattern is the way the hood drapes - it is gorgeous! This intermediate skill pattern is perfect for either a casual or dressy occasion. All you need is a worsted weight yarn of your choice to achieve the style you desire. With one size fits most, this classic shape is ideal for all body types.


Best of Maggie Weldon Afghans: I am so proud of this book that features 36 of my afghan designs. If you order this book from www.MaggiesCrochet.com you will receive an autographed book and a free pillow pattern to match the Snow Afghan.


Ladybug T-shirt Dress, Hat, and Purse: I have a whole line of t-shirt dresses for little girls and versions to match an 18" doll. They are easy and fun to make and work with any sized t-shirt! One of my customers created a whole day around this pattern to make a special memory with her seven granddaughters. It was so sweet that we had to feature it on our blog.


Crocheters can buy my patterns for mail and download at www.MaggiesCrochet.com. We send out e-newsletters with new patterns, discounts, videos, contests and more! Sign up for some sunshine in your inbox. Of course I would love for people to join me on social media, I have a very active Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and blog.

Though it's almost silly to choose a favorite among hundreds of amazing patterns, my favorite of her designs so far is her Lemon Drop Layette. With all of the projects that she has going on Maggie must be a busy woman, indeed! I am ever so grateful that she took the time to be with us here today on Illuminate Crochet. Happy Friday!  

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