When Martina introduced her first Mystery Project last summer,
little did she know where it would lead. After Mystery II, it
became apparent that an ongoing series of Mystery designs was
just what many stitchers wanted. Word-of-mouth is attracting
more enthusiasts as each new Mystery unfolds. The mystery factor
adds just the right element of suspense and the format Martina
uses seems to spark an instant camaraderie among the participants,
who hail from both sides of the Atlantic. In Part I, several
On June 1st, Martina introduced Mystery III, a companion piece to Mystery I, though varying in color, motifs and embellishments. Using Caron Waterlilies, the design employs cross stitch, as well as some Stumpwork, for those who'd like to give that technique a try. For those who don't, Martina will supply a cross-stitch ornament in its place. Mystery III will span 6 months a handful of industrious stitchers have already completed some of Part I of Mystery III.
Without further ado, we are pleased to present a
First-hand Interview with Martina Weber:
How did you come up with the idea of the first Mystery project?
I thought that the "online media" would be great to gather a group of people interested in one craft like stitching and the idea just came to me; "Why not offer a chart in portions, which everybody can manage in one month, with support, help and chat in an email group for added fun."
When and why did you decide to make it an ongoing series?
It was when M I [Mystery Project 1] ended and some people were rather disappointed (me too!) that it should be the end of a nice time. And I found it a good additional way to market my charts!
How has the Mystery Project evolved differently than how you originally envisioned or intended it?
It is much more time consuming to answer emails, make charts, extra diagrams etc, exchanges and such too - though it is much fun, it eats up a lot of time in front of the screen and diminishes my stitching time. On the other hand, the contact with so many different people provides for enormous input and feedback for me, regarding participants' expectations, wishes, levels of expertise etc. It's all very interesting and instructive.
Have you been surprised by the different variations that have resulted from different stitchers versions of the designs?
Yes - that is a total surprise, as you simply cannot imagine the varieties, which are possible just by the different dye lots, fabric backgrounds and ways of using single parts of a variegated thread or leaving it out. It is simply beautiful and each piece is totally individual.
From your Mystery series experience thus far, what have you learned or decided to do differently in future Mystery projects?
I made the portions for each month a bit smaller now. I think that most participants are busy with their jobs, family etc and it is not fun to hurry with such stitching. Each Mystery must be a project which is "dividable" into parts, so, for example, a portrait would perhaps not be so much fun to stitch: one month - the eyes, then - the nose, and then - cheeks. Each Mystery must be typically Chatelaine style, because this is what people expect when joining.
What is your favorite thing about creating and presenting the Mystery Projects?
To see the different ways it comes out by different stitchers; to get to know people from around the world, which one otherwise would never had "met," and to make new friends. Also to be able to design something for the discerning stitcher - not a plain design, but something intricate, with lots of special fibers and add-on's like beads and such - designed for a group of enthusiasts.
What has been the most surprising thing that has happened regarding Mystery projects?
That so many people have joined and enjoy obviously their stitching. I get so much kind and delighted feedback - this makes me happy indeed.
How did you decide what threads to use?
That is funny, as life can be sometimes. I did sort my baggies with Caron threads and rather then sorting them numerically, I sorted them in color families. And then I could not help grouping them on my desk and playing with those I had here, adding some colors here and taking others away. Looking at them, I thought the assortment "cried out" for a design. That was the basic idea. And I can tell you, playing with my threads is always dangerous... that gets my mind going and ideas come and pop up and just want to be sketched.
Scheduled for release in January of '03, Mystery IV will be a large design (comparable in size to Mystery II), spanning the entire year and featuring a romantic theme. It will employ cross-stitch along with specialty stitches, bits of non-cut Hardanger and other techniques. A brand new treat awaits -- a lovely ornament of hand cast pewter with genuine freshwater pearls. It will be available for those who want to add it, but the design promises to be stunning even without! Martina gives a hint, "I only say one word: shhhh peacocks!" The colors to be used in Mystery IV are currently on Martina's homepage.
Not one to sit on her laurels, Martina already has Mystery
V lined up; it will be a short project, to be introduced in summer
2003 and is designed as a companion piece to Mystery I and III.
She slyly adds, "And the big Mystery VI for 2004 will be
something totally different from ALL previous Mysteries and Designs
up to now. No hints, thoughotherwise it would not be a Mystery!"
STITCHERS: Mystery III just began on June 1st, so if you
join now, you'll be able to get in on all the fun and suspense
right away and not miss a thing! As the other Mystery stitchers
will assure you you'll be ever so glad you did! Go to:
Subscription to Mystery IV (stitching starts in Jan 03)
First "online chart" available: "Polar Lights
Introducing a Brand New SUPPLY SOURCE for the Caron Collection Threads used in Martina's Previous, Current and Upcoming Mystery Projects!
The European Crosstitch Company, a new online source
for all the threads needed to complete the Mystery Series has
been established by Kathy Filosi, herself an avid Mystery stitcher!
Her store at http://www.europeancrosstitch.com http://www.europeancrosstitch.com also specializes in unique, high quality cross stitch items imported
from Germany. Kathy is the official distributor for Martina Webers
designs in the U.S.A.!