our Celebrations theme, we present....
By Rita Vainius
Click here for her FREE PATTERN
commemorate our Celebrations theme, Emie presents stitchers with
a special gift - a design from her book, Joyous Occasions.
This Boutonniere Holder will provide a unique and distinctive
touch to any gentleman's lapel for your joyous occasion.
Emie Bishop's initiation to handwork was out of the ordinary,
to say the least. Between the ages of 5 and 10 she lived in Papeete,
Tahiti, where her parents were missionaries for the Mormon Faith.
As a protectorate of France, the French language was taught in
school; Emie learned Tahitian playing with the local children
and spoke English at home with her own family. The native Polynesian
women taught her to make leis, knit using cotton string and weave
baskets from the elongated leaves of native trees. On that remote
exotic island, Emie began her love affair with all that could
be created using her hands and her imagination, and upon leaving,
was well equipped to express herself artistically. That early
experience has been a touchstone in her belief: "Needlework
is an art that spans cultures and generations, bringing together
people of different backgrounds and ages, allowing them to learn
from one another. By taking ageless stitches and using them,
it ties people together. This also ties us to the women who first
Before living in Tahiti, Emie had lived in western Utah where
her parents farmed the desert. Their assignment completed, the
family returned to Logan, Utah where Emie attended high school
and college, studying History, English and Education. After graduating,
she married Michael Bishop and worked as a teacher while Michael
finished his undergraduate work. They moved to Washington D.C.
when he was accepted at the George Washington School of Medicine
and Emie continued her teaching career there. After Michael graduated,
they returned to Utah for his internship, eventually opening
his own practice in Logan. They have lived in Utah ever since.
Emie and Michael have 5 children: 1 daughter and 4 sons. Surprisingly,
there is now a reverse gender ratio in the next generation: 1
grandson and 6 granddaughters! While raising her own substantial
brood, the little free time Emie could find was dedicated to
needlework pursuits, which she credits with providing much needed
rest, peace and sanity at the end of many long and hectic days.
early childhood Emie had yearned to be an artist. As she grew
older, she realized that the feasibility of a career in the arts
was remote and instead she pursued a career in education. But
she had never lost the intense desire to express herself creatively.
Over the years she had taken many art classes, including ones
for needlework and quilting, which she seemed to gravitate towards.
As she became more skilled with needle and thread she integrated
her artistic talent with needlework, creating her own designs.
Her twin passions for stitching and quilting merged and, in 1982,
she formed her own design company calling it Cross `N Patch.
She later became fascinated with Hardanger after seeing another
stitcher's work. Becoming proficient in cut and drawn thread
work, she added these techniques to her designs. She explains:
"I do not love one technique more than another, but the
thing that intrigues me about Hardanger, is that it is lacy and
beautiful without being so impossibly hard that you don't want
to try it." She is best known today for using cross stitch
in combination with Hardanger. Emie
employs cross stitch to add color or to furnish a pictorial element.
When used selectively, each technique highlights the other without
overwhelming either. These designs are used to embellish a veritable
cornucopia of items: Christmas stockings and ornaments, samplers,
greeting cards, pillows, bellpulls, angels, afghans, table and
bed linens, garments, sachets, jewelry containers, lingerie bags,
box inserts, pincushions, calendars, growth charts and much more.
Emie's greatest joy emanates from bringing each original design
to fruition - reveling in each step in the transformation from
initial inspiration to a workable piece of art. Currently she
is commited to adapting age-old embroidery techniques and stitches
for use in needlework which will endure into the new millenium.
Through her needlework designs, Emie is able to express feelings
which may otherwise be difficult to articulate. She adds: "When
we choose different colors and patterns, we display not just
our own artistic preferences, but speak of themes and ideas that
are important to us." Most satisfying is the manner in which
Emie has managed to combine her private life with her career
aspirations so seamlessly and meaningfully. Much of her work
is a celebration of home and family life. She readily confirms:
"Most designs I create come from things that happen in and
around my family." Both the day-to-day and the most momentous
occasions have been immortalized in samplers, clothing and accessories
and the core of her work makes up a tapestry held together by
these strong and intimate bonds. Furthermore, the stitching projects
made to commemorate weddings, births, christenings, new homes,
etc. hold all the special memories and feelings related to each
festivity. This is supremely evident in the book which Emie has
had published featuring such work and bearing the eminently appropriate
title, Joyous Occasions: A Collection of Heirloom Hardanger
Designs. Dedicated stitchers will be hard pressed to resist
a try at creating a family heirloom of their own after perusing
this magnificent collection and the accompanying text.
new book from Emie Bishop is soon to be released. Entitled The
Unfinished Sampler, it explains and illustrates 140 different
stitches which are then incorporated into designs. Though Emie
furnishes the framework, it is left to individual stitchers to
customize the sampler to suit their own preferences - hence the
name. Like telling a story, she provides a beginning, middle
and end but each stitcher fills in the details that make the
Emie and her husband live on a 60 acre farm near Millville, Utah.
The Blacksmith Fork River runs through their property and from
their home they have a breathtaking view of the Wellsville Mountains,
often snow-capped through June, which form part of the Wasatch
range of the Rocky Mountains. There is even a picturesque red
barn. The surroundings afford Emie ample opportunity to indulge
her other passions for outdoor pursuits like hiking, snow and
water skiing, camping and horseback riding. She and her husband
are currently building a cabin at Bear Lake which promises to
be a spectacular getaway. With such an idyllic home and engaged
in doing what she loves the most, I'm not sure that Emie would
be able to articulate what she needs to get away from. She is
the first to confess: "I have a really good life. I admit,
sometimes I just sit there and daydream." One thing is for
certain - when the cabin on the lake is completed, it will without
a doubt be the site of many more family festivities, with an
ever increasing brood.
Joyous Occasions is distributed by Leisure Arts. For help
in locating a retailer near you or to place an order, call their
Customer Service Department at (800) 526-5111 or call Emie Bishop
directly at (800) 228-3882 to order your own personally autographed
For more information about Cross `N Patch Needlework Designs
or Emie's new book The Unfinished Sampler, ask at your
favorite needlework shop or contact Emie Bishop.
address: Box 132, Millville, Utah 84326
phone: (435) 753-1748 or (800) 228-3882
fax: (435) 753-5332