Ambassador Feature: Karen Frazer, New York


Ambassador: Karen Frazer - @HolyCrow

Tell us about your Badass HERstory events:

I’m lucky to have multiple venues for stitch-ups. My local library, Warner Library in Tarrytown New York, has let me do free to the public craft events for years. There is also a local consignment shop, Trilogy Consignment, that hosts craft events. And of course, private homes work nicely. I bring all the supplies needed. Most of the supplies are scrounged, donated, tag sale finds, and purchased. The library buys the hoops and cash donations during Trilogy stitch-ups are a big help. Most of the participants have never embroidered. Everyone just dives in. If anyone is unable to stitch for some reason, I make fabric paints and markers available. Almost no one can finish in the time allotted so they can drop off their piece later at either location.


What inspired you to want to be an ambassador?

Like Shannon I get inspiration from old samplers. I volunteer at the local historical society and I taught a workshop on the history of American girl’s education and the use of samplers as a learning tool. Then I read Shannon’s post about this world-wide project she wanted to do and I couldn’t not get involved.


What did you learn from the process?

As a craft tutor, I’m used to people wanting a lot of direction and guidelines, even if they don’t really want to follow them. People are hesitant to start from scratch, so I bring lots of samples, including some of the pieces others have turned in.


What worked? What didn’t work?

I find reading Shannon’s list of kick-off questions helps people get an idea of their own. I need to push the “Stay within the 12-inch square” rule. I’m bad with rules and so are some on my folks.


Did anything surprise you?

The amount of energy it takes to finish a piece. Several people have told me that they can’t stitch for too long before they are overtaken by sadness or anger. The emotion they put into their work is inspiring. Some folks have started and can’t finish. I hope to get them to change gears and try again. I will keep going till Shannon tells me to stop.


What were you most proud of?

Every finished piece.


What else would you like to share?

Never be afraid or ashamed to start over but remember, perfect is bullshit.




Shannon Downey