Canvas Conversations: Janet Blyberg

Janet Blyberg (JCB Stitches) learned to needlepoint as a child, watching her grandmother, great aunts, and great-grandmother stitch. Her first projects were unfinished pieces that her great grandmother left behind when she passed away at the age of 98. 

Needlepoint took a back seat to high school, college, and brief affairs with cross stitch and knitting, but in her 20s she took it up again in earnest as a way to occupy her time while traveling for work. She has been stitching for more than 30 years, but only recently began designing needlepoint herself. 

Janet lives in Maine with her family in a very old house. And, when not needlepointing, she works part-time at Old York Historical Society. This follows a career in the museum field, working at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

My 20 questions with Janet are below:

Favorite needlepoint project. I would have to say my dove tree topper, which I recently finished.

On your needlepoint Wishlist. Any and all canvases from Kate Woodward’s blue holly series for the Gingham Stitchery—especially the stocking and the ornament with the red bow. Also, love the Walker Valentine for Greystone project bags—they are luxury defined. 

Dream stitching spot. Curled up in my bed with a warm dog and a cup of tea.

13 or 18 Mesh Canvas. Both! I love the detail that 18 mesh affords for small ornaments, but when it comes to a larger project, please give me 13!

Last book you read and liked. I recently received Erin French’s new cookbook, Big Heart Little Stove, and am loving it. I haven’t had much time lately to read fiction, but I adore reading cookbooks, particularly when the authors weave in personal anecdotes with the recipes. 

Favorite flower. Queen Anne’s Lace

Favorite color. Blue

Guilty pleasure. Starbucks!

On your nightstand. Reading glasses, cell phone, laptop, a biography of Bunny Mellon, wedding photograph, needlepoint project bag, and an ort dish.

Currently watching. Season 8 of Shetland (I love British detective shows!). And All the Light We Can Not See.

If there were more hours in the day I would. Paint my kitchen, reorganize the layout of my garden, do crafts with my son, design more needlepoint!

Favorite places to shop. I am not a huge shopper, but I do love a good thrift store and an antique mall! 

Favorite Instagram follows. needlepoint: plumdesign_, shorelinestitcher, sheffield_interiors, francophiledallas, stitchstyleblog, greystoneneedlepoint,, littlestitchesneedleworks, katewoodward, pipandrooneedleworks, triciaheaton, thornalexander, maryfrances_carter, masonhouseneedlepoint, hellotess_designs, maispremierpoint, virginiastitches, nan.needlepoint, jenisandbergneedlepoint, danielle_demers, sequinlalastitches, carolinabluebelle, nan.phillip, elizabethcraneswartz, stitchiesmalls… I could keep going, and I know there are so many I have left out. the point is, I am inspired by so many in this online needlepoint community! 

Can’t leave the house without. Cell phone.

Coffee or tea. Tea.

Favorite holiday to celebrate. Christmas

Wardrobe staples. White shirt (preferably linen), black pants, pretty much year-round. Add in a great scarf and some classic jewelry and I’m done. 

Creative inspiration. The natural world. 

Best piece of advice. Don’t sweat the small stuff and live life to its fullest.

Life mantra. Be kind. 

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