One stitch at a time, she shares her passion with others
“I am here to service the world of embroidery.” Connie Lynn Borserine
When Connie Lynn Borserine was a little girl, her mother and grandmother tried to interest her in pillowcase embroidery. “I didn’t like it and put it away,” says Borserine. But her family had planted the seed, and years later she was re-inspired while visiting a friend. The woman suggested the two go out and buy a couple of quick-point stitching sets. Although not interested, Borserine went along and ended up choosing a Pink Sunbonnet Baby. Back at home that evening, her friend hovered over Borserine, teaching her to stitch. “After a few minutes of that, I told her to go away, that I have it. I stayed up until three in the morning, and I haven’t stopped since.”
That experience ignited a passion within Borserine. She is now a nationally known needle arts judge and artist. Borserine owns Needle Fiber Arts, Inc., a needlework shop and teaching studio which she operates out of her Prairie Village home. Here in her converted living room, customers can peruse racks of silk ribbons, silk lamé braid, silk, wool and cotton threads. Colorfully-painted canvases hang ready for a stitcher’s hand and display cases are stocked full of tools. Borserine works with a professional finisher who can turn a completed canvas into a pillow, framed art, stand-up art, purse, box, tote bag or ornament.
So, with all of these potential projects at her fingertips, how many “unfinished pieces” does Borserine have? “You are not a real stitcher until you have lots of works in progress! We say works in progress. It’s so much more encouraging!”
Borserine is fascinated by color. She can even hear color, a phenomenon known as synesthesia, described as a rare condition when two or more of our senses entwine. Hearing color serves Borserine well in her needle arts business. “For instance, the color blue could send off a variety of vibrations, depending on its hue and intensity. A soft shade of blue grey may sound like the ocean, or an intense deep blue may conjure up roaring crowds at a Kansas City Royals game.”
This special sensibility is part of why Borserine is such a success. She recently won the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Needlearts (NAN), an organization devoted to the advancement of embroidery as an art form. The award is the organization’s highest honor and pays tribute to her accomplishments, technical excellence, leadership, service and mentoring in needle arts.
She obtained her Needlework Judges’ Certification from the NAN, and she has spent nearly two decades judging regional and national exhibits. “I love to judge. I approach it with an open heart and appreciation of what the stitcher has done. I appreciate, not criticize.”
In 2003, she received Needlework Appraisal Certification from the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG). For the Greater Kansas City chapter, she serves as the program chair. In addition, she writes an ongoing column for Needlepoint Now magazine, a national publication.
Borserine faithfully studies color theory, design and needlework disciplines. “Every type of needlework is embroidery, including crewel, smocking and cross-stitch. All arts, trends and colors are intertwined. I read constantly and talk with others in the field to learn what is available to help my clients.”
People interested in taking a class or perusing her shop can contact Borserine at NeedleFiberArts@aol.com or call her at 913.381.0722. Borserine works with all levels of proficiency, guiding with love and respect. “I specialize in personal service. I am here to accommodate the world of embroidery and to share what knowledge I have with as many people as possible.”