Claudia has always liked to work with her hands. Since a child she has enjoyed the challenge of making something. Creating something with her hands has always been what she enjoys doing best. One of her favorite challenges is making something from scratch – “from nothing” as she often says. It is no surprise that she learned embroidery and crochet as a child. Her love of needlepoint, cross stitch, and knitting came later.
Owning and running a needlework store, with employees and everything else that it takes to keep a business open, is more organization and logistics than creativity. It is a creative business to own, but requires much more behind the scenes work than most people see. No one actually just sits and stitches at a needlework store. Claudia always asked herself and her employees; “What makes Dutch Treat different? Why should someone shop with us?” To add more creativity to her business duties, she began to create unique stitching projects, only available from Dutch Treat, to give her store something different for classes. Soon she was designing everything for these Dutch Treat exclusive projects from scratch – the idea, the stitching motifs, and the finishing. The most well known of this design effort is the Tabletopper – a 22″ square doily / centerpiece stitched on Anne Cloth using size 5 and 12 pearl cotton and Caron Watercolours thread. While the general trend in stitching was getting smaller, at Dutch Treat things were getting bigger. Claudia started Dutch Treat Designs in 1997 to market the Tabletopper concept to other shops. There are now 80+ tabletopper designs available through Dutch Treat Designs.