Tea with TCS: Penny Linn Designs
Kath and I had the opportunity to sit down (virtually, of course) with two of our favorite ladies: the multi-hyphenate Krista Robertson (of the hugely popular blog Covering the Bases and the needlepoint line and website, Penny Linn Designs) and Amanda Caldwell (designer behind AC Needlepoint and a member of the Penny Linn Collective)!
Krista and Amanda’s friendship goes back to their college days at the University of Kentucky, where Amanda worked at The Eye of the Needle in her spare time! Fast forward nearly 10 years and now the two work together under the Penny Linn line. Amanda now lives in Chicago with her boyfriend and was one of our first in-person needlepoint friends here. Krista lives in Connecticut with her husband and will be welcoming a baby into the world this Spring - congratulations to the LeRoy/Robertson family!
Penny Lin Designs features stitch-painted canvases, kits, and accessories with an eye for the timeless. Krista’s favorite colors are blue & white….can you tell from looking at her websites and fabulous needlepoint accessories?
Krista began needlepointing in earnest in college (makes sense knowing her friendship with Amanda!), but learned year’s before from her grandmother. With the pandemic, she had more time to dedicate to stitching (relatable) but struggled to find canvases that she liked that were in stock! So she set out to design some of her own.
Her first design was the Ralph’s coffee mug - if you haven’t seen it in person, trust me when I say it is much larger than you think. She posted it on her Instagram account and over night had more than 100 requests for the canvas. Employing her mom, she got to work painting the canvases and realized she had tapped into a much larger interest than she thought. And so the idea for Penny Linn Designs was born.
So who IS Penny Linn?
We had to ask. Penny Linn isn’t any one person - the name Penny is a nod to her Grandmother, and Linn is Krista’s middle name.
Tell us about the Collective…
Penny Linn Designs Collective is a group of designers that operate under the umbrella of the Penny Linn Designs name. The Collective includes AC Needlepoint and Grandmillenial Needlepoint today and we are so excited to see who else Krista brings in to the fold. We carry two of Amanda's canvases in the shop - the Michigan Letters and the Chicago Letters and both are hugely popular as lumbar pillows, trays, or signs!
With a baby on the way, we also had to ask Krista the obvious question. With so many charming baby canvases out there, what is she going to stitch first? Krista’s answer: a stocking! Next on the list will be ornaments to pass down and there was a mention of framing some items as well for the nursery - busy bee!
Some highlights of our this or that with Krista & Amanda:
- Mack or Kath? (A bad joke)
- Krista: Yes (very diplomatic, funny, 10/10)
- Pepper Pot v Vineyard Silk?
- Amanda & Krista: Vineyard Silk for both! It was the “first fancy thread” that Amanda used and she sticks by it to this day. Krista has all the colors hanging in her office...and I am jealous!
- Threader v no threader?
- No for both!
- Stretcher bars v no stretcher bars?
- We have two in-hand stitchers. Krista did say she would consider it on any future very large projects, but the time hasn’t come quite yet.
- Needlepoint for you or needlepoint for others?
- Krista: Others! I love making special items for others and watching them open the surprise as a present. Most people in my life know how long it takes so they really can appreciate the gift.
- Amanda: I'd like to say needlepoint for others, but who am I kidding, I want to keep it all! But I do make an ornament for my niece & nephew every year and have stitched MANY horse racing belts for my dad!
- Stitch in season or stitch for finishing deadlines?
- Krista: Deadlines! It's the only thing that gets me motivated to actually finish a piece -- backgrounds are the worst.
- Amanda: I like to stitch what inspires me and now that I've taught myself to self-finish, I feel less pressure to stitch for deadlines.
Big thank you to Krista and Amanda for spending some time with us. We are so thrilled to partner with Penny Linn Designs. We will also be hosting a two-part class with PLD and Amanda in the new year to stitch and self-finish one of the PLD headbands - we hope you can join us in what is set to be a fun time together.