Who is Rosie de Leon McCrady?
As I look back on my years, it seems I was always destined to end up with a needle and a thread in my hands. Whether it be embroidery, quilting, or simply refastening a button to an old shirt, as soon as my fingers stick that piece of thread through the fabric and pull it through, I suddenly feel at home. As a young girl, my mother took the time to instill in me the necessary values that would carry me through womanhood. There were the timeless baking lessons where much of the batter seemed to make its way into our mouths before making it into the pan. There were the numerous lectures on the importance of doing well in school which, of course, I always paid the utmost attention to. However, it was the time I spent with her learning how to embroider that I remember so vividly. Embroidery not only became an activity that I could do with my mother, but also an outlet for a young girl to enhance her creativity. My mother’s lessons paid off, and soon, much to my mother’s delight and sometimes to her dismay, embroidery started popping up on our pillow cases, dresser scarves, and tablecloths at our house. I was hooked.
My introduction to quilting did not come til years later when, fate in the form of my future husband, Phil McCrady, introduced me to his mother, Kathleen McCrady. Mrs. McCrady, renowned in the industry for her vast knowledge and expertise in the history of quilts and textiles, helped me fill a void that had been missing for some time. I had recently learned, right before the encounter, that my maternal grandmother quilted, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. Mrs. McCrady graciously taught me how to hand piece and hand quilt. It is because of her kindness and my husband’s encouragement and support that I have been quilting my way to happiness for 29 years.
In an effort to spread the art of quilt making and embroidery, and yes I do feel it is an art, I started teaching classes a little over sixteen years ago throughout Texas and New Mexico. With time, I started being approached to judge quilt shows. These interactions with my students and with quilting contestants combined with my five years experience at a retail quilt shop, offered me much insight to the needs of my future Redwork customers. I believe in putting excellent tools in the hands of every stitcher. If you have the right tools, you will enjoy the craft, and thus, you accomplish more. My hope is to have my unique line of products become an integral part of the industry I have come to love and that is now my second career.