Mollie Johanson has loved creating and crafting cute things for as long as she can remember. She is an author and a regular contributor to stitching and sewing magazines. Mollie lives near Chicago and is happiest with a cup of coffee, some stitching, and her family close at hand. She is the artist behind Cross Stitch Creations: Bundle of Joy. We asked Mollie a few question about her creative process.
Quarto Creates: How did you first become interested in needlework?
Mollie Johanson: I come from a family of needlework enthusiasts, so I took my first stitches when I was around four years old.
Throughout my entire life, I’ve been surrounded by handmade items that my mom, grandmas, great-grandmas, and so many others stitched by hand. The women in my family introduced me to needlework, finding ways to make it uniquely me got me excited about it, and knowing that I’m part of a history of needlecrafters will keep me going long into the future.
QC: Who was your most influential teacher?
MJ: My mom has always been my go-to person for all things related to stitching and sewing.
I was homeschooled, so she was my teacher for K-12, but that has carried into my adult life and my creative work. She always has helpful project advice, but she also knows me well, which makes her teaching tailored just for me!
QC: Where do you find inspiration for your projects?
MJ: My favorite place for inspiration comes from Japan’s kawaii style.
Think Hello Kitty and basically anything super cute! But really, I love making patterns of everyday life things. If I can make something simple into a fun and cute design, I’ve succeeded.
QC: Have your finished products ever turned out different than your expectation, and how do you deal with that?
MJ: I think this is kind of inevitable. Not everything will come out the way you want.
Sometimes that’s actually a good thing because happy accidents can result in a better than expected result! But when it’s not so good, my main goal is to find and fix my errors as soon as possible. If that isn’t an option, I try to at least figure out when to either start over or live with the outcome. Sometimes being okay with mistakes is part of the process!
QC: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from creating?
MJ: Despite what my previous answer might suggest, I have some perfectionistic tendencies when it comes to my work.
So the most important thing I’ve learned came from my mom who told me to value the process over the product. I still care deeply about making things with excellence, but I also make sure that I’m enjoying actually making the thing. I think that’s so important no matter what kind of creative endeavor you’re working on!
Learn more about Mollie’s work on Instagram @molliejohanson and online at molliejohanson.com. Be sure to get your copy of Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! available in July!