Women on Point- Sophistication is Overrated

Oh my goodness, I am BEYOND excited to feature the current “Women on Point.” I do not even know where to begin! I purchased the book “Sophistication is Overrated” a year ago, and I immediately fell in love with Sue Sue and Bab’s elegant and hilarious entertaining style. Of course, my love increased as they dedicated a chapter of “Sophistication is Overrated” to needlepoint. They even included a menu for a Stitch and Bitch, a kind of gathering my mother has hosted multiple times.

Fast forward a year, I was with fellow needlepoint enthusiast, friend, and mentor Andrea from The Glam Pad (www.theglampad.com). She mentioned she had been chatting with Sue Sue and Bab’s when my name came up! I was floored, and in shock! I am a coffee table book enthusiast, and hearing these women knew who I was was incredible! Andrea connected us, and two months later we all met up at Destination Dallas, a needlepoint trade show.

Sue Sue, Babs, Susie (Babs’ daughter) and I immediately bonded over a love of classic design, needlepoint, and a naughty sense of humor. While I manned the Lycette booth, they browsed the trade show. Later, we met up and Sue Sue gave me a tour of Dallas and we all had a fun dinner at Mi Cocina. I felt like I was with old friends. Sue Sue and Babs are some of the most warm, inviting, elegant, and hilarious women I have met! I am proud to be able to feature them as a part of “Women on Point.” Read on to learn more of the deep love the Slageter sisters share for needlepoint…

Q: You mention in “Sophistication is Overrated” that you stitched your first projects, “fabulous monogrammed squares that were affixed to basket-like purses,” in high school. Who taught you how to needlepoint?

Babs: My sister Sue Sue taught me. She designed canvases for us.

Sue Sue: At 16, going into our fabulous needlepoint store in Hyde Park Square in Cincinnati, was the impetus to learn to needlepoint. So many projects were calling out…the initial squares for purses seemed doable. I took the in store course and was off and running! Then I graduated to a geometric belt kit, of which I did every colorway offered. There were no hand painted belts then, but I did change out the yarn color to my favorite pink and green!

            Newly married we moved to New Orleans and the budget did not encompass expensive canvases so I started to draw my own. Before, you think “wow,” I must tell you, I used children’s coloring books to copy Christmas shapes and then stitched away. Rudolph, angels, and trees were all ornament gifts given to every faculty member at the school where I taught. Here’s an embarrassing picture of some…even hand finished with felt. The surprised recipients must have laughed themselves sick and put them on the back of their tree. Actually they would have made a great pet toy. Oh well, the thought was there!

I love that back in the day Sue Sue designed, stitched, and finished these herself when she was fresh out of college! Despite a tight budget and novel experience with needlepoint, she was innovative and adapted needlepoint to fit her budget and experience. Quite the feat!
I love that back in the day Sue Sue designed, stitched, and finished these herself when she was fresh out of college! Despite a tight budget and novel experience with needlepoint, she was innovative and adapted needlepoint to fit her budget and experience. Quite the feat!

QBoth you and Sue Sue radiate a fun loving approach to life, rooted in humor and friendship. How do your needlepoint projects exemplify these caring and warm qualities?

Sue Sue: I think when you invest the precious time and thought in a project for a friend, it shows that you really feel warmly and care about them. For close friends’ Big Birthdays we like to make something unique for them, such as initialized or chinoiserie jewelry cases for the traveler or “Please Come In” door signs for the consummate entertainer, “At the Slopes” signs for Colorado peeps, or dog collars for their best friends.

            One of my friends has more Christmas ornaments than me, because I know that she truly cherishes them and is too ADD to make one for herself.

An elegant and colorful jewelry case stitched by The Sophistication is Overrated ladies for a friend.
An elegant and colorful jewelry case stitched by The Sophistication is Overrated ladies for a friend.

Q: I know Babs used to own a popular needlepoint business in New Canaan, “It’s a Stitch.” As an expert shop owner, what are your favorite needlepoint shops to visit while traveling to promote “Sophistication is Overrated?”

Sue Sue: From the places we have lived:

Needlepoint Inc. in San Francisco, otherwise known to some needlepointers as Heaven.
Needlepoint Inc. in San Francisco, otherwise known to some needlepointers as Heaven.
The lovely owners of Stitch Haus in Pennsylvania with Babs and SueSue’s book.
The lovely owners of Stitch Haus in Pennsylvania with Babs and SueSue’s book.

Q: What projects are you both currently working on? What have been your favorite projects to date?

Babs: I love doing belts for all of the men in our lives.

Some of the men of “Sophistication is Overrated” modeling their needlepoint belts. Work it!
Some of the men of “Sophistication is Overrated” modeling their needlepoint belts. Work it!

Sue Sue: I am currently working on your fabulous Foo Dogs, an annual belt to be auctioned at a charity event, and a personalized belt for my hubby.

Lycette’s Foo Dogs, available online through Louise’s Needleworks
Lycette’s Foo Dogs, available online through Louise’s Needleworks
Sue Sue’s current needlepoint project, a customized belt for her chain saw loving husband!
Sue Sue’s current needlepoint project, a customized belt for her chain saw loving husband!

            My favorite project to date? A “With the Help of my Friends” saying for Dad, when he was going through a kidney transplant. Second, a hand drawn purse with initials to match Mom’s dress for Bab’s wedding. This was beautifully finished by Art Bag in NYC.

purse-wop
How gorgeous is this purse?
I love the custom monogram!
I love the custom monogram!

