Who is Ursula Michael?
I am going to begin this story about how I first got to know who Ursula Michael is. When I became admin of the Facebook group Cross Stitch Club, I wanted to create a logo for our group. So I began to search on Google looking for the right image. The first one I came across that caught my attention was this one:
I posted the picture to the group and asked what they thought. A group member commented, “That is one of Ursula Michael’s designs so you had better get her permission.” At this time, I really didn’t fully understand the copyright laws and such, but I quickly became really well versed in them! LOL
I looked for Ursula on Facebook and I sent her a message asking her if I could use this design. She said that if I bought the pattern and had someone stitch it and then took a picture of it, I had her permission to use it.
So that was how I got introduced to Ursula Michael! However, I did decide not to use this for our logo, but rather create my own that was more unique and fitting.
But that is not the end of my story of Ursula Michael, but more about that in a bit. First I want to let Ursula tell you about herself!
About Me by Ursula Michael
Welcome to my world! I’ve been blessed to enjoy a lifetime career as a cross stitch designer, publisher and book author. Currently I live in a seaside village in Rhode Island with my husband and rescue lab.
My sunny studio is cluttered with fabric, threads, papers, books, art supplies and knickknacks. In one corner is my computer station where I do all of my designing, in another corner sits my sewing machine and in the center is my antique drafting table which is always covered with miscellaneous projects.
How I got started in the world of cross stitch
I was young my grandmother taught me to sew and stitch. Creating art was always my passion, so after graduating from the Paier School of Art, I worked as a graphic designer for a few years. As a hobby, I used my color pencils to draw stitching patterns on graph paper to stitch projects for myself.
I soon discovered that magazine editors had an interest in my original designs and were willing to pay me to create patterns for their publications. I continued to design needlework for almost every cross stitch and craft publication on the market for over 30 years.
Several leaflet publishers, kit companies and manufacturers also showcased my designs. I moved into publishing my own leaflets first in print format, and now online.
With all the work of designing and running a small business, I gave up stitching my designs about 20 years ago, and have used model stitchers. The days of hand charting ended when computer programs became available. I now average 100 new designs per year for my own line of patterns and for several kit companies.
My inspirations come from everyday life, travel, spending time outdoors and participating in various creative events. Recently, suggestions from stitchers on my Facebook group, Let’s Stitch Ursula Michael, have offered me the opportunity to create very specific designs for everyone.
It gives me such joy to hear stories from stitchers and to see their finished projects. My advice to aspiring designers is to research the industry, and design what feels best to you.
Most of all, I want to THANK stitchers for their support of designer’s original patterns and please know that WE design for a living so we can offer YOU fresh new designs every day.
A little more about how I met Ursula
So now that you know a little more about Ursula, I want to share more about my story and why I love this wonderful designer!
Not long after I contacted her about using her design as a logo, I started planning my first Cross Stitch Club retreat. Before I found cross stitching on Facebook, I didn’t even know such a thing as a cross stitch retreat existed, let alone ever attend one! LOL
I decided to ask Ursula if she would consider attending as a guest designer. She said she needed some time to think about it. The retreat was still a bit over a year away when I asked her.
I believe it was somewhere in late summer of 2014 when Ursula agreed to come as a designer, but she asked me not to say anything until that October at which point the retreat would be a year away.
I was so excited and it was SO hard not to be able to say anything!
But I managed and did have fun teasing members of the retreat group that I had a major announcement, but that they would have to wait a few months to hear it. That did not go over real well! LOL But I promised them it would be worth the wait.
So Ursula attended our first Cross Stitch Club retreat in October of 2015 and it was absolutely a fantastic time and such an honor to meet Ursula. She contributed many goodies for the retreat and was so gracious and kind. She was the inspiration behind my Ronald McDonald House project. To read more on that, click here.
Here is a picture with one of Ursula’s biggest fans and is a member that helps run Ursula’s fan page.
It was a wonderful time had by all and we all enjoyed having the chance to meet and talk with this wonderful designer. I got to meet her yet again summer of 2017 when she followed me over to the UK to host a retreat! That was a totally unexpected last minute surprise, but a very welcomed surprise!
Ursula Designs Make The Perfect Gift!
Ursula’s word designs are so quick to stitch and personalize that they make the best gifts! I thought I would share a few with you and show you how I personalized them.
Gifts for Teachers
These first two are my favorites. I did them as gifts for my youngest son’s kindergarten and first grade teachers.
With the one I did for his kindergarten grade teacher, I sent the matte in with my son and asked that his teacher have all the kids sign it. I do my own framing, so I then used that matte to frame this.
Here is a picture of the class. My son’s class was in such awe, they thought this was so cool!
For the one for my son’s 1st grade teacher, I wanted to do something a little more different. I contacted my son’s art teacher to see if it might be possible to have her help. My idea was to have the kid’s in the class all put their hand prints on a piece of fabric and then I would stitch their names on the hand prints and make a pillow of the design.
The idea was great, however I waited until too close to the end of the school year and there was not enough time to make it happen. I had to come up with another plan of action. I went online to see if I could find the perfect fabric. And I did find a fabric that matched perfectly, colors and my idea!
Here is a pic of the front of the pillow.
And below is the back! See how perfect this fabric is? I stitched all the names of the other kids on the hand prints and put my son’s name on the front. I am a firm believe that everything happens for a reason.
There was a reason why my initial idea did not work out. And that reason was there was a perfect fabric out there waiting to be found and a much easier and less time-consuming way to accomplish my goal.
His teacher absolutely adored this! She sent me a thank you note in the mail and said that in all her many years of teaching, this was the best gift she had ever received.
Gifts for Charity
This next piece is very special and a story of its own. This is the piece I stitched and framed for the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, PA. If you are not familiar with this wonderful project I started, please read about it here and maybe you can even help me!
This one I stitched to give as a gift to the founder of the PA Wounded Warrior, Inc charity.
For the 2016 Cross Stitch Club retreat, we did a fundraiser for PA Wounded Warrior, INC and I invited the founder to be our guest at the retreat and she graciously accepted. It was a true honor having this woman come and give a little speech about how she started such a wonderful program to help our veterans!
Another member of our group worked for a master framer and she said that she would take care of the framing for this.
Now looking at this, you think there are multiple mattes, right? WRONG! The master framer that did the framing for this does something unique. He paints on the matte to give the appearance of multiple mattes! How cool is that???
Gifts for Friends/Family/Co-workers
The last piece I am going to share with you is one I did for one of my old bosses. I did the hand dying of this fabric myself and I just love how it came out!
One of the greatest things about Ursula’s designs is that they are so easy to personalize! Whether it be putting in someones name, changing colors…etc., Ursula has a design for just about anything or anyone that would make a great gift to those special people in your life.
And if she doesn’t currently have something, you can make a request in her fan group and if there is enough of an interest in that topic, she will gladly design something!
Explore the designs of Ursula Michael
I can’t say enough about this wonderful designer. She has touched my life and those of many others in ways I can’t begin to describe. I feel blessed to have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know her and I am sure I will be stitching MANY, MANY more of her designs.
Here are just a few more of her literally hundreds of designs! And she even included a free little pattern here that will be perfect for that special someone for Valentine’s Day!
Ursula has over 450 wonderful designs and you can find them as instant downloads at www.crosstitch.com However, if you want a physical hard copy to give as a gift, you can find them on many cross stitch suppliers websites, including Amazon. (I personally love it when I can get stuff from Amazon because of free shipping being a Prime member! lol )