Spotlight on Designers: CherryWood Design Studios

Discover a new designer: CherryWood Design Studios

© CherryWood Design Studios

How the Company Was Born:

CherryWood Design Studios is the partnering of 2 friends, Cathy Habermann and Theresa Curry. Cathy explains, "While traveling the county roads of Northwest Iowa on a quilt shop hop several years ago, an idea was born. When we began designing, we adopted a 3F rule – fun, funky and fresh. If a design didn’t meet those standards, it didn’t go to print. Our 2nd rule: if WE don’t want to stitch a design, nobody else will either – we have to feel like we would be drawn to a chart of we saw it in a LNS [local needlecraft shop]."

What's in a Name?:

When asked how they named their company, Cathy replied, "People always ask how we came up with the name, I live in Sioux City, Woodbury Co, IA & Theresa lives in Cherokee, Cherokee Co, IA – we merged the CherryWood from our two counties – mostly because we are driving at least once a week to each other’s house. When not driving back & forth, we talk, scan, text, download, twitter & e-mail daily!"

Getting Started:

Cathy's desire to "stay in the biz" after she closed the LNS she owned to spend time with her family precipitated the start of CherryWood Design Studios. She was known for her classes and often created designs to show off techniques and fibers. She continued the “Hands On” part with her needlecraft finishing services. She says, "I enjoy finishing and visiting with my customers all over the country. The designing part was a natural extension of my love of this industry.

I knew that Theresa and I would make great design partners. We are alike in many areas, but complementary as well with our individual strengths."

Learning to Stitch:

Cathy "... started cross-stitching at the age of 9. I was always fascinated by color & detail (just ask my Mother). I bought a stamped sampler kit at a local fabric shop." Cathy's first piece still hangs in her mother’s house.

While Cathy was mostly self-taught, she started seriously taking classes about 22 years ago.

Watch for an upcoming design that asks, "Who Taught You."

Interesting Designs:

Cathy and Theresa started off with a lot of seasonal pieces, especailly Fall & Halloween-themed projects. Their Christmas Blessing sampler has a sentiment that would apply all year.

Both designers are fans of seasonal projects. They "both regularly switch out the stitched pieces in our home and figure we are not alone!" Each pattern includes a story that either explains the inspiration of the pattern or contains a personal thought from the designers. Cathy says, "It’s sort of our version of a 'pattern blog'."

Sources of Inspiration:

Asked to reveal their sources of inspiration, Cathy exclaims, "EVERYWHERE! Seriously: home, shopping, traveling, reading. Ask Theresa how many times I start a sentence, 'I was in the shower…' My Husband swears we can write off the water bill as a business expense!"

Favorite Design:

Cathy's favorite design is 3 Black Cats because she "just loves the story and the storybook finish took us in a whole new design direction (we got our 1st fan mail from this chart)."

Products Offered:

Cathy explains, "We offer charts.

We are preparing to release a chart that will include a bit of woolfelt for embellishment and look for a bit of primitive stitchery too! We have charts that a purely cross-stitch and charts (our Quilted Series) that are designed for 18ct linen, but would work up well on 18ct mono canvas or 24ct Congress Cloth. Our charts are designed for all stitching levels. In many of our charts, we give several options: a specialty stitch in place of a cross-stitch, a button in place of a stitched motif. All of them are diagrammed for cross-stitch and the stitcher can make the choice."

Features of the Quilted and Kit-It Series:

According to Cathy, "The Quilted Series is filled with Specialty Stitches (but we show a version that is done on all cross-stitch). Our Kit-It series features fun, quick to stitch designs – shopowners are highly encouraged to “Kit-It” – shoppers love kits – what’s better than sitting down and in a night or two, open your kit and have something fun to show for it."

Services and Features of Website:

Find photos of all the designs offered on the CherryWood Design Studios site. They also have a listing of shops that carry the designs and a few freebie patterns too. A tutorial on how to create their unique Storybook format is the first of several planned finishing tutorials.

Services Offered:

Finishing services are offered. Cathy and Teresa have also traveled to teach classes. Right now their schedule is limited, but they hope to expand this in the future.

The Thrill's NOT Gone

A final word from Cathy, "It’s kind of goofy – but we get absolutely thrilled when we see our designs on the internet – if it’s a new shop carrying our charts, someone mentions us in a blog, a group uses one of our designs as a class, etc. It’s a very positive reinforcement and a pat on the back. Who doesn’t need that?"

About the Photos:

Witch Shoes
A dilemma for any Witch who doesn't know what shoes to wear today! This model was stitched on 30ct Weeks Dye Works Chartreuse linen with DMC threads.

Firefly Summer
This Storybook design takes you back to your childhood summer days. Cathy wrote this poem "partly as an inspiration from my kids and our annual tradition of catching a jar of fireflies".