Q: What do you like to watch during a Netflix & Needlepoint binge session?

Sue Sue: Babs and I watch completely different show. She is highbrow: old movies, Seinfeld, and HGTV. I am shameful: the NY housewives, Scream Queens (because of the actors), House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, and Christly Knows Best (What?!?!) And that Charleston one. Oh, and I miss the Million Dollar Matchmaker. Ugh, so sorry!

Oh Sue Sue, I am right there with you! I looooveee me some trashy reality tv!
Oh Sue Sue, I am right there with you! I looooveee me some trashy reality tv!
Did you know Patricia Altschul, the Queen Bee of “Southern Charm,” is an avid needlepoint collector? Follow her Instagram to catch elegant snaps of her needlepoint collection
Did you know Patricia Altschul, the Queen Bee of “Southern Charm,” is an avid needlepoint collector? Follow her Instagram to catch elegant snaps of her needlepoint collection

Q: Babs, I know both of your girls (Susie and Katie) needlepoint. Why was it important for you to pass along your love of needlepoint to them?

Babs: Our children were all taught to needlepoint. The girls picked it up, but the boys, not so much.

A darling Kappa Kappa Gamma needlepoint pillow on one of Bab’s girl’s bed!
A darling Kappa Kappa Gamma needlepoint pillow on one of Bab’s girl’s bed!

Sue Sue:  But wait! We even made Alex (my son) needlepoint- mainly so he wouldn’t be throwing the yarn around like a football. We knew not to even offer lessons to his brother. Hysterical!

One of the boys’ creations. Needlepoint is not just for women!
One of the boys’ creations. Needlepoint is not just for women!

Q: Sue Sue, you are a fabulous interior designer who has been featured in publications such as “D Magazine” to blogs including “The Pink Pagoda.” How can one incorporate needlepoint in their home, while still keeping the aesthetic young and fresh?

Sue Sue:  Thanks so much, Jessica! I have been a decorator for eons in lots of cities- always have great clients. I think many clients like a bit of needlepoint in their homes to avoid the everything brand new feel, like it was all just bought, plopped in from a showroom. What’s better than something you can’t buy elsewhere?

Check out Sue Sue’s Instagram for snippets of her fabulous design work, like her chic backyard.
Check out Sue Sue’s Instagram for snippets of her fabulous design work, like her chic backyard.
Equally chic is Sue Sue’s Pinterest, which features a plethora of inspiration!
Equally chic is Sue Sue’s Pinterest, which features a plethora of inspiration!
Follow Sue Sue’s Design Firm, “The Design Girls” on Instagram
Follow Sue Sue’s Design Firm, “The Design Girls” on Instagram

Q: My favorite type of needlepoint is Cheeky needlepoint, I know y’all feel the same! Can you explain the meaning and symbolism in your cheeky needlepointed family crest?

Babs:  When I had my needlepoint business many people wanted their family crest painted. I joked with my painter, Katherine that ours would have a toilet, mop and bucket. Katherine surprised each of us with our family crest.

The famous Slageter sense of humor!
The famous Slageter sense of humor!

Q: I love your friend’s statement that “Needlepoint belts are charm bracelets for men.” What is your favorite belt that you have stitched for a husband, son, or friend? And why?

Babs: I love every belt I have done!

A custom belt painted by Susie, Bab’s daughter who is a talented artist! Follow Susie on Instagram(https://www.instagram.com/susiehk.art/), she also needlepoints like her fabulous mother and aunt.
A custom belt painted by Susie, Bab’s daughter who is a talented artist! Follow Susie on Instagram, she also needlepoints like her fabulous mother and aunt.

Q: Finally, what are both of your “dream” canvases?

Babs: Dream canvases are yours! I love them!

Sue Sue, Babs, and I at Destination Dallas, a needlepoint tradeshow
Sue Sue, Babs, and I at Destination Dallas, a needlepoint tradeshow

I told y’all! They are FABULOUS! And this is just a little snippet of Sue Sue and Bab’s playful wit. Check out their entertaining book, “Sophication is Overrated” to learn more about their love of needlepoint, classic design, and all things cheeky and fabulous!

Sophistication is Overrated , available for purchase on the “Sophistication is Overrated” website (http://sophisticationisoverrated.com/buy-the-book.php), The Pink Pagoda (http://shop.thepinkpagoda.us/collections/gifts/products/sophistication-is-overrated), or Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Sophistication-Overrated-Susan-Palma/dp/1612542166)
Sophistication is Overrated , available for purchase on the “Sophistication is Overrated” website, The Pink Pagoda, or Amazon

Be sure to follow Sue Sue and Babs on social media! Their Instagram features their frequent book tour travels, as well as a daily dose of humor. If you are a needlepointer (of course you are) be sure to follow their “homemade” board on Pinterest. It features a plethora of Sue Sue and Bab’s gorgeous needlepoint projects!

Sophistication is Overrated Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SophisticationIsOverrated
Sophistication is Overrated Facebook

 

Sophistication is Overrated Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sophisticationisoverrated/
Sophistication is Overrated Instagram

 

Sophistication is Overrated Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/babshorner/?etslf=2707&eq=Bab
Sophistication is Overrated Pinterest

 

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3 comments

  1. Oh, I loved this blog. So much fun and the coat of arms is to die for……what a riot!

  2. Oh Jessica! We are thrilled to see this wonderful post! …love your blog and can’t wait to see you in Palm Beach when we come for a book signing and ready to get into more trouble! Thanks so much! We love Lycette Designs! 😘😘

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