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!
Q: Both 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.
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 Fran
- Needlepoint This in Dallas
- Stitch Haus in Wayne, PA
- Wizard Weavers in Cincinnati
- The Quarter Stitch in New Orleans
- Garden District Shop on Magazine Street in New Orleans
- House of Needlepoint in Darien, CT
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
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.
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!
Q: Finally, what are both of your “dream” canvases?
Babs: Dream canvases are yours! I love them!
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!
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!