Stitch 'Em Up - Applique a Story in Fabric - Nutcracker Patterns
     
Flo Klein, Founder of Stitch 'Em Up

The above passage is the introduction found in the original Stitch 'Em Up print catalogue. That as the saying goes, is only part of the story. My name is Annie Wilson and Flo was my business partner, Utterly Outrageous Women counterpart, best friend, sounding board, design critiquer, and so many other things I can't even begin to list them all.

Flo passed away August of 2002, and with her family's blessings I took over Stitch 'Em Up. There was absolutely no way I was going to let something she cared about so deeply, end. I've finished Flo's unfinished pattern designs, tweaked and updated the current pattern line, and I always try to look at things the way she would - to find that next wonderful pattern idea.

The very first show Flo and I did - it was a trade or wholesale only show. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing!

All About Flo

Flo Klein, founder of Stitch 'Em Up patterns(In her own words)

"I was born in a small town in South Texas near Corpus Christi called Robstown on September 19th, 1937, at 6:59 a.m. I weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz and was 21 inches tall. Since I don’t remember a thing about it, I have to depend on what Mother told me about the event.

Mother and Daddy were living in a small town about 50 miles from Robstown called Hebbronville. Mother’s family including her parents were living in Robstown so she decided to go the doctor there and I would be born in the hospital there.

Daddy was so paranoid that he would have to deliver me in the car that he took Mother over three weeks before I was due. She stayed with her oldest sister, Edna and her husband, Judd Lotspeich while she waited. Mother said she and Uncle Judd would go walking every night. I think he went just to make sure she made it back.

Back in those days the drug to induce labor was quinine and castor oil. Yuk! Anyway, Mother took it when I was a few days past the due date and sure enough, she went into labor. Mother said Daddy must have driven 90 miles an hour to get there. Needless to say, he made it in plenty of time. Everyone was so worried about Mother having her first baby at 30. Everyone except her. Things went off without a hitch and the only casualty was Daddy who swore I was going to be an only child but more about that later.

After a two week stay in the hospital, we went home to Hebbronville. Daddy decided that Mother wasn’t going to spoil me so he decreed no unnecessary holding. That lasted until he walked out the door and Mother said, I was such a good baby that if he came home unexpectedly and she literally tossed me in my crib, I didn’t make a fuss.

It must have been quite a sight to see Daddy holding me. He was 6’3” tall and slender with long hands and fingers. Mother said he never changed a diaper but then men didn’t do that in those days. There were no disposable diapers and no diaper service. Babies were breast fed or bottle fed like now only there was no variety of formulas for babies. There was goat’s milk for those who were allergic to cow’s milk. Formula was home made with either Carnation or Pet evaporated milk flavored with a little corn syrup like Karo. Babies were given cod liver oil instead of Flintstone vitamins. They did have baby food in jars but not things like baby cereal. Mother said I loved cream of wheat. She must have burned me out on it because I won’t touch the stuff now.

I did all the stuff babies do at the appropriate age, I guess; however, I walked at 10 months old. From what I have read in recent years, babies who walk early can be clumsy as they get older and that is definitely me I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

I was named for Mother’s oldest sister, Edna Florence Caraway Lotspeich and my Mother. I have been eternally grateful that Mother and Daddy didn’t name me Edna. Mother said if she had known that Daddy already had two nieces named Florence, she would have named me something else. Mother did say she would name me Florence if I was called Flo. I didn’t know my real name was Florence until I was about 10. In typical Southern fashion, I was called Flo Ann and most of the relatives and very old friends still call me that but mostly I go by Flo.

When I was born, my hair was black but it changed to a light brown. I always said God goofed. I was supposed to be a red head because when I got older and started coloring my hair to cover the gray, I colored it an auburn red and it looked great. There was lots of red heads in my Dad’s family. My grandmother was a red head and so were several of my cousins. My eyes are hazel and I am right handed with a left handed Dad, sister and son, Haag. So far none of the grans are lefties. Second husband, Stuart, is a leftie so I have been surrounded by them. Somewhere I read that if you are raised around lefties, you become more ambidextrous. I use both hands to do many things. Mary is very ambidextrous; Stuart isn’t.

I always teased Mary. It just wasn’t fair. She was skinny from childhood until she was in her 50s and had not one gray hair in her head until then and here I have fought the battle of bulge nearly all my life and started turning gray in my 20s. No Fair!!

From the time I was about 4 years old, we went to the movies on Sunday night. Daddy was a huge movie buff. I could spell S-H-O-W and C-A-N-D-Y before I could spell my name! Our Sunday ritual was usually going to church with Mother (Baptist), then lunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and some sort of dessert and then after lunch, Mary and I had the grand honor of washing the dishes while Mother and Daddy took a nap. Late afternoon we would go riding around, maybe come back and eat left over fried chicken, then off to the movies. When we were little we sat right next to Mother and Daddy. When we got older, Mary and I sat together in front of them, always in front and never behind them.

I was such a weenie kid. I hid under the seat when the MGM lion came on the screen. Bambi terrified me so I hid under the seat for that too. I still love movies more than anything, westerns especially since Mary and I spent every Saturday afternoon at the movies watching the likes of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hoppalong Cassidy and, of course, the Lone Ranger. There was always a serial of at least 15 episodes so you didn’t dare miss that and a cartoon. For a quarter, Mother had about two to three hours of peace and quiet on Saturdays. It cost a dime to get in the movie, a nickel for a bag of popcorn, a nickel for a drink and we had a nickel left over for an ice cream cone at the drug store after the movie or a cherry coke. Great life..."

Setting up a quilt ladder for a show at Market Hall a very long time ago with Shelley Pace

Another early show for us.