Cissy Bailey Smith of Gentle Pursuit Designs

Sissy Smith's Old Salem Sewing SetOld Salem Sewing Set

Saturday, 5/20
9am - 4pm


Cissy is creating a sewing set based on items in her antique sewing accessory collection to teach in May. The projects will feature scenes and motifs from Old Salem and will be suitable for Intermediate level stitchers. Photos will be available soon.

Materials will include 40 count Lakeside linen, silk threads from Gloriana and Needlepoint Inc., silk ribbons and metallic threads. The class will feature several counted embroidery stitches, how to gather and attach ribbon, along with couching, and finishing techniques. Close up of Sissy's projectThere will be one over one stitching so bring your best magnification. Cissy will present a discussion of the history of Old Salem during the class and is making arrangements with Old Salem Museums & Gardens for extra embroideries to be on display in their buildings and for a curator led ‘Behind The Scenes Tour’ to be available for visitors to MESDA at certain times during the Spirit of Stitching event.

Cissy Smith

Cissy Smith photoCissy fell in love with embroidery and with Old Salem at about the same time when she was in her mid-20s. She completed Teaching Certification in Canvaswork through the Valentine Museum in Richmond, VA in 1979 and moved her focus from canvaswork to linen in the mid-1980s. Cissy joined EGA in 1977 and served in many local chapter, region and national capacities ending her EGA service with a four year stint as Carolinas Region Director 1998-2002. She has been designing commercially since 2002 and her designs have been featured in EGA publications, Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly and Just Cross Stitch magazines. Since Cissy retired from her ‘real’ job in 2014 she has reproduced a Florentine Pocketbook from the Old Salem collection, taught classes for Sampler Guilds and EGA, hosted Antique Show Teas in her home, and has continued to design Smalls and reproduce samplers based on her collection of English, Scottish, and American antique sewing accessories and school girl samplers